Archive for August, 2008

* Login Forms

Posted on August 15th, 2008 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX.


Does it annoy anyone else that Web 2.0 apps like Basecamp no longer have login forms? I understand that you need to login at a specific URL http://nitobi.myapp.com but would it be so difficult to actually just have a login form that transfers you to your server rather than making people remember the server name?

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* Enterprise Ajax Live Lessons

Posted on August 13th, 2008 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX, Nitobi.


Get it while it’s hot! It looks like the Enterprise Ajax Live Lessons are now available on either Safari or Amazon.

if you want to learn about Ajax in a format that is bit more easily digestible than reading a boring book then be sure to pick up the Live Lessons where we step you through all the pitfalls of building an Enterprise Ajax application. Topics covered include a framework review, testing, security and usability.

Go get it!

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* What is RIA?

Posted on August 12th, 2008 by Dave Johnson. Filed under AJAX, Conference, RIA, Web2.0.


Way back in May of this year (I have been thinking about this post for a while now!) Andre and I were down at JavaOne to give a presentation and also had the chance to take part in the always interesting (at least two years in a row now) RedMonk CommunityOne session. It was good to take part in the cloud computing, twitter and open source discussions - one great take away was “don’t drink and tweet”. I digress.

Of most interest to me was the round table discussion about “what is an RIA?“. There were various opinions on this that I will not repeat here and let you read over on RedMonk.

What didn’t come through on the RedMonk review was what I thought, arrived at through the great discussion, was really the defining characteristic of Rich Internet Applications. In the end it was not about flashy graphics or animations. The one defining characteristic of an RIA is that there is no page refresh.

That’s it. That is all there is to RIA. If you have an application running over the network that does not have a page refresh then that is an RIA - be it using Flash, Ajax or a Java Applet. The discussion went back and forth until Jeremiah Stone from SAP finally talked some sense (afterwards we had a very interesting discussion and I really need to follow up with him) saying that good design is dependent on the context of the problem being solved. Now this is a really important idea since if you are used to working with a keyboard accessible green screen application, a visual mouse driven GUI will probably be far less usable. It is all context dependent. I may take longer to learn the green screen application but it will likely pay dividends in productivity down the road.

At any rate, long story short, the one common theme that people presented was that an RIA is defined by an application that has no page refresh, whether it is made for a user of a terminal or a new web 2.0 application.

I had my epiphany at the very end of the session and was pretty much lost on deaf ears of people who were about ready for a cold one (aside from Duane who was thoroughly liquored already ;)) . However, I felt somewhat vindicated when I was reading James’ post about the session when I noticed that there was a comment from David Mendels of Adobe, who was possibly responsible for defining the term while at Macromedia in the early 2000’s. Indeed David suggested that the original definition of an RIA was an application with no page refresh.

Based on that I think that the case of the meaning of RIA can be considered closed.

RIA == No page refresh

QED

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