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

Related Topics: RIA Developer's Journal, OpenAjax Alliance News

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Will Rich Internet Become Rich Man’s Internet?

The Web is one of the most important technological as well as social/cultural developments in our life. Its global impact is rooted in its openness and its capability to evolve on a democratic basis.

However, I have concerns. I’m concerned about the significant corporate interests driving towards “unweb”. Not to pick on video, but to use video as an example. Video, the most recent hotspot on the web, largely relies on Adobe’s Flash technology. Not that Flash is not good. On the contrast, it is well designed and implemented as a technology. It enabled the possibility of Internet Video and we should be thankful. However, it is a platform controlled by a single entity (Adobe). We should trust our future in the collective will of the society instead of the goodwill of a benevolent dictator. Another example, the area that I’ve dedicated ten years of my life to, Rich Internet Application, is causing some great concern to me. Adobe is pushing Flex (Adobe’s markup, Adobe’s runtime platform), Microsoft is pushing Sliverlight (Microsoft’s markup and Microsoft’s runtime platform)and Sun is pushing for JavaFX (yet another scripting language invented from scratch - why?). Will Rich Internet become “rich man’s Internet”? Will Rich Internet become the onset of “unweb”?

It looks like so at the moment.

The web consists of millions of people scattered in every corner of this planet. How can we come together to have our voices be heard? How can we, as a community, act together to influence the future of the web?

OpenAjax Alliance has been working on this. After months of work, OpenAjax Runtime Task Force is close to come up a wish list for browser vendors to consider. This is a result of the collective work and contribution from many people within OpenAjax Alliance (in particular, the OpenAjax Runtime Task Force) as well as people who are not member of OpenAjax Alliance. In particular, the people that I need to acknowledge and thank them for their contributions are:

Alex Russell, Douglas Crockford, Joe Walker, Dylan Schiemann, Jack Slocum, Jon Ferraiolo, Kin Blas, Howard weingram, Yehuda Katz, etc.

OpenAjax Runtime Wish List:

Feature Priority Wiki page
Security features
Better Security for Cross-site Scripts (coming later) Better Security for Cross-site Scripts
Stronger Cross-site Request Forgery Protection (coming later) Stronger Cross-site Request Forgery Protection
Better IFrames Better Sandboxing (coming later) Better IFrames Better Sandboxing
Client-server communications features
“The Two HTTP Connection Limit” Issue (coming later) The Two HTTP Connection Limit Issue
“Persistent Connections” Issue (coming later) Persistent Connections Issue
HTML5/W3C features
2D Drawing/Vector Graphics (coming later) 2D Drawing/Vector Graphics
Video and Audio (coming later) Video and Audio
Offline Support (coming later) Offline Support
Mutation Events (coming later) Mutation Events
XPath Support (coming later) XPath Support
Component Model XBL HTC (coming later) Component Model XBL HTC
Rendering/interaction/event handling features
Better Support for Rich Text Editing (coming later) Rich Text Editing
Better APIs about positioning and styling (coming later) Better APIs Positioning Styling
Better UI Layout Support (coming later) Better UI Layout
IE 6 and IE 7: “overflow: auto” problem (coming later) IE’s overflow:auto problem
Event Transparency API (coming later) Event Transparency API
Event notification for “content overflow” (coming later) onOverflow Event
Performance features
“Array” Operation Performance In All Browsers (coming later) “Array” Operation Performance
HTML DOM Operation Performance In General (coming later) DOM Performance
Calculating Computed Box Model and Style (coming later) Computed Box Model and Style
JavaScript features
IE: Array’s Can’t Be Usefully Sub-classed (coming later) IE “Array” Sub-classing
Other features
Hashes for DOM elements and associated API (coming later) Client_Element_Hash
Ajax toolkit caching (coming later) Ajax Toolkit Caching
Better testing support (coming later) Better Testing Support
CSS Object Model (coming later) CSS Object Model

The voting is open now. We hope to get as many people to voice their opinions as possible. Please go and vote at http://www.openajax.org/runtime/wiki/Main_Page.

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