This is the first in what will become a series on the technologies that can be used to deliver Rich Internet Applications. For the first part, I am going to talk about OpenLaszlo, the open source solution from Laszlo Systems.
The Universal Desktop
The technology and business implications of the next generation of software, rich Internet applications.
There was a fascinating article on Wired.com yesterday about how browsers are changing. It's very interesting to see the evolution of the browser as it becomes part information finder and part OS. With the plethora of web applications out now, the browsers are competing with each other to provide the most robust environment for those applications to run. There are a couple of problems with this.
As I was reading through my feeds, this sentence over at Something Witty Goes Here caught my eye: One of the interesting things about web applications is that they can change from one visit to the next. Depending on your point of view, this can be either incredibly frustrating or delightfully surprising.
Well Bruce Chizen is throwing down the gauntlet. SiliconValley.com has an article which covers the present state of Adobe very well. In it they talk about the Apollo project, which I've touched on a little bit here on ZDNet. For a long time Adobe wouldn't talk about Apollo, but it seems that now they're loosening the belt and getting ready for an old fashioned street brawl with Microsoft.
Microsoft made the huge announcement today that Bill Gates will be stepping down as Chief Software Architect and will be replaced by Ray Ozzie. As Richard McManus noted, Ray Ozzie is notorious in his support for the web and I this transition shows that the old guard at Microsoft knows the world is changing.
I was reading David Berlind's post about Google Browser Sync and was intrigued by his commentary on "Webless Applications" or as I refer to it, the offline problem. The most interesting part was his mention of JavaDB (which he blogged about here). At first glance, JavaDB seems like a very cool concept: a relational database, built on Java, that has the wherewithal to allow you to surf the web and then "sync" those changes when you get back online. It seems like the ultimate solution to the online/offline problem. Except for one thing, it uses the web.
Last week, news spread that Microsoft, anticipating a lawsuit from Adobe, was pulling PDF support from Office 2007. Brian Jones from the Office team wrote about the issue and even ex-softie Scoble jumped into the mix. Microsoft did a great job of getting it's version of the story out while Adobe remained silent. Over the weekend, Mike Chambers of Adobe finally gave Adobe's side of the story on his blog.
It may seem wasteful to have a $2,500 machine run Rich Internet Applications, but the real power of your computer is that it is fast enough to run non-native code. It may seem like an expensive smart client, but it opens up the possibility of OS independent applications.
I wrote up a guest post for Richard McManus on Read/Write Web which talked about feed readers and gave a run down on the various types of readers out there. Richard took it a step further and pulled out some of his favorites (and I agree with his picks). I also want to comment here on the role of RSS in Rich Internet Applications.
All of a sudden designers are at the center of everyone’s world. Companies thinking about Rich Internet Applications are all trying to woo designers to use their tools. These companies are trying to bridge the gap between programmer and designer and the web will be a much better place for it.