March 21, 2007 4:00 AM PDT

Adobe's Apollo looks to one-up Ajax

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The strengths of different development tools may go a long way to determining the relative popularity of Ajax or other browser plug-in technologies.

OpenLaszlo, for example, is an open-source development tool designed to build Flash or Ajax-style rich Internet applications.

Another is Nexaweb, which has built an Eclipse-based Ajax tool. And there are several Ajax frameworks to speed development. Adobe's Flex allows developers to combine HTML, JavaScript and Flash in a single application.

Monson-Haefel said that Ajax has significant vendor support and has captured the most "mind share" of Web developers. Java, although the most mature, suffers from people's poor experiences with applets which ran in browsers when Java first came out in the 1990s, he said.

"It's going to be fun and interesting to see where Ajax will go because people keep pushing the envelope," he said. "We're seeing a lot of people experiment, so we haven't see the full potential of Ajax."

Meanwhile, the newest entrants into the rich Internet applications race--Microsoft's WPF/E and Apollo--will require end users to download a new browser plug-in to run applications.

Developers can take advantage of the offline capabilities of Apollo to do things like notify people working on a shared document that an update has been done, Treitman noted.

"It's got a lot of potential. We have to see how users react to it," he said.

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9 comments

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The new DRM?
Would it be possible for Flash to become the new standard DRM?
And would an Apollo-based desktop player help such a move?

If so, then I'd probably be more likely to adapt it than Microsoft,
Apple and Real Player's super-restrictive DRM.

I wonder if that's possible, though.
Posted by toosday (343 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Concerned!
Good write up!

Reading this, I am concerned about browser compatibility. Still wondering how one is going to adapt to the mindset of using one browser to browse web 2.0 applications on Apollo browser and the other browser to browse net on IE/Firefox?

Huhh! I guess, Jave based frameworks are going to get advantage of this, as they can provide freedom to users to use their favorite browser. Pramati's Dekoh (<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.dekoh.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.dekoh.com</a>) is going to get advantage of this.

Anyway having said that, it is not the one of major factors for deciding who is going to lead in this race.
Posted by mayankmishra (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Does it come with nagware downloader?
Like every Adobe product as of lately, does it come pre-bloated with nagware and an installer that constantly harps you to download the korean language pack? Adobe is bloatware.
Posted by Lite Rocker (42 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This isn't going to be anything but a niche player
<ol>
<li>Users don't want to download (and have to constantly upgrade) yet another runtime engine.
<li>Java already provides a mature open-standards platform for deploying rich applications on the web.
<li>If users have a choice between using an AJAX application that runs in their web browser and something that runs on a proprietary runtime, they're going to choose to run the application in their browser.
<li>This is going to open up a whole new set of security issues.
<li>Developers are going to use this to cram adware down users throats, which will impede adoption.
<li>IT managers want non-proprietary open standards, and are not interested in being locked into a single vendor. We've all been bitten by Microsoft and we've learned our lesson.
</ol>
Posted by fcekuahd (244 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't be so sure
1. Users don't want to download (and have to constantly upgrade) yet another runtime engine.

Yeah pretty much everyone I know has quit using Windows cause of how many updates it requires. Same thing with iTunes, OS X, Firefox and Thunderbird. User won't stand for it.


2. Java already provides a mature open-standards platform for deploying rich applications on the web.

And everyone decided that a fifty meg download to play a 250k file was load of crap.

3. If users have a choice between using an AJAX application that runs in their web browser and something that runs on a proprietary runtime, they're going to choose to run the application in their browser.

Unless the user is a developer interested in extending the technology, it will never even cross their mind.

4. This is going to open up a whole new set of security issues.

I'm assuming you are a security expert. I'm never installing anything else ever again.

5. Developers are going to use this to cram adware down users throats, which will impede adoption.

Yep, dang developers. All they can think of is cramming adware onto your unsuspecting computer. I know thats how I spend my days- scheming and planning my adware attack. And yeah, look at all those crappy Flash intros, ads and banners that killed Flash. I can't remember the last time I heard of anyone using Flash.

6. IT managers want non-proprietary open standards, and are not interested in being locked into a single vendor. We've all been bitten by Microsoft and we've learned our lesson.

You are definitely right about that. Remember when Microsoft pulled that kind of thing? The people spoke and they are definitely history!!!! Wait.. sorry. That was Blockbuster.

Most IT managers want solutions that work. Period. They don't care where they come from as long as they do what they claim. The IT manager you just described is a hippy.
Posted by brandonthedeveloper (1 comment )
Link Flag
Evil MS
"IT managers want non-proprietary open standards, and are not interested in being locked into a single vendor. We've all been bitten by Microsoft and we've learned our lesson."

Yes, evil Microsoft is creating their own non-standard proprietary extensions. Such as a thing that is now known as AJAX.
Posted by alegr (1590 comments )
Link Flag
 

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