Sunday, March 13, 2005


Though I have had a weak spot for the Dutch football club for a long time, I expect to spend more time on the "technology".

I saw a first reference to the term AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript with XML) in Dennis van der Stelt's blog. Shortly afterwards followed by a remark in an InfoWorld article on the Java vs .NET debate (referenced by where AJAX is mentioned as a likely new feature in JSF 1.2/J2EE 5.

Finally it seems we are getting some traction for the development of rich browser applications. Though browser nowadays provide a strong platform (DHTML, CSS, XML, JavaScript) to build such applications, there is still a lack of supporting browser-side frameworks and associated development tools that will allow for productive development of such interfaces. However, it seems this is starting to change.

I can see this work in the Java world through the community process and open-source organisations like Apache supporting it. Unfortunately, I still have to see whether similar traction can be formed in the Microsoft world, because Microsoft currently has no direct benefit from promoting richer browser applications. It would go at the cost of the momentum they are trying to build for development of smart clients based on XAML/Avalon and Office. Developing a browser-side framework would be a risk for Microsoft partners (or any other commercial party), because it is practically impossible to protect browser-side script. So I guess it will have to come from either the open-source community or a MS partner who is willing to build both framework and VS.NET integrated toolset.

A business model based on providing the toolset seems to be feasible: in the Netherlands BackBase is a company with a very interesting offering in this area (based on a open-source, Java-based backend).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just checked the BackBase website and although portal won't work on my IE6 WinXP machine, the shop works like a charm! That's exactly the way you'd want your internet applications to work!

And you're right about Microsoft. They more and more seem to want to change the name "Windows Forms" into "Smart Clients" and get people to use it over internet applications. I don't think that's bad, because a lot of the time we build internet applications based on one reason, easy of deployment. But with the current technologies used, internet is definitly not the best solution for every problem.

Mon Mar 14, 07:28:00 am GMT  

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