OpenAjax Alliance

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OpenAjax Alliance Authors: Lori MacVittie, Chris Pollach, Yakov Fain, Maureen O'Gara, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: RIA Developer's Journal, Apache Web Server Journal, XML Magazine, OpenAjax Alliance News, Zimbra on Ulitzer

RIA & Ajax: Article

Flashback to January 2006: Exclusive SYS-CON.TV Interviews on "OpenAjax Alliance" Announcement

IBM is taking the lead role in rolling out an 'OpenAjax' initiative that seems sure to add significant momentum

* The ability to update portions of a Web page without refreshing the entire screen, which can, for example, enable users to scroll through a virtual map or photographs without refreshing their browser screens. It can also enable calendars to pop up when a user mouses over a date in an email.

* Determining, on the fly, that information typed into a Web screen is appropriate -- such as when entering information on an order form. This can eliminate the delay and frustration of submitting an online form, only to have the server flag mistakes one at a time.

* Dragging and dropping of objects inside a Web browser similar to the capabilities available on computer desktops to move folders and documents around.

* A rich set of buttons, icons, scroll bars, menus and widgets that can ease and speed navigation, as well as simplify information retrieval.

This is Not Just Lip Service
And the initiative, although not centralized, appears to offer much more than lip service by its major proponents. IBM, for example, has proposed the contribution of its software to the Eclipse Foundation and Mozilla Corporation "that will allow one to develop and debug an AJAX application," the company said in an official statement.

The proposed Eclipse AJAX toolkit framework "is the first approach that supports multiple AJAX runtime toolkits," according to an official statement. "Its personality builder can typically enable additional toolkits in less than an hour. The runtimes presently supported are from Dojo, OpenRico and Zimbra. Moving forward, other community members will also be able to participate in the proposed Eclipse project with the incorporation of other personality builders or toolkit extensions."

Eclipse Foundation Executive Director Mike Milinkovich (pictured above) told us that the Foundation "is going to host the project, focused on two of the open AJAX initiatives. The first was started by IBM some time ago, and there’s been a proposal up on our website now for it for about a week or two, for a project for the tool for the open AJAX initiative. The idea is that these tools are going to be open ended."

Zimbra President and CTO Scott Dietzen (pictured left) noted that his company "has been developing AJAX applications for two years," and that it will make its AJAX runtime toolkit available to the community under Apache and Mozilla public licenses.

The runtime toolkit provides an object-oriented JavaScript class library with a standard set of widgets, an event framework, and communication tools. The resulting applications can be served from virtually any server and run in any browser, including Internet Explorer, Firefox and Safari.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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