Defining Application Contexts for your App

Example Application

Before moving ahead, it's important to describe the application most often used in examples throughout this book which is that of an individualized version of Urban Dictionary. This App has a Domain Model starting with:

  • Spaces that create an individual dictionary of
  • Phrases that are the words or groups of words + definitions of them
  • Users that can be invited to a Space and create Phrases in that Space
  • Sessions capturing when each User is interacting with the App
  • and the App itself

These Domain Entities translate directly to Terms of the TAO for the App along with the relationships:

  • Space-Phrase since a Phrase can be shared and exist in more than one Space
  • Space-User since Users can create or be invited to join more than one Space

Define your AppCons ahead of writing code

From the Goals of tao.js we want to use the language of the TAO to describe our application as a set of code-translatable requirements that can be understood by technical and non-technical members of the team.

It is best to start from this place by describing your application as a series of trigrams representing possible states and transitions from one to the next to generate a protocol chain that describes the interaction an Actor has with your App.

Example AppCon descriptions

It's much easier to whiteboard this or draw it on a piece of paper, but for documentations sake (and future roadmap consideration) we're going to provide an example in markdown.

Example Initial AppCons descriptions

A good place to start is the intial Use Case of a User coming to the App and the AppCons that we expect to encounter:

Term Action Orient description
App Enter Portal initial trigram that sets the App in motion (this can be anything you want)
App View Portal user views the App's Portal
Space Find Portal find all of the Spaces defined
Space List Portal render the list of Spaces for the User

Example Space Details descriptions

Another example is AppCons that represent contexts when a user views a Space:

Term Action Orient description
Space Enter Portal trigram signaling actor is entering an individual Space
Space View Portal Space details View in App's Portal
Space-Phrase Find Portal find all of the Space-Phrase relations defined
Space-Phrase List Portal show the list of Phrases for a Space

Example Space Edit descriptions

Term Action Orient description
Space Edit Portal trigram signaling actor wants to edit a Space
Space Update Portal actor updated the Space's data
Space Store Portal store the Spaces data for later retrieval

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