FW Editor: To begin with, can you tell us a few things about yourself and about your passion for programming? What determinate you to develop a software like Licas?
Kieran Greer: Hello, thank you for this interview. Licas came about during the last research project that I worked on. I work in the Research and Development field, so I have a passion for producing good software as well. The system was developed to test some theories about linking knowledge, but there was also an opportunity to produce a more substantial system.
FW Editor: Since its first version, Licas knew some huge improvements. Can you tell us which big improvements were added since Licas first version
Kieran Greer: Yes, the first version was very buggy. It was released because it was still a good (academic) system. Since then many bugs have been removed. The system now works much better in a general sense - before it maybe worked well under certain conditions. It is now more robust. Additional features such as metadata and web service invocation are also important, but as a framework, a user is expected to extend the system him/herself.
FW Editor: Licas is using a modular architecture. What does that means? How does it work?
Kieran Greer: Probably modular in the sense that you do not have to use all of it to use the system. You can use the communication mechanism by itself - without any metadata or linking, for example. Modular to me means that the separate components or features are self-contained and do not rely too much on each other.
FW Editor: Is Licas perfectly safe? It seems that its first versions had some security problems. Are these problems fixed now?
Kieran Greer: Security problems related to trying to put in place a proper password protection mechanism. That means that it would be difficult to invoke service methods without the correct password, even in a real environment. The earlier versions allowed direct access to services (and therefore their methods), which has now in the main, been removed. I think that password protection is mostly there now. The server itself is quite lightweight however, so the security relates to protecting service method invocation.
FW Editor: Who can use Licas? Is Licas for everyone or only for computer experts?
Kieran Greer: You need to be a programmer to use Licas. It is not too difficult to use - I use it myself and find it quite easy to use. But it is still only a framework, and you would need to extend the base classes to add your own service functionality. This could be as simple or complex as you choose however, while the framework itself provides the server, communication, metadata and linking mechanisms automatically.
FW Editor: Licas enables you to create your own server. Are there any special hardware requirements for that? Is Licas running on any system?
Kieran Greer: You should not need anything other than the Java platform to run the system. It runs under J2SE or J2ME.
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