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2008: Decision Year for RIAs - October 20-22, 2008 San Jose

As AJAXWorld 2006 Prepares to Open Oct 2-4: "Good Luck, AJAX!"
"Until everyone agrees to use the same standard, it's not standard"

 Are the de facto standards for AJAX being imposed by a hegemonic Google? Do we have "good fragmentation" in the AJAX space, the same way that Linus Torvalds recognized "good fragmentation" in the Linux space 5-6 years ago? In the run-up to next week's AJAXWorld Conference & Expo, these and other questions are being raised by industry mavens like Matt Asay and analyst-bloggers like Tony Baer of

Baer, in an opinion piece looking at the "Enterprise 2.0" vision, begins very straightforwardly:

"Using readily available technologies, the Ajax folks have proven that their relatively simple methods not only work, but can open up significant new business opportunities for the web."
But he then moves on to ponder the interoperability problems that are likel to arise in an AJAX world characterized by complete freedom:
"given the fact that there are relatively few technical barriers to doing mashups with other Ajax web pages floating around, you've got some potential interoperability problems on your hands."
What Baer, principal of onStrategies, underlines is the need for something like OpenAjax, which he sees as an explicit attempt by the 50+ vendors now involved to foster standarization in place of fragmentation.

OpenAjax was born in late 2005 thanks largely to the globetrotting of David Boloker, IBM’s CTO of Emerging Internet Technologies - a speaker at AJAXWorld Conference & Expo 2006, naturally. Initially, a small number of leading companies brainstormed about how to ensure that Ajax fulfills its potential as the industry standard rich application platform based on open technologies. These early discussions came to a climax on Feb. 1, 2006, with the announcement of the "OpenAjax Initiative", whose 15 original companies included BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla Corporation, Novell, Openwave Systems, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend and Zimbra.

Between February 1 and May 15, another 15 organizations joined "OpenAjax", and the (then) 30 companies held a two-day kickoff meeting in San Francisco to lay out the blue-print for the initiative moving forward. At the meeting, the group decided to establish the OpenAjax Alliance, defined its mission, agreed on an interim organizational process, and established its initial activities.

Today, over 50 companies are involved. The Alliance claims that it will "purposely avoid competition with existing open standards and open source initiatives and instead will collaborate with and support any relevant open technology initiative."

Its mission statment is laid out on its brand new website,

"The OpenAjax Alliance fills the Ajax interoperability gap in the industry. Other standards organizations such as W3C develop standards focused on what building-block features browsers must support, such as HTML, CSS, DOM, SVG, and JavaScript/ECMAScript. The OpenAjax Alliance addresses a technology layer above these browser formats, where the alliance defines "OpenAjax" specifications and best practices such that multiple Ajax toolkits will coexist and interoperate with the same Ajax-powered application."
The site site aims to provide a standard vocabulary for industry terms such as "Ajax" and "OpenAjax," and will over time start to include white papers and block diagrams on Ajax technologies and associated best practices, with a focus on cross-vendor interoperability.

Baer notes that the Alliance is planning to elect a board of directors, something that will take place at the meeting of its members that it has planned to coincide with AJAXWorld 2006.

("Can the attorneys be far behind?" Baer quips, a reference to the inevitable legal formalities that follow any major industry organization.)

Matt Asay seems optimistic that the shift towards standards will mark a necessary maturing. Nonetheless he seems to know too that for things to crystallize, you sometimes need a following wind. The final words of his piece are: "Good luck Ajax."


About RIA News Desk
Ever since Google popularized a smarter, more responsive and interactive Web experience by using AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) for its Google Maps & Gmail applications, SYS-CON's RIA News Desk has been covering every aspect of Rich Internet Applications and those creating and deploying them. If you have breaking RIA news, please send it to to share your product and company news coverage with AJAXWorld readers.

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Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1

I was disappointed to discover that, even at AjaxWorld, presenters and attendees alike continue to propagate the misconception that Ajax is an acronym. Where did this idea originate and how has it been allowed to persist, especially among those to claim to know what they are talking about? Ajax is and never has been an acronym, and the acronym that has been inappropriately created from it is misleading, limiting and inaccurate. I wish people would stop making references to it as such!

What I find terrifying about this whole AJAX thing is that now modern web development is entirely hinged on the implementation of an interpreter for a language in different browsers. The Mochikit JavaScript library says this best: "Mochikit Makes JavaScript suck less"

What if I don't want to write in JavaScript? What if I feel that, for whatever reason, that I'd rather write my browing control applications in some other language of my choosing? And wouldn't it be slightly easier to standardize on a bytecode format (eg, what Java may have supposed to been for the web) rather than the rules of a language in all its gory detail?

How about Microsoft in all of this? They are NOT a member of the OpenAjax Alliance.

Michael Schwarz is the author of one of the first AJAX frameworks available for Microsoft ASP.NET, says the new framework will be 100% code compatible on the client-side, and an alpha version will be available in the next few days.

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AJAXWorld Security Bootcamp

Introducing at AJAXWorld RIA Conference 2008 West the world's first-ever full, one-day immersive "AJAX Security Bootcamp" - led by one of the world's foremost AJAX security experts and teachers, HP's Billy Hoffman.

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AJAXWorld 2008 West - Tracks

Track 01: Enterprise RIAs
Track 02: Frameworks & Toolkits
Track 03: Web 2.0 & Mashups
Track 04: Hot Topics
Track 05: The Future of the Web
Track 06: iPhone Developer Summit

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AJAXWorld Webcasts


AJAXWorld Keynotes & Power Panels

2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Can We Fix the Web? By Douglas Crockford - by Douglas Crockford
2008 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: 2008: The Year of the RIA - by Anthony Franco
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: The Business Value of RIAs
2008 SYS-CON TV Power Panel: What Lies Beyond AJAX
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Why Web 2.0 for the Enterprise Is Far More Than Just a Facelift - by Ted Farrell
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: Fueling the Next Generation Web: A Peek Behind the Green Curtain - by Bob Brewin
2007 SYS-CON TV Keynotes: AJAX in the Balance - by Joe Stagner

AJAXWorld Sessions on SYS-CON.TV

· Bill Scott - Yahoo! UI Library
· David Heinemeier Hansson - AJAX on Rails
· Jesse James Garrett - Elements of User Experience
· Dion Hinchcliffe - Real World AJAX
· Eric Miraglia - Open Source AJAX Development
· Paul Rademacher - Mashing Up Your Web Application
· Adam Sah - Google Gadgets
· Doug Crockford - An Introduction to JavaScript
· David Linthicum - Enterprise Web 2.0
· Patrick Grady - The Imagination & Experience Web

AJAXWorld...All The AJAX Rock Stars in One Spot!

Past Events Archive

SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2008 East
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2008 East
AJAXWorld 2008 Conference & Expo East
SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 West
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 West
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo West
SOAWorld Conference & Expo 2007 East
Virtualization Conference & Expo 2007 East
AJAXWorld 2007 Conference & Expo East
Other SYS-CON Events

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Who Have Attended AJAXWorld
• A&R Edelman
• Academic Enterprise
• Accoona Corp [2 delegates]
• Acxiom
• Adams Capital Management
• Adaptive Edge