Rich Web technologies debated

AJAX, Silverlight, Flex cited as key players in the increasingly crowded rich Web development technology space

While the landscape for rich Web development technologies is getting crowded, industry dignitaries at The Rich Web Experience conference in San Jose, Calif. Thursday nonetheless saw a place for the various entrants in this space.

The field of technologies has grown to include AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript), Adobe Flex, Microsoft Silverlight, and Sun's JavaFX, said Neal Ford, application architect for Thoughtworks, who moderated a panel addressing rich Web development. Audience members also gave a nod to the Ruby, Python, and Groovy languages.

Panelist Scott Davis, an author and consultant, said he originally thought that AJAX would rule the world. "It runs in any browser," Davis said. But his horizons have expanded.

"Quite honestly, I've gotten really interested in Flex recently," Davis said. The recent open-sourcing of Flex has made it more attractive, he stressed.

AJAX drew affirmations with reservations from panelist Jon Ferraiolo, an IBM Web architect who manages the OpenAjax Alliance. "My perspective is that AJAX works today. It's fantastic, it does nearly everything you want to do except for multimedia types of things," Ferraiolo said.

"I think there's room for Flash, Flex; there's room for Silverlight. These things are going to be the cutting-edge applications that require the latest features," said Ferraiolo.

With the proliferation of mobile devices however, HTML browsing will not be available on all these systems, and the iPhone does not have Flash and probably will not have Silverlight either, said Ferraiolo. AJAX, however, is always there and is open and can be counted on, he said.

"There is a continuum of experience that needs to be looked at," said Josh Holmes, an evangelist at Microsoft who is speaking on Silverlight at the conference. There is the standards-based Web with HTML and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) and there is AJAX, he said. Moving on, there are platforms optimized for a particular OS or hardware that can render 3D graphics, said Holmes.

"My personal opinion is that Silverlight and Flex are definitely on that heavy, rich but not quite platform-optimized edge," Holmes said. There are benefits to both, he said.

Another panelist sided with Flex for enterprise usage. "In the enterprise space, I tend to recommend things like Flex because the development is much faster to get up and going," said Bill Scott, AJAX evangelist at Yahoo.

"Creating a desktop style [application] in AJAX is still really hard," Scott said. AJAX does fit into a lot of areas, but none of the rich Web technologies will rule the world, he said.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Paul Krill

InfoWorld
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?