Ric Smith

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Top Stories by Ric Smith

AJAX, with its asynchronous updates, enabled a richer user experience on the Web. It accomplished this primarily by obscuring the latency issues that brought a "clunk-ish" feel to traditional Web applications. More recently, Comet reintroduced HTTP-based "push" communications to enable Web applications with real-time events through a medium, namely JavaScript and a variety of transports (e.g., long-polling, forever frames, XHR Streaming, etc.), that is far more accessible than the "push" technologies of the late '90s, and which further lessens latency concerns felt by end users, creating a more dramatic and interactive Web experience. Both AJAX and Comet can attribute their respective successes to addressing various shortcomings of HTTP communications, whether that be with the introduction of asynchronous requests and responses or server initiated events, but it is ... (more)

AJAX, Flash, Silverlight, or JavaFX: Must We Choose?

  AJAX has forever altered user expectations regarding the experience delivered by the Web. In today’s world, users sit at the edge of their seat waiting to see what scrumptious eye candy AJAX will serve them next. Some of the more notable visual effects and desktop-like interactions include Prototype-esque fades, Dojo style fisheyes, the near ubiquitous drag-and-drop, and, of course, who can live without the entertainment provided by the assortment of animated loading icons that now distract us while AJAX does its asynchronous “thing.” Yes, it would appear that AJAX can do it a... (more)

Beyond AJAX and JavaServer Faces

First released in March 2004, the server-side component model introduced by JavaServer Faces (JSF) brought the promise of simplifying Web-user interface (UI) development. Then in February 2005, Jesse James Garrett coined the term AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and the simplicity of the JSF server-side component model was overshadowed by a flood of rich UI frameworks with a client-side tilt. AJAX frameworks (including Dojo, Prototype, and Script.aculo.us) are spurring an evolution in human-computer interaction on the Web. The stale click-and-wait experience once associate... (more)

SOA World Expo: Enterprise Mashup Services

Since Web 2.0 kicked off scarcely a day goes by without a headline targeting mashups and their enablers, AJAX and Web Services, as the next hot Web technologies. Mashups are Web sites that integrate a variety of services (e.g., news feeds, weather reports, maps, and traffic conditions) in new and interesting ways. Just take a look at Zillow.com, which provides instant home valuations plotted as thumbtacks on a map (Figure 1), or HousingMaps.com, which marks listings from craigslist.org as captions on a map, and you'll get a clear picture of the power behind converging data source... (more)

Enterprise Mashup Services

In my previous article, "Enterprise Mashup Services: Real-World SOA or Web 2.0 Novelties?" (JDJ Vol. 11, Issue 12), I discussed how a Java-to-AJAX library such as Direct Web Remoting (DWR) can bridge the gap between mashup services implemented with JavaScript and business services written in Java, allowing developers to blend corporate services with external services such as Google Maps. The problem with this approach is that it relies on AJAX as an integration point, which entails a fragile development platform as well as the need to maintain browser-specific code due to idiosyn... (more)