How it came about
The evolution of xAP was fuelled by a fundamental frustration in Home Automation circles. It answers the question: "Surely there has to be an easier way to get devices and applications to talk to each other?"
xAP is as devastatingly powerful as it is simple - the elegant design of xAP, which is a carefully honed balance between functionality and complexity. The specification committee - an extraordinarily talented, multi-disciplined team - spent literally hundreds of hours and exchanged thousands of e-mails examining each aspect of xAP from every possible angle. The development of a robust, but light, flexible and accessible protocol could only have been achieved by such a diverse team. The end result is genuinely exciting, but the proof is in the pudding. We are now a few months down the line from the ratification of the first stable version of the specification, and the design concepts have been validated in practice - on a wide variety of devices, from PC's to microprocessors costing a few pence, and in a wide variety of control scenarios ranging from lighting, audio and vision to bathroom scales and irrigation.
What's special about xAP?
Perhaps the single most exciting feature of xAP is the extensability it brings to Home Automation. xAP eschews conventional point-to-point communication models in favour of a system in which messages are predominantly identified by the sender, and receivers select those of specific interest. This provides a decoupling between devices - senders need not know anything about the receivers whatsoever, and can operate "blind" - which means that new devices (or applications) can be added to the xAP network at any time without the need to reconfigure the entire network. This in turn allows the xAP network to grow organically, a little piece at a time, but with any number of devices on the xAP network potentially co-operating as one powerful, heterogeneous system.
A Quick Tour of this xAP Site
The aim of this site is to make xAP accessible - whether to end-users or developers. End-users will be most interested in the xAP Projects section, which covers practical applications of xAP, with executables and basic instructions on how to get going. Would be developers will be interested in the software development tools. Software development kits are organised by both platform and programming language. For more background on the underlying concepts behind xAP, a gentle introduction can be found in the getting started section.