Webapps unplugged: How they can work

Webapps unplugged: How they can work

Summary: In an attempt to help people better understand how a technology like Java DB can keep Web applications running even when no Internet connection is present, Sun's "Mr. JavaDB" Francois Orsini has posted a bit of a primer that talks about persistence and Java DB can faclitate something called "Local AJAX.

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TOPICS: Software
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In an attempt to help people better understand how a technology like Java DB can keep Web applications running even when no Internet connection is present, Sun's "Mr. JavaDB" Francois Orsini has posted a bit of a primer that talks about persistence and Java DB can faclitate something called "Local AJAX." Writes Orsini:

The embedded Java DB demo which showcases local and secure storage in the web brower is not just enriching the browser but principally enabling web applications to operate offline / disconnected.....A local AJAX controller can handle requests and serve responses in XML format the same way AJAX currently does...We're talking about offline data management capability at the AJAX level (Local AJAX). Now how does this work from a 14,000 feet view? well, there is no magic and it is fairly straightforward to understand - a (local) client service(s) controller can satisfy AJAX type requests and return data from a local and embedded database system (Java DB) for instance. In the demo I wrote, the data being returned would purely be database rows in XML format, the requests can be canned SQL queries or pure SQL submitted via AJAX, locally....There [are] absolutely no changes with the DHTML and AJAX request handling syntax(es) - hence the learning curve is slim and additional code changes will be homogeneous with the rest of your new or existing webapps.

Orsini has publicly demo'd a Java DB-powered app.  But to see whether or not there is real promise for Web applications unplugged, we need something more real world.  So, over on the Mashup Camp Web site where Berkman Center fellow David Isenberg started a trend by posting Mashups We Want, I've posted a new pages for AJAX Apps We Want and on it, I've requested some offline capabilities for Wordpress and MediaWiki.  Any takers?    

Topic: Software

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  • Wouldn't an Office plugin be infinitely easier?

    I think it would take 1 - 2 days to write a COM object to plug in to Word that would provide basic Word-to-WordPress functionality, where you just enter in the domain name, username, and password, hit "publish" and BAM it's done. That sure seems about a million times easier than building out an entire web server environment locally, then getting it to sync with a central server.

    But what do I know? I have only been writing code for about 15 years now. I am just a neophyte compared to the people who think that spending 2 months re-writing all of my server side code in JavaScript, but still needing it server side (for those without JavaScript) is a great idea. They are the real experts.

    J.Ja
    Justin James
    • We're not talking about the same type of applications

      Justin,

      Your example is not representative of the web applications out there - Microsoft Word is everything but a web application - it is a fat client standalone application - hence, you can't really compare this with the GMAIL of the worlds, as another example of a real web application.

      Please do not put everything into the same basket - of course there are standalone client applications which can benefit from a web publish (plug-in) button - That is just a different type of application and has never been what I talked about using the Local AJAX paradigm - Again, the demo I showed is web application, not a standalone client application.

      Also, for a web app to run disconnected or offline, does not require you to have the full functionality of the web server app logic on the client - The mode into which a offline web app would run is what I would call "degraded mode" - This means that could can do certain operations offline which are not blocking you from using the application when you are not connected - it does not mean you have access to the full app functionality since you're not connected to the main server. Of course it would be quite wrong to move the whole web server functionality on the client side - there is a measure in everything.

      In the case of GMAIL for instance and as an example, I would still be able to run some (new) or from that last interval period some emails offline as well as writing new ones to send once am connected again - do I need the whole server logic for that, the answer is NO.

      I hope this clarifies some misunderstanding as to what kind of applications we're dealing with - in short, WEB Applications using AJAX or not (the demo I showed does not require AJAX to function if you don't want to).

      Francois Orsini
      forsini
      • 99% of us understand

        Francois, I have been reading your posts on this subject, and, trust me, 99% of those who also have understand that there might be circumstances and situations where an application isn't targeted for a desktop running Windows XP.
        iggy_e9