In this paper we discuss some of the problems of the current web and show how the introduction of object-orientation provides flexible and extensible solutions. Web resources become encapsulated as objects, with well-defined interfaces through which all interactions occur. The interfaces and their implementations can be inherited by builders of objects, and methods (operations) can be redefined to better suit the object. New characteristics, such as concurrency control and persistence, can be obtained by inheriting from suitable base classes, without necessarily requiring any changes to users of these resources. We describe the W3Object model which we have developed based upon these ideas, and show, through a prototype implementation, how we have used the model to address the problems of referential integrity and transparent object (resource) migration. We also give indications of future work.
Keywords: world-wide web; object-oriented; referential integrity; mobility; distributed systems
Note: A set of slides relating to this paper are also available.