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Be Hai Nguyen
Be Hai Nguyen

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2000s flashback: a web API service...

The years were 2001-2002 and we were returning HTTP requests' data using “our own text format” 😂 😂

Going through my old files, I happened to find this diagram on a larger project which I was employed as a developer back in late 2001 early 2002:


The diagram was by my project manager. Other team members and I were assigned to the blue box:

  • For web clients, we returned complete HTML pages.
  • For Windows executable clients, we returned only data. So the web server application was also kind of providing Web API service.

Back then, XML was only a few years old... The project manager decided not to use it: too heavy with all the tags, bandwidth and speed were factors in this decision. JSON has just come out, and we were not yet aware of it... I don't recall it was ever mentioned in any of the project meetings.

The project manager decided to go with “our own text format”: we packaged data up on the server-side using this format, returned it via HTTPS, and at the client-side, the data was parsed into the Borland VCL client dataset ready for further manipulation.

It was fun, but time-consuming, column values boundaries did pose some difficulties especially with blob values. 2022 -- we just use JSON 😝

I have forgotten about this project... finding this diagram brings back some memories, I felt the urge to write this post.

Back then, online gaming was still a new industry, there were new legislations just put in place, we were not required to go through any security check, but we were issued with a special employee licence, there were certain gambling activities that we were not allowed to participate while working in the industry:


Over the years... my hair decided to go... Painful, but what can I do 😾. Thank you for reading. And stay safe.

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