Posts Tagged ‘AJAX’

Rich Internet Applications – HTML or plugins

Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

At present timer there is pretty much two ways to create Rich Internet Applications on the Internet. Either you use HTML (and CSS, JavaScript, AJAX, etc.) or you use a plugin (Flash, Silverlight, etc.). HTML5 is not supported well enough cross the browsers to be a viable solution for now and Silverlight doesn’t have the same browser penetration as the Flash player, so it is pretty much down to the battle between Flash (Flex) or AJAX.

On a daily basis I mainly use Flex to develop our Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), but the tools for building RIAs with AJAX have become much more stable and cross browser supported. And with big companies behind things like GWT from Google and YUI from Yahoo, it is now perfectly possible to build stable RIA solutions with AJAX. As Google (among others) have proven for years of course.

Lately I have been attracted to the Vaadin framework. With Vaadin it is possible to build RIAs without writing a single line of Javascript (or ActionScript) code. All code is written in Java and all HTML, Javascript and AJAX is generated automatically. Vaadin uses the GWT for the frontend and thus relies on AJAX as the RIA solution. Furthermore Vaadin comes with a lot of useful common widgets, that can be easily integrated into your project and it is pretty straightforward to build your own reusable widgets.

Coming from a Java background I find Vaadin interesting and have started to build a small application to try the technology. But instead of building a little example application, I want to build a real working application and do it “the right way”, using the familiar technologies: Spring, Hibernate, etc. and using a proper MVC structure to make a proper separation of concerns in the frontend.

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Stay critical to your darling tools

Friday, March 19th, 2010

As a developer I like to learn about all new Internet technologies being born and embrace the ones I think will benefit my skills. But it is always a balance between dominating a few and adding the best ones to your arsenal, as there are too many to rule them all.

Our main tools at Web Responsive for daily development are Flex and Java and we love them both. But we don’t love them unconditionally. They have to deserve our love. So we are the first to criticize when problems show.

Our main goal is to be productive perfectionist, which is a difficult combination. It basically means we need tools that solve problems in the most easy and simple, yet powerful way.

If we stay focused on one technology without comparing with all the other technologies, we end up being blind to its faults.

What all this comes down to is that, though we do most development with Flex and Java, we embrace when other projects with needs of different technologies come along, say with PHP, HTML and AJAX.

These projects gives us a perfect opportunity to see how far the competing technologies have come and how well our own are doing.

But it is not only technologies, but also frameworks. Nowadays, these become less and less dependent on the underlying technology and more and more implemented as generic templates. This is really interesting as it forces us to think more abstract about how the problem should be solved rather than how the specific technology would solve it.

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