An Origin Story for the TAO Programming Model

Sometimes and for some people it is important to understand a bit of history in how a thing came about in order to grok the thing or fully grasp the implications of it, and why it is a natural and useful progression of things we already do.

For this reason, I'm providing a narrative walk through that illustrates how we evolve to the TAO Programming Model. While drawing on my experience in conceiving it, a complete historical reference would not offer the intended outcome of helping to explain the TAO Programming Model's value and place without meandering too much through various additional explanations. This I fear would further muddy the waters of what I've found to already be a difficult topic for many to grasp.

In lieu of this full historical reference (which I may produce at some point for my own sanity), I will walk you as the reader through the genesis of the TAO Programming Model in the same path that I used to get to it in the hopes that it will inspire your understanding for why it is so valuable to building data-driven applications, which represent the majority of application development today.

We first start with a description of a Problem similar to what I found myself in at a previous company many years ago working on a rebuild of an existing application.

Within that problem, we had a set of Requirements to solve for. Some of these were explicit and some were implicit.

During the phase of the project when we were attempting to design the solution, I was able to crystalize concepts that I had carried with me for some time:
that Apps are Data, which directed me on how best to describe our solution space to my team using a 3-Dimensional Matrix.

Eventually I came to realize that what was best for our own situation was to Design the App as a Platform from the start.

The beauty of this thinking was that I had wanted to make the Platform very simplistic and easy to integrate with by focusing on what I called the Application Context as the extension point.

This allowed for an architecture that was Reactive from the beginning with the flexibility necessary to fit all of the desired usage scenarios.

What I eventually found was it created a new way to think about building software with the End Result being the TAO Programming Model, a general solution for any data-driven application without the lock-in found in all other opinionated frameworks.

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