Print Story OpenLaszlo==Ajax
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By johnny (Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 05:45:37 AM EST) (all tags)
OpenLaszlo, for which I am the documentation guy, now compiles to DHTML as well as to Macromedia Flash (swf). That means that you can take the same LZX source and compile it to either swf or DHTML, and it will just work. So there is now a completely OpenSource stack for doing web apps.

OpenLaszlo is much more robust and full featured than any other Ajax toolkit. And, the architecture includes a client abstraction layer, which means that we worry about browser inconsistencies so you don't have to. The upshot of all this is that if you want to build a real web application, you should use OpenLaszlo instead of some Ajax toolkit. Of course if you just want to spruce up a web page, Dojo or Rico or something like that might be appropriate. But I think you would have to be nuts to use them for building a real application.

We're not yet shipping a “production” version — that's scheduled for “sometime in 2006”-- but the prototype version is getting more robust by the day, and there is a very credible demo up on the website.



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OpenLaszlo==Ajax | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
buy an ad by sasquatchan (4.00 / 4) #1 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 05:50:21 AM EST
then learn about intro text and body

:P


Thanks for the advice by johnny (4.00 / 2) #3 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 05:57:22 AM EST
I'll keep it in mind!

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)
[ Parent ]
Keeping it in mind is KEY by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 2) #5 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:08:24 AM EST

If you're not careful, it escapes the mind, spills out through the fingers onto the keyboard and into a POST.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
[ Parent ]
That happens to me all the time. by edward (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:29:11 AM EST
I was going to try to cleverly use the word GET to refer to what happens after I POST but this POST has GOTTEN me nowhere. This is what happens when you don't keep it mind, and you pee all over the keyboard. Or something. Time to have a lie-down.

[ Parent ]
Yeah. by motty (2.00 / 0) #11 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 08:16:27 AM EST
Wouldn't it be great if we could edit our posts so an accidental posting of all the text into the intro copy could be fixed after the fact. That would be great. I think I might suggest it.

I amd itn ecaptiaghle of drinking sthis d dar - Dr T
[ Parent ]
How many times have we been over this? by NoMoreNicksLeft (4.00 / 1) #13 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 11:32:46 AM EST
Rusty just isn't interested in adding new features. Err. Uh. Oh.
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Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
Doesn't Work For Me (tm) by DesiredUsername (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 05:57:06 AM EST
The DHTML side didn't work in Mozarella 1.7 on Lunix. The Flash side seemed to.

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Now accepting suggestions for a new sigline
mozilla 1.5 by johnny (2.00 / 0) #4 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:01:09 AM EST
is the only "qualified" browser for now.  This is all very early stuff, proof-of-concept.  We've been testing agains IE and Safari, both of which have enough problems so as not to be worth playing with.

There's no reason these other browsers & versions of mozilla won't be supported.  "It's a simple matter of programming."

 

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
So, by Driusan (4.00 / 4) #6 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:24:20 AM EST
You have a client abstraction layer to take away the worry of all the browser inconsistencies of 1 browser?

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Vive le Montréal libre.
[ Parent ]
architecture != implementation by johnny (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:56:33 AM EST
Implementation (support for other browsers) is coming, but it may take a while. That's one of the reasons that we're announcing it for "this year" not "right now." You're welcome to pitch in, if you want.

My own nickel bet is that OpenLaszlo wil be the default way web apps will be done, let's say, 2 years from now.

Of course, I may be wrong, in which case you can make fun of our grand ambition.  Anyway, I think it's cool.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
I'll see your nickel by komet (4.00 / 1) #12 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 09:19:04 AM EST
I don't think there will ever be a default way of developing web apps. Moreover, I think this is a good thing.

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<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.
[ Parent ]
Really? by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #14 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 11:42:04 AM EST
I seem to like pure xhtml/dom/js/svg. I mean, other than your neat little zoom effect, what is so fancy about it?

The slider widget I use on my own website is a single block of code, is skinable and adjustable, both width and value range.

I just don't see how this adds anything, other than compiling markup (or flash, barf) that isn't very human readable.
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Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

[ Parent ]
For widgets, by all means do what you're doing by johnny (2.00 / 0) #15 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 01:57:23 PM EST
What you describe is an instance of jazzing up an HTML page, which is not what OpenLaszlo is about. You can use OpenLaszlo for that, but javascrript, etc, serves just as well. Laszlo is for building applications.

LZX has serious databinding, a constraints abstraction that lets you do all kinds of cool event-driven stuff without the headache of keeping track of events, "states" which allow you to apply and remove blocks of procedural behaviour using a declarative syntax, libraries that you can link in at compile or run time, transcoders (for flash, for media formats that Flash doesn't support), support for SOAP, java-rpc, XML-rpc, many many widgets of the kind you describe, focus managers, selection managers, modal dialogs, a debugger that allows you to change runtime values & lots of other cool stuff,
timers, and a whole lot of other things.  Not to mention that it's a for-real object oriented system with aspects of prototype-based and class-based systems.

