Promising Projects – Brainwave and Returnable

In the past two days, I happen to see two mails regarding two new projects. Though both did not attract the best of my interests that I jump out and dig my hands into it. Rather I felt I can write about them. Here I go with a brief introduction to both of them.


Brainwave is said to be a Software Development Kit which comes along with a very different database engine, a rich API widgets library and a deployment server. I came to know through a mail sent to Bangypy mailing list. Though the question whether this product is Open Source is yet to be answered, there is an interesting component in this product which is told as a pending-patent technology.

The main components of this SDK are

  • Iris, the Application server
  • Aphrodite, the User Interface
  • Poseidon, the Database
  • Cerberus, the Security component

Iris is the application server (or the deployment server) which is actually built over the very popular CherryPy Python-based web server. Aphrodite is a XSLT based standard templating system, which renders the templates as HTML 4.0 Transitional compliant code for IE5+ and FF1.0+ (but it is said for Windows and Mac, urgh!).

Poisedon is said to be the core of Brainwave, being the database system with a difference. It is an non relational DBMS with no requirement of schema. Instead of tables and columns, data is stored as ‘memes’ and ‘links’ which are types of neurons. While memes are fundamental units of data, links are relationships between neurons. Links have a subject (origin), an object (target) and a verb (modifier). Thus data is stores as neurons linked to one another by the links defined by the verbs. This model imposes no constrain on the type of data that can be handled. This is a very new idea which is yet to hit the masses.

Cerberus is the security manager for Poisedon and it acts based on capabilities and policies.

Brainwave is a promising product indeed, but until the question of FOSS gets answered let me wait to dig my hands into it.


Returnable serves as an open platform architectural guide to advance the URL as a DSL for specifying 3 traits – the content, its delivery and its behavior on the web through the use of Returnable elements embedded within the web pages.

This is not a big endeavor such as Brainwave, but rather a personal project from Bhasker Kode (who had mailed the ilugc mailing list about this). It involves a bit of JS, PHP, url rewrtie, regext and CSS. This is just a way to create events using HTML as the API, provided that the initial script was added to the DOM.

He claims it to be a great utility for bloggers, for an easy way to create tool-tips. The following are some links associated with this project.

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2 thoughts on “Promising Projects – Brainwave and Returnable

  1. Hey Parthan,

    There are now three developers on the project (two of whom have incidently worked on AU-KBC research projects under the DoIT guidance ), and I’m glad to say that the prototypes are doing just what they are supposed to – just work ! 8 )

    I hope to get lot more out releases and pave a good roadmap ahead . Appreciate the encouragement . Thanks ! 8 )

    Keep Clicking,

    Bhasker V Kode,
    Lead Archtiect, The Returnable Project

  2. Hi Parthan,

    I know this is a very delayed reply. Certain parts of Brainwave are opensource (like UI widgets) and there is a JnuPickler project as well(you can see some of the eary entries on for details).

    There is a lot more content and documentation along with demo videos available on the site now. You may want to check it out again.

    Thanks for the feedback and your comments are highly appreciated.


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