Ambient-Oriented Programming in AmbientTalk
Courtyard (room C)
Wednesday, 14:00, 45 minutes
Jessie Dedecker, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Stijn Mostinckx, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Tom Van Cutsem, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Sebasti'an Gonzales, Université catholique de Louvain
Wolfgang De Meuter, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Theo D'Hondt, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Demonstration number: 21
Software development for mobile devices (such as smart phones and PDAs) is given a new impetus with the advent of mobile networks. Mobile networks surround a mobile device equipped with wireless technology and are demarcated dynamically as users move about. Mobile networks turn the applications running on mobile devices from mere isolated programs into smart applications that can cooperate with their environment. As such, mobile networks take us one step closer to the world of ubiquitous computing envisioned by Weiser; a world where (wireless) technology is gracefully integrated into the everyday lives of its users. Recently, this vision has been termed Ambient Intelligence (AmI for short) by the European Council's IST Advisory Group.
Mobile networks that surround a device have several properties that distinguish them from other types of networks. The most important ones are that connections are volatile (because the communication range of the wireless technology is limited) and that the network is open (because devices can appear and disappear unheraldedly). This puts extra burden on software developers. One of the main reasons for this is that current-day programming languages lack abstractions that deal with the mobile hardware characteristics. This observation justifies the need for a new Ambient-Oriented Programming paradigm (AmOP for short) that consists of programming languages that explicitly incorporate potential network failures in the very heart of their basic computational steps.
AmbientTalk is a first scion of this AmOP programming language family. The power of AmbientTalk lies in the fact that it is simple and expressive. It offers the programmer features to deal with the conceptual properties of wireless networks without having to deal with their technological characteristics. This demonstration shows the code of a program written in AmbientTalk and its runtime behaviour in a real-life context on Smartphones and Laptops.