[clipart]The one persistent mantra I hear from staunch Flash defenders, folks like John Dowdell, is that Flash gives you the benefit of one consistent runtime. The Flash platform probably renders more consistently across browsers than HTML+SVG+Canvas+CSS - since the plugin directly controls a box of pixels on the web page I should hope so! But is it equally consistent across operating systems? And has it always been that way? Read the rest of this entry ...

§680 · February 9, 2010 · Adobe, Laszlo, Software, Technology, Web · Comments Off on Don’t worry, Adobe will step it up · Tags: , ,

The Next Big Thing from Laszlo, OpenLaszlo 4 (OL4) codenamed "Legals", is nearing completion and we should see a first Beta in January. This is the release of OpenLaszlo that will be able to compile to more than one runtime, allowing web developers to target either Flash or DHTML. In future versions of OL we might see more runtimes added to support Microsoft's WPF/E and W3's SVG and SMIL.

It will be interesting to see how web development will change in the coming year, as DHTML toolkits like Dojo, YUI, MochiKit, Google Web Toolkit, Microsoft Atlas continue to mature, Adobe's Flex 2 continues making inroads and Microsoft's WPF/E deployment gets underway in earnest. Meanwhile, the venerable Java Platform is still evolving, parts of it now open source and Jave SE 6 recently becoming available.

All of these are signs that seasoned web developers are finally ready to move up the tool-chain stack away from the simple text editor. I think key things to look for in differentiation between the various frameworks are:

  • Tool Support: What kind of developer tools are out there to support development in your framework/language(s) of choice? From what I understand, Adobe has always been good with developer tools. On the Java side, there's NetBeans. On the DHTML side, there's Eclipse's wtp. Maybe it's time I looked into IDEforLaszlo in the New Year. Do your tools allow you to quickly and easily test and debug your code?
  • Community Involvement: Not necessarily just an open source community, but a vibrant one with lots of energy and open participation. Of course, a transparent development process will help here.
  • Cross-Platform Support: You need to support all of the "high tier" browsers like Firefox, Opera and Safari and you need to support multiple operating systems equally. People are passionate about their browsers and operating systems. Projects need to be careful not to lose the next hot web developer to a more compatible framework.
  • Ease of Deployment: How easy is it to change one line of code and deploy that change? That was always one of the beauties of the early days of the web - simply update your HTML file and save it on the server
  • Beware Of Vendor Lock-In: This is going to sound very anti-corporate, but the truth is that when one company controls the toolkits and the standards, there is always the potential for that project to be shelved or neglected or dropped in favour of new ventures. This ends up taking its toll on the web developer. With open standards and open source toolkits, developers can shield themselves from the whims of corporations.

Needless to say, competition will engender a very exciting year, with the winners being the web community as projects vie for the hearts of hackers everywhere, sparking further innovation. I hereby dub 2007 as the year of the "Web Hacker Wars" - let the battle begin!

§321 · December 19, 2006 · Adobe, Ajax, Google, JavaScript, Laszlo, Microsoft, RIA, Software, SVG, Technology, Web · Comments Off on Let the Web Hacker Wars Begin ·

I try to summarize the most relevant news from the world of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) every month. Here’s the digest for July 2006. Read the rest of this entry ...

§274 · July 31, 2006 · Ajax, Firefox, JavaScript, Laszlo, Opera, QuickLinks, RIA, Software, SVG, Technology, Web, XML · 1 comment ·

The amazing Pandora continues to refine and improve its UI. Read the rest of this entry ...

§271 · June 18, 2006 · Adobe, Laszlo, Opera, RIA, Software, Technology, Web · 6 comments ·

The Laszlo blog announced yesterday that OpenLaszlo will use and contribute to Dojo. For the uninitiated, Dojo is one of the many DHTML/Ajax toolkits that help DHTML developers get their work done. Since OpenLaszlo is moving towards supporting more runtimes (other than Flash) and DHTML is one of those "runtimes", this sounds like a great idea (rather than have the Laszlo team write their own toolkit from scratch). The fact that they'll be bringing their contributions back to Dojo sounds like a win-win.

§251 · April 26, 2006 · Ajax, JavaScript, Laszlo, QuickLinks, RIA, Software, Technology, Web · Comments Off on OpenLaszlo Teams With Dojo ·