The open source presentation layer

How important is AJAX to you now, and how would you like to see it unified?

This blog entry is written in HTML. The HTML code interacts with your browser to create the display you are seeing. (You can get that book here.)

Thus, for most of today's Web pages HTML defines the "presentation layer."

Over the years a number of different technologies have looked to follow HTML. The most promising may be AJAX (Asynchronous Java And XML). The last two days I have had two interviews about that.

First I talked to Steve Ciesinski, CEO of Laszlo Systems. His Open Laszlo helps bring AJAX to the open source world. It began as a proprietary program, but he says open source "turned out to be the best thing we ever did. It drops the barrier to entry" for developers, who now only have to invest time, not money, on the software.

Next I chatted with Chris Erickson, CEO of ICESoft, who will now give away ICESoft Community Edition, again to help AJAX development. AJAX, he said "opens up the application world to rich, real-time push applications."

The idea is to go from Web pages to two-way, event-driven applications, where data may be pushed based on conditions pre-programmed in, or users can pull data toward them.  AJAX is hampered by a host of proprietary tweaks, he said.

"If you’re to be efficient, effective and scale you want to develop in a standard Java framework, using your own favorite framework -- StudioDeveloper, Jdeveloper, or Eclipse. Our solution is the only one that lets the enterprise developer work in that familiar environment and architecture."

Maybe. But the source for this remains closed, and ICEsoft also has its own patented technology, dubbed Direct to DOM Rendering, which it seeks to protect.

So here is my question. How important is AJAX to you now, and how would you like to see it unified?

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