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 Nelson King

Profile of Nelson King

News & Commentary Posts: 32
Articles by Nelson King

Rich Internet Apps the Microsoft Way

Evaluating Silverlight 2, Visual Studio 2008 and Expression Studio 2, it's no surprise that Microsoft shines in programming and comes up short on creative tools. As the wave of RIA and Web 2.0 rides on, the choice between the Adobe and Microsoft camps might be one of the bigger bets an enterprise IT shop can make.

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Is Apple's SproutCore RIA Half Baked?

The Apple rumor mills, always busy grinding out compote, turned their attention to SproutCore in mid-June. SproutCore is Apple's almost-official JavaScript framework of choice for developing Rich Internet Applications... It's long been known that Steve Jobs doesn't want to work with Adobe Flash to develop Apple's RIAs, and that Apple was searching for alternatives in the Ajax/JavaScript camps.

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Adobe Puts a Rich Face on Content Workflow

Most of the big players in Web 2.0... carefully position their enterprise RIA/Web 2.0 technologies and products near the margin - an add-on, a pilot for a new direction, nothing too radical. That's essentially what IBM is doing with mashups, Microsoft is doing with Silverlight, and Adobe is doing with its newest release of LiveCycle ES - Update 1...

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IBM Takes a Lead in the Mashup Fray

For IBM, mashups is not a hot idea discovered a month ago during a bar-hopping session of the marketing dudes. Serious intellectual firepower has been focused on mashups for several years. IBM research labs and especially the acquired AlphaWorks group have been chewing on the relevant data delivery, middleware, and presentation layer for at least a decade. The results are worth considering...

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Curl Takes on Adobe AIR, MS Silverlight

Does program code entirely between curly braces {} ring any bells for you? Probably not. HTML lives between <> pairs, and LISP code was parenthesized (), but curly braces? This is the signature of a Web-oriented language called Curl. You'll see a lot more of it, as Curl is taking on Adobe AIR for the rich Internet app Web/desktop app development market...

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Adobe Aims for the Next Generation of Apps

Some day we will stop talking about "RIAs" (Rich Internet Applications) and Web 2.0 apps and Web apps; they will all just be apps. The same goes for "desktop applications." They will just be apps too. In fact, I wish we had a simple name for all these flavors of apps right now. Thankfully, I can see the horizon of that "some day."...

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Nobody Starts from Scratch on Rich Internet Apps

Every new piece of software has to be considered in light of existing software, even if the latter is ultimately replaced or ignored. This is also true of companies that make software development products, but what about new companies?... They don't have any legacy software of their own to support, but if they want to sell into enterprise IT shops, they need to be compatible with lots of other software...

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Hey! What About NetBeans?

"What about NetBeans?" A reader gently asked in response to Monday's blog filled with encomiums for Eclipse, but no mention of Sun's premiere IDE, NetBeans... The Sun vs. IBM tussle over the course of Java is not over, nor is it totally irrelevant; however, I would wager it just feels irrelevant to most developers.

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Totally Eclipse: The Default IDE for Almost Everybody

After starting a third review in a row of a software development environment based on the Eclipse platform (PyDev, Adobe Flex 3, and Nexaweb Enterprise Suite), something a friend said to me a year or two ago rang true, "There will be two major players in development software, Microsoft and its tools and Eclipse and its tools." A cynic might say, "Good for Eclipse, not bad at all for a camel built by a committee;" but then to make a point cynics are often unfair and inaccurate.

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Isn't 'Commercial Open Source' an Oxymoron?

"Commercial open-source software" certainly sounds like a contradiction in terms. The phrase "free and open" is part of the definition of open source software, which translated into real terms means that people can download the software and source code at will and for no charge. In most instances, this is how open-source works. Where it may work less well is for the enterprise.

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Rich Enterprise Apps: A Cart and Horse Problem

The horse, of course, is the pull of rich presentation media and highly interactive user interfaces. The horse is lively and leads the way. The cart is all the backend machinery that enables a Rich Internet Application. The cart is homely and utilitarian, but made of necessary things such as data management, security systems, and communications. The current problem is that enterprise IT, quite naturally, prefers to put the cart before the horse.

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IBM Bets Enterprises Will Enter the Mashup Maze

Will the enterprise enter the "mashup" maze? IBM thinks so but wouldn't call it a "maze." They call it the IBM Mashup Starter Kit and recently put it up for (free) download. It's part of their angle on Web 2.0 applications, in fact one of the leading parts (along with webtwoifying Lotus Notes). What IBM is doing with mashups is interesting for a number of reasons, but perhaps the most significant is that IBM is pushing mashups at all.

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Let Rich Internet Apps In Through the Back Door

RIAs can be done in bits and pieces; a little Ajax here, a mashup there... The stuff of Rich Internet Applications - sophisticated user interfaces, multimedia, graphics - is more fun to program than, say, transaction algorithms. It's the kind of programming that will come in the back door no matter what. The wise IT manager will recognize the enthusiasm and promote it wherever it can be useful.

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The Road Ahead for Microsoft Silverlight

Last week, Microsoft released version 1.0 of Silverlight, a developer's technology for creating Rich Internet Applications with a focus on streaming media or vector graphics... For many corporations, Web apps that blend streaming media or even rich graphics are an exotic species. However, as many of the new stars of Web 2.0 are demonstrating (YouTube, Google Maps, et al), the incorporation of slick graphics is becoming de rigueur, which means enterprise business will follow.

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Does The "A" in RIA Also Mean "Art?"

In IT software development circles, at a time say about 10 BW (Before Web), seeing the work of an artist was usually a matter of a Friday or Saturday night out on the town. Then along came the Web with all its bells and whistles… and pictures, and graphics, and animations, and video... Eventually applications destined for the Web were expected to have artwork, especially multimedia... Now we get to Rich Internet Applications, and the connection to artwork goes up a notch.

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Rich Internet Apps Offline: What a Concept

For the two past weeks I've been on a working vacation in Montana, where dial-up Internet access is all there is. No DSL and mountains block satellite connection. A good place to experiment with Rich Internet Applications (RIA) that need to be functional when disconnected from the Internet... I have been cultivating the garden of Google Gears... the browser plug-in intended to enable running Web apps offline.

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Squinting at the Future of Rich Internet Apps

Whatever you think a Rich Internet Application is today, it won't be like that a few years from now. It's predictable that someday RIAs (or whatever they'll be called) will be a much more sophisticated amalgam of networked media, data, and programming. If I may bend a term used by composer Richard Wagner, RIAs will be like a Gesamtkunstwerk, by which he meant a work of art (opera) that unites many works of art (drama, music, scenic design)...

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Adobe AIR: New Name and (Gasp) a Local Database

My right knee jerks ever so slightly in reaction to the June 11 annoucement by Adobe of a beta release and a name change for its Apollo project to AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime)... In the IT industry media, Adobe Apollo achieved the appellation "much-anticipated" without ringing many doorbells at the enterprise. That needs to change...

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Ajax Versus Silverlight, JavaFX and Flash/Flex

I've noticed that spokespeople for Microsoft, Sun and Adobe tend to gingerly disparage Ajax… It doesn't fit their model: proprietary delivery methods (runtime clients, graphics engines), proprietary or semi-proprietary development tools-their own solutions for overcoming the deficiencies of HTTP Web applications… It pains them that Ajax is so popular. They have to deal with it, treat it with kid gloves, even support it; but they don't like it.

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Sun JavaFX: And Now We Have Three

Something about Sun JavaFX in a moment, but first a short preliminary expectoration: Rich Internet Applications (RIA) matter. They are not the be-all-end-all of applications, on the desktop or the Web, but they will be the élan vital (the vital force) that drives application development and the growth of the software industry for the next three to eight years… Intuitively, I think the "graphics engine" is what counts most in the competition to develop broadly useful RIA.

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Open Source Move Muddies Rich Internet App Waters

Whether you pack it into the Web 2.0 rubric or consider new offerings by Microsoft, Adobe, IBM and many others, it's apparent that the worlds of Web applications and rich media are melding into Rich Internet Applications (RIA)… It's going to be important - maybe even a dominant part of enterprise software development. Right now, however, this business of melding into RIA is messy.

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How Big is Microsoft's Silverlight Shoe?

On April 15, Microsoft announced the release of Silverlight, which formerly was called Windows Presentation Foundation/E. Based on technology developed for Windows Vista, Silverlight is a streaming media delivery module, a piece of code that plugs into a browser, that Microsoft hopes will open the floodgates for media rich applications. Also, it's an Adobe (Macromedia) Flash killer.

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Is Microsoft Really Validating Ajax?

Last month, Microsoft announced it had joined OpenAjax. When I read this tidbit, my first thought was "what else was there to do?" Then I asked myself, does this mean Microsoft is validating the Ajax juggernaut? Is this a symbolic milestone in the transition out of the hype phase for one of Web 2.0's leading elements? I suspect a number of IT managers might have similar questions.

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