Rich Internet Applications are terrible at 'view source'

There's a good post over at Ajaxian about how more and more Ajax applications are taking steps to obfuscate their source code. The 'view source' issue is, in my opinion, the greatest threat to steady adoption of Rich Internet Applications out there.

There's a good post over at Ajaxian about how more and more Ajax applications are taking steps to obfuscate their source code. The 'view source' issue is, in my opinion, the greatest threat to steady adoption of Rich Internet Applications out there.

I love Flash and Flex, and I applaud the team at Adobe for making the Flex 'view source' robust. But unfortunately, I don't think enough Flex developers enable view source. That's one of the reasons Ajax took off - it was easy to dig into code and figure out how to do things. From day one, the mindset of the Flash community has been for a very closed model. That's probably even why some people went with Flash instead of Ajax; they could keep the source hidden. That's unfortunate, and it's bad for Flash as a technology.

I like "WPF/E"'s model because the source is easy to find and pour over. You can see the XAML that's creating the UI and you can look at the JavaScript behind the scenes. It gives people the opportunity to explore and use the tricks to build their own WPF/E apps. That is going to help WPF/E adoption and also help make WPF/E applications better - everyone can learn from each other.

The openness of HTML and JavaScript has done great things for their adoption and helped spawn an entire industry. I know we're not going to see an open source Flash Player any time soon, but a more transparent model for the applications built on top of it would be a great thing. RIA technologies make it easy to hide how they were built, but I hope the community and individual developers think more about how helpful view source can be for people that are interested in building RIAs of their own.

[via Anne]

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