Look at applications like laszlo mail or the Laszlo dashboard or calendar and imagine doing them using your approach. You could do it, maybe.  But why? To me it seems like using assembler when you don't have to. 

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
The webapp I'm working on... by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #16 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:04:57 PM EST
Is slightly more complex than a calendar, I think. Maybe I'm looking at it wrong.
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Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
My suggestion would be by johnny (2.00 / 0) #17 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:33:27 PM EST
Spend a few hours with the docs.  Do it on a weekend or whatever.  There are hundreds of live, editable examples.  Worst case, you'll come to the opinion that OpenLaszlo is stupid and the docs suck. IF that happens you can at least write a diary about that, which will partially compensate you for the time spent.

But you may find out that it's a tool that will save you a whole lot of work, and that the documentation is fooking brilliant. In which case we'll all be happy.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
All docs suck. by NoMoreNicksLeft (2.00 / 0) #18 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 02:38:59 PM EST
Can't hold that against you.

I just don't see what it would have to offer. There are some eyecandy things that would no doubt look slicker, but many of my things can already tap out a 3ghz p4 just via the javascript (3d rendering). I don't need to be adding to that burden by making things zoom around all nice and fancy (though, admittedly seeing it happen without flash was moderately impressive).

When people say that you'd want to use things like this for webapps, it just starts to worry me that I don't know what I'm doing writing my own.
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Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.

[ Parent ]
No, it's an infinite number of browsers by lm (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:57:31 AM EST
As long as they are one of the supported browsers which just happen to all be a specific version of a specific browser.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I think you covered all that by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #8 Tue Mar 07, 2006 at 06:46:00 AM EST
with the "Open" part.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
hm, that is pretty neat by theantix (2.00 / 0) #19 Wed Mar 08, 2006 at 06:44:35 PM EST
Unlike what seems to be the rest of the posters here, I don't feel the need to be smugly superior to you -- that looks like really great technology.  I was always a bit leery of OpenLazlo as flash is so tightly controlled by Macromedia*, but if you can get the AJAX working with it that sounds quite promising.

* read: makes a sucky linux client


Thanks and by johnny (2.00 / 0) #20 Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 07:38:13 AM EST
it doesn't really bother me when comments on places like this come off as smugly superior.  That's the tone of the place.  And besides, HuSites are the kind of  people we  have to win over, so it keeps us on our toes, as it were.  It would hardly do for HuSites to be all, "way to go, johnny!"  I mean, some of that is welcome, but if everybody were like that I would have to assume there had been a zombie invasion.

I really think OpenLaszlo may be a web-changing technology. Think this may really be "it", so I'm just trying to do my part and write good documentation.  I have not felt so much like I was hitching a ride on a rocketship since I was at Sun in the days before it went public.  But at Sun I was  badge #1347, and there were about 1000 employees. Whereas at Laszlo there are only about 45 employees, and only a dozen of us are really involved with the platform. I'm a one -man doc team. It's fun. 

I've been in this line of work for 30 of the last 35 years and I've never seen a sharper bunch of people than the OpenLaszlo team.  So it's kind of amusing when I see applications engineers, for want of a better term, acting smugly superior.  I would rather be doing system stuff any day of the week, especially with the OpenLaszlo guys, than building applications.  The people I get to work with really are pretty freakin amazing.

Anyway, time will tell if this is a big deal or another (non)flash-in-the-pan, so to speak.  And we are planning to support Flash9 (nee 8.5), by the way. It's really a whole new runtime, not an incrmental upgrade from earlier flashes.  It's ECMA 4 (long implied digression on what the hell ECMA 4 exactly is) and has a new object model, etc, etc. 

The next 12 months, from where I'm sitting, seem like they could be very topsy-turvey.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

[ Parent ]
well by theantix (2.00 / 0) #21 Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 03:04:52 PM EST
it's a difficult job, as open sores hippies like myself are loathe to commit themselves to a platform where they are at the mercy of a company -- which you've resolved by releasing it under the CPL.  But we're also loathe to switch away from their pet languages (mine is python) for an unknown quanitity like OpenLazlo.

I know you aren't asking for advice, but writing a really nifty "web 2.0" application in OpenLazlo and hosting it for free would be a really great marketing tool.  Imagine if for example you built a better flickr or maps.google.com and so every time people used your product you'd have an opportunity to show that openlazlo is both powerful (by using the application) and open (by having the source for the site available).  Of course flickr and maps.google is a bad idea since those are already pretty damn good, but if you could do something really clever and neat it might be worth the large investment.


[ Parent ]
OpenLaszlo==Ajax | 21 comments (21 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback