Feeds

Pundits rate Ajax, evaluate ALM incumbents

Works in progress

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Comment BEA Systems' former chief technology officer Scott Dietzen caused a minor stir at Evans Data Corp's (EDC) recent developer conference. Dietzen founded open source messaging and collaboration start up Zimbra after leaving BEA. Importantly for us, Zimbra epitomizes Web 2.0 because it utilizes AJAX and mashups.

So it was that Dietzen caused some EDC delegates to splurt out their coffee during one panel discussion on Web 2.0, when he urged Silicon Valley companies to use less - not more - AJAX, for the sakes of both end users and developers building new systems.

"Use the tools for AJAX - pop up, drag and drop and mashups - where they really improve the user experience," Dietzen said, noting that popups and mouse overs get in his face. "AJAX is hard and adds development and maintenance costs to the site. You need to adopt it where it adds value to the site."

Which led one of Scott's fellow panelist to remark: "I thought you were an AJAX company."

Dietzen's comments appear well timed, as I'm feeling the breaks of a well-timed reality check slowly being applied to the Web 2.0 roller coaster.

Make no mistake, Web 2.0 remains the Valley's buzzword du jour and young developers continue to jump on Rails and to build AJAX frameworks. Also, judging by recent events, vendors clearly see loads of growth potential left in Web 2.0: Telelogic, whose application lifecycle management (ALM) tools are more commonly associated with "real men" developers building missile guidance systems than web apps, announced DOORS Fastrack. Teleogic has revised its requirements gathering and workflow software to help web developers easily capture and consolidate end-user's requirements and to work through them.

A Register online panel of application development vendors attending SD West in Santa Clara this week, found while AJAX is one of the strongest and most important features to have emerged from the Web 2.0 buzz machine (Ruby was the other) - this umbrella technology needs more work before it hits its full potential. Attending the panel debating Web 2.0's impact on application development were Darren Rush, chief executive and founder of open source code search engine Koders, Gwyn Fisher CTO of static analysis specialist Klocwork, and Ryan Martens, founder of Agile project management vendor Rally Software.

Rush called AJAX a big innovation and a possible stepping stone to big improvements down the track "potentially even changes to http - to better support concurrent web applications and higher-scale features." Some see cometd, an http event routing bus, as one possible future technology direction.

AJAX and Rails are helping developers shave time off projects because programmers can "code by example" according to Martens. "Like HTML, the code is all there to see, analyze and modify to your requirements. Server-side code is fundamentally less visible so harder to use as a learning tool."

AJAX, though, is at phase 1.0 thanks to the lack of industry standards and a growing proliferation of frameworks, which are all designed to make life simpler but are probably helping fragment the landscape. "So many AJAX frameworks is a good thing right now - but very soon, developers are going to be looking for more standards and interoperability between AJAX libraries. It will probably take some time for that aspect of Web 2.0 development to materialize," Rush said.

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.