Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Apollo and Flex

March 26, 2007

Just started the evaluation of flex and Apollo…

Summary:

Flex is an application layer on top of flash. Provides an API for building RIA type of applications and a builder transforming xml descriptors to flash. Includes a network layer enabling very easy communication with server backend (almost any type of server).

Apollo is an application allowing html/js or flex applications to live on the desktop. Manages connexion status to server and provides way to launch even websites such as GMAIL as a desktop application. Seems very easy to use and quite powerful. Cross plateform way to create applications.

First reaction:

Flex is really cool. I already evaluated Flash in 2004 and found at that time that it had probably the best foundation for creating networked applications: excellent APIs and debugger:

  • Object oriented javascript (with classes etc.)
  • excellent network layer supporting various protocols such as SOAP, AMF, XML/Rest, text files, etc.

Flex adds another level by providing a set of controls (radio boxes, text areas, etc.) and widgets (layout widgets, tables etc.).

Only point to check out: drag/drop and integration with OS.

Apollo: like widget engines, a cool way to write cross browser networked applications. And supporting html/js + Flex => cool and easy!

Conclusion:

Watch this space! I hope Adobe will win a market share in the RIA space. I’ll start evaluating it soon for enterprise types of applications because it seems to be able to bring in the browser web 2.0 type of applications that are stronger and faster than DHTML ones (which I use now)….

Internet browsers etc.

August 31, 2006

The war has been here for quite a long time. Actually, since Microsoft lauched the first versions of Internet Eplorer… Yes that’s the war between netcape-sun-gecko browsers against IE… And with same kind of religion behaviours as the one about the best platform/os/mail tool/etc. So.. if we get rid of the religion what do we get to feed our technical and/or business minds? What the truth behind the marcketing? What are the pros and cons of the leading browsers?

Internet Explorer

I have had a long and ambiguious relationship with this application. A mix of love and hate. Hate because.. well.. who like Microsoft strategy? It is probably a very efficient one at getting successful (well, at least until now.. we’ll see how they get through their new challenge, the service oriented market and all itds googleismes). But it is not likeable. I dont know how microsoft employees get through this atmosphere of microsoft being the BIG vilain.. Anyway, that’s not the point and I have a lot of respect for these people who did create the internet as it is now, something a lot funnier than it would have been if netscape had won the war. I realy took an interest in internet browsers whe I had a first glimpse of Internet explorer 4. This was a true revolution. It created the foundation of what dhtml, ajax and web 2.0 is now. Not only the content could be displayed nicely by separating html and css, but also it was possible to move some bits of html, change class names, move object around, show or hide them… Something fresh was happening.. I bought a book about dhtml and started writing teh first drop down menu I ever seen running in a browser. It was a bit grey and built as a set tables but still was able to look exactly like its windows standard C++ counterpart. I remember having thios conversation with colleague about the potential of this technology of replacing traditional UI developement.. At that time the reaction were anything but enthusiastic… But I was convinvced that the bad guys had created something special…

Later on I managed to convince a few trying to replace heavy desktop application by thinner clients based on ActiveX that DHTML had its place in rich clients and we created a workable set of menu widgets. They were based on one truly marvel inside Internet explorer: “behaviors” and HTC components. This is something that even nowis the  with the latest Ajax toolgets, haven’t been beaten. It the holy grail of DHTML development and the fantasy of application architects: the ability to truly separate html structure and its behaviour. This is the same idea as CSS doing the rendering of html elements: assigning independent amd modular components to any html element…

I don’t know why the “good guys” (netscape/sun/etc from the purple team) didn’t want to reuse the concept instead of creating XUL and other things. If they had done so, the internet world would be a lot nicer.. And yes, also create a standard around it… But alt least we have something to use with Ajaxian stuff.

The second thing that really got me really excited on the javascript front was mywebos.com website. These guys built something extremely clever, beautiful (and erh .. useless). It was a kind of windows shell and applications replica running inside IE5. I was so interested that I spent some time looking at the sources, that were based on HTC components, Iframes for calling the server (Ajax…), and CSS. A lot of htcs, a lot of iframes and a lot of css. This was a definite Wawwww. I must admit that I did reuse some of their tricks in my javascript tooljets (like loading drop down menus in iframes so that they can overlap ActiveX.. as at that time this wasn’t possible).

to be continued.. dinner served…

Windows XP : performances leaks?

July 31, 2006

Just bought a new laptop from ebay as a backup to my existing one. I cant really afford to lose my environemnt and the current one makes funny noises (seems liek the fan is working a bit hard with this summer temperature).. Anyway, something I nothiced after installing everything on it is the difference in performances between the old one and the new one, with the same specs (sony vaio, centrino 1.7Ghs, 1GB ram, etc.). The new one is about twice as fast as the old one and uses half its RAM… And this doesnt seem to be the hardware. The first one was completly reinstalled last year and and it seems like after a while, Windows XP begins to be really slow.. I wonder why, as I have scanned everything for virus, defragmented the hard drive, etc. So the next step is to switch to the new one and reinstall completely the new one… one of my colleague told me it was the same thing with his laptop as well. Windows takes too long to boot up now.. Windows world 🙂