Web Development Made Easy: AJAX Gets An IDE - InformationWeek

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10/4/2005
01:25 PM
Charles Babcock
Charles Babcock
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Web Development Made Easy: AJAX Gets An IDE

Microsoft technology evangelist Robert Scoble posted a blog http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/ asking Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates if he could have some money to make an acquisition. It would go toward a company appearing at Web 2.0 this week in San Francisco. Speculation immediately centered on Morfik. What's it got that nobody else has got?

Microsoft technology evangelist Robert Scoble posted a blog http://radio.weblogs.com/0001011/ asking Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates if he could have some money to make an acquisition. It would go toward a company appearing at Web 2.0 this week in San Francisco. Speculation immediately centered on Morfik. What's it got that nobody else has got?The attendees of Web 2.0, the conference sponsored by open source publisher O'Reilly Media Inc. will be the first to find out. There Morfik and 13 other companies will bring forth their issue Oct. 5.

But having spotted Morfik a few months ago, I know it's going to bring out an AJAX integrated development environment that gives a Web application the ability to follow it's user around, even after disconnecting from the Internet.

It was only last night I was sitting in the 31st floor club penthouse of the Renaissance Parc 55 Hotel with Aram Mirkazemi, founder and chief architect of Morfik, listening as he and two Morfik colleagues questioned the ways of American bloggers. Morfik may be about to unveil what proves to be a model for the next development platform but the hyperactivity of the blogging medium left them baffled. This is a company based in Hobart, Tasmania, where you can build solid technology, free from the distractions of who's moving from Microsoft to Google or who is Oracle buying next.

What Morfik has done is allow a developer to focus on simple, interactive Web applications. Morfik's development environment can translate a developer's work into AJAX, also known as asynchronous Javascript and XML. That means if you can write C#, Java, Pascal or Basic applications, you are now able to quickly create an AJAX application, such as Google Maps.

In addition, they've created a graphical environment where little programming skill is needed to generate Javascript and HTML pages. Again, the result is translated into an AJAX application that can manage interactions between a Web server and user.

Morfik has added a mobile database to the environment. For a demo project, they created a look-alike of Google Mail that continues to function as your email application after you have disconnected from the Internet. So as you walk through those free wireless service zones coming to San Francisco one day soon, you can keep working on a response to that message you just downloaded, even if you are temporarily out of range of service. Hit Send as you re-enter a service zone.

This dual, connected/unconnected approach has been mastered before. John Landry, chief technology officer at Adesso Systems Inc., springs to mind. But AJAX makes the capabilities broader and simpler and Morfik has packaged them up into a powerful IDE that has the bloggers humming. Still, don't believe everything you read, warns Mirkazemi.

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