Web Application Packaging

This week I will start looking at how applications are packaged and distributed on both the client-side and server-side. Application packaging is basically the process of bundling an application into some kind of archive format (like a zip file) with instructions (usually in XML) for a host runtime about how to unpack that application and execute it. Application packaging is used on both the server-side, as is the case with J2EE WAR files and EAR files and .Net’s Cab files, and the client-side as is the case with Widgets such as those from Yahoo! and Opera. In this entry I will start comparing the different ways that companies package applications for deployment. The purpose of this excersise is to find the optimum way to package an application that is both lightweight enough for the client-side, and strong enough to cope with larger enterprise size applications on the server-side. This entry will serve as a foundation for a W3C Note on application packaging. It will be published as part of Web Application Formats Working Group. The Latest Draft of the document is available from the w3c dev website. (Please note that I am still working on this entry).
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