The FAR research project is about devising end-user programming devices for cottage e-business.
E-commerce has begun to evolve beyond simple web page to more sophisticated ways of conducting e-bueinss transactions, such as through electronic advertising, negotiation, and delivery. However, to participate in these advances requires the skills of professional programmers, and end-user owners of small bueinsses often cannot justify this expense.
To solve this problem, we are working on a language called "FAR" (Formulas And Rules), which is an end-user language to offer and deliver e-services. The novel aspects of FAR are its support of small e-services and its multiparadigm approach to combining ideas from spreadsheets and rule-based programming with drag-and-drop web page layout devices.
To use FAR, an end user lays out a custom-tailored web page, and uses formulas and rules to determine content dynamically at document delivery time. The web page (or actually, an XML page which can be translated to a web page) will be created and delivered when a request for the service arrives.