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widgetsSOARIAmashupsAJAX 20 Mar 2008 7:33 AM
A Full Day at AJAX World by prichards

The second day (Wed) at AJAX World East 2008, had several interesting presentations, with more focus on actal AJAX usage and techniques.

The keynote by Douglas Crockford (Yahoo! Architect and creator of JSON) was very sobering, presenting the idea that Web 2.0 is broken (has been since Web 1.0), and can we fix it? The #1 problem is security, due to the current standards. He proposes that the solution lies in [1] using a safe subset of javascript and [2] small browser improvements to handle same origin policy issue (perhaps JSONRequest and/or using "vats" techniques) - both of which are temporary solutions to reduce but not eliminate security holes; and [3] massive browser improvements to replace Javascript and DOM. It is important to build apps keeping in mind [1] and [2] because [3] won't become a reality for quite some time in development and browser adoption.

Jeff Haynie presented the Appcelerator open-source RIA platform which accelerates RIA development using current technology options (while waiting for those changes Douglas Crawford advocates!), leveraging pre-built AJAX widgets and standards-based languages to provide SOA services. At least one speaker presented a case for using AJAX and FLEX together to expand capabilities and reduce testing time and management of multiple browser issues; and Flex supports a Flex AJAX Bridge. An architect from Yahoo presented a case for using YUI widgets (all standard HTML and Javascript) with custom event handling for client-side processing to limit the backend data requests for large web applications. A speaker from Aptana presented an IDE with capabilities for rapid AJAX development, and how a taxonomy of different approaches (DOM Manipulation, DOM replacement, Ready-made Gadgets and "Dual DOM Abstraction") fits with GUI and services development.

An IceSoft presentation focused on web push technologies, which is not currently supported by any standards and implemented by three major AJAX vendors in different manners: DOJO, DWR and Icesoft. These implementations are currently only supported on a select set of app servers providing the underlying capability: Glassfish/Grizzly, Tomcat 6 and Jetty 6.

There were additional presentations today on mashup technologies (one of the tracks is dedicated to mashups) including a general session on Sun jMaki "webtop". Webtop is a mashup framework, in-browser, extensible, manageable and shareable, with persistent (client or server side) storage capability. It also emphasized the use of gadgets (widgets + backing services). jMaki encompasses widgets from multiple toolkits (Dojo, GWT, prototype, etc.) and "wrapped" in language of choice.

Again, I'll be receiving these and other filmed presentations on DVD for the XAware team rto reviewlater.

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