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Framing the SCDL Data Model in HTML 5

Today’s Schema build is the best SCDL reference I’ve written to date:

Today marks my fortieth consecutive day of heads-down coding on Schema – a single page HTML 5 application for designing systems in Soft Circuit Description Language (SCDL – pronounced “scuddle” as in to make haste).

About half of this time has been consumed learning tricky details of other people’s amazing HTML 5 libraries (e.g. Knockout.js is really great).

The other half has been devoted to struggling to codify the SCDL object model (serialized to JSON and used to synthesize runtime code).

I’ve strongly resisted the urge to write about SCDL here as I’ve explained the concept countless times to some very smart people with little success to-date. I’m resigned to the fact that nobody is going to “get it” until they can see it. That is see and edit the graph models that underpin SCDL using browser-based SVG visualizations.

Over the past week I basically re-wrote the entire SCDL data model for Schema because it had just gotten out of control (entire data and view model in a single Coffeescript file). That single file is now twenty and I’m glad I did this now although I didn’t get a lot of sleep this week :-)

Tuesday I reached parity with where I was when I started refactoring and today the SCDL data model is almost completely framed in Coffeescript. It’s not yet functional (e.g. there are lots of methods missing) but the overall structure has been captured in classes.

Today’s development build of Schema is interesting. Essentially it’s a Knockout.js view bound to the SCDL data model with buttons that allow to instantiate objects. As changes are made, the SCDL catalogue JSON is updated dynamically.

If you’re intrigued by SCDL, check out today’s build.

Note that I’ve cached today’s build on my own website for future reference. Once the SVG visualizations are online, most people will not care about this detail (that’s the whole point after all). But today’s build is perhaps the best SCDL reference I’ve written to-date so I’m sharing with those of you interested in this early work.



Early Schema SCDL Editor Demo

I’ve deployed a snapshot build of work in progress on Encapsule Schema – a single-page HTML5 application for creating, visualizing, and editing JSON-encoded Soft Circuit Description Language (SCDL) system models.

Demo snapshot build:

Although primarily a demo of single-page, cached HTML5 application development at this point. You can actually explore the SCDL data model a bit but adding and removing SCDL entities from the forms embedded in the app’s main page.

SCDL Catalogue JSON

Schema Editor Produces SCDL in JSON

As you add/remove SCDL entities from a SCDL catalogue, you’ll note that the JSON representation of SCDL catalogue is updated live.

This is not even pre-alpha at this point. But a good start :-)

If you’re interested in the HTML5 client development that’s going into the Schema editor, you can follow along on my personal blog: