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Articles In Category

August 27th, 2007

Optimizing Objective-C and Other Goodies

July 21st, 2007

Apple: Optimizing Web Applications and Content for iPhone

March 22nd, 2007

OpenLaszlo Goes 4.0 and DHTML/Ajax, Too!

March 6th, 2007 Support Mac OS X Deployment in Business

December 24th, 2006

Questions About Adobe’s Spry Ajax Framework

September 24th, 2006

A Clear Explanation for Why Windows Is More Vulnerable To Malware Attack Than Mac OS X

July 26th, 2006

Wired News: It’s the Attention To Detail, Stupid!

Posted in:Apple, UsabilityTags: , |
July 23rd, 2006

WebKit Implements CSS3 Resize Property

July 20th, 2006

Interesting Argument Against the Microformats Craze

July 14th, 2006

Web Style Guide: Basic Reference on Web Design Principles

Posted in:UncategorizedTags: , , , |
July 14th, 2006

Backbase on Web Accessibility in Ajax Pages

Posted in:AjaxTags: , |
June 29th, 2006

How’re We Doing Now? An Update on DHTML/Ajax Browser Compatibility

Ajax-DHTML Toolkits ReviewSince my original report on the browser and platform compatibility of some 50 Ajax JavaScript libraries in March, the market has continued to produce new toolkits at a rapid pace. I recently finished grading all (but one) of the 8 libraries added since March, and I’ve revisited the scores of another 8. With that, the time seemed right for a report on how Ajax library developers are doing at achieving cross-browser, cross-platform compatibility in the tools they’re giving us–tools which programmers around the world are using to hammer out their unique vision of Web 2.0.

I’m very pleased to report that the trend is moving strongly toward full compatibility. Of the eight new libraries, a full five of them achieve top grades of “A”. That’s a much higher percentage of the total than in March, and of the three non-A libraries, only one was a D (D+ actually). One was graded C+ and the other B. Of the revisited libraries, I was able to raise grades for three–Backbase, ICEfaces, and MochiKit. Only one library had a lower grade (Rico, down from A- to B), and the rest were unchanged.

Only two of the 8 new libraries have commercial licenses you’d have to pay for, and in one case you are really only paying for the IDE. Three of the new libraries require a java server architecture in order to be happy, one would prefer Cold Fusion, and the others are pure client libraries that are agnostic with respect to the application server. One library was added just a couple of days ago (Jitsu), and I haven’t had time to review it yet–but you’ll find it summarized here with the rest. Only one of these 16 libraries is DHTML with no Ajax controls–Uize. Even without Ajax, however, I think you’ll find Uize to be one of the most interesting here–especially in terms of visual richness.

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June 2nd, 2006

Suggestions for Designing a Backup Strategy

May 23rd, 2006

Speeding Up JavaScript

May 23rd, 2006

Microsoft Propaganda for Atlas Begins

March 4th, 2006

Ajax/DHTML Library Scorecard: How Cross Platform Are They?

DHTML support for web browsers is unevenAs I mentioned in an earlier post, the whole Ajax/Web 2.0 thing that’s happened this last year reminds me vividly of the mid-1990’s. Back then, the web was brand new, it was exciting, everyone was learning how to build web applications, developers were totally turned on and creative, everybody was pointing out cool new apps and sites, and the potential of this new computing platform seemed unlimited. Leading the charge was a young company that built software for every operating system under the sun, and they clearly had a solid vision of where they were headed. During 1994-96, Netscape introduced one astonishing new client-side technology after another to what a web browser could do–tables, animated graphics, client-side imagemaps, frames, cookies (yes, these really were a vital improvement to the web client), and something they called Javascript.

Each of these technologies offered dramatic new ways of presenting information in a web browser, and developers who loved new gadgets glommed on to every advance, racing each other to see who could do the coolest things with these first. A lot of mistakes were made–a lot of really ugly eggs were hatched–but excitement and optimism were the buzz feelings. With Netscape in charge, you felt like you do when working as a protege with a master hacker: Does this guy ever stop pulling amazing tricks out of his sleeve?

One of the promises of Netscape’s vision was that the web–and, in particular, the web browser–could make one’s choice of operating system irrelevant. The web could level the computing playing field, since applications built for the web were applications for all, regardless of what OS you happened to prefer. What worked for NeXT, OS/2, Irix, Solaris, and Windows would also work just fine on Linux, Mac OS, Be OS, HP-UX, and BSD. The web browser could be the OS, and the only limiting factor in what you could do would be your hardware and connection speed. Microsoft’s lock on the computer desktop could be broken, and new competitors in operating systems and computers could unleash the full potential of the personal computer to improve our lives–both at work and at leisure.

Only, it didn’t quite turn out that way.

This article inventories the Ajax/DHTML toolkits now available and grades each from A to E on the degree to which they adhere to a cross-browser ideal. The good news is that if you want to build astonishing Web 2.0 applications in 2006, you’ve got a lot of fine Javascript libraries to choose from! And nearly all of the Grade A libraries are open-source, so you can build without shelling out a license fee for the privilege. The bad news is that some of the most prominent players in the field fall far short of that mark.

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Just Say No To Flash