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Thicky is the realization of an idea that I had in 2001. As head of development at Digital Rum in London, I wanted developers to tackle something sexy after some serious hard work getting a product live. Given the core of the application was a bean layer delivering dynamic XML documents to a XSL tumbling servlet app (ultimate clients were WAP and Web), it seemed appropriate to see what we could do in the XML/XSL space that was page-oriented. What we came up with was a target that would read Long-Term Persistence for JavaBeans (LTP4JB) pages and render them into a thick rather than thin experience on the client side. LTP4JB is different to normal persistence for Java as is serializes class definitions as well as data. Thus a small bootstrap on the client-side could read such a page, deserialize it (instantiate it at that moment), and mount it in a frame for user interaction. The small kernel would handle the page-by-page requests. It would have been a thick experience, using thin ideals. Anyway, we coded a static proof of concept (refactored from Sun's examples), but never had management approval (we remained busy) to turn it into a product. Oh and yes, the intention was to style a persisted page. And yes, we had David Johansson (the worlds greatest XSL coder) so it could be done.

Three years later, and at ThoughtWorks with four Digital Rum colleagues, I thought it was time to resurrect the idea. Dropping LTP4JB in favor of Groovy (I talked of Thicky when I was sober at the first Codehaus Amsterdam weekend in August 2003), and embracing the PicoContainer ideal for the component model, Thicky was reborn.


March 31st, 2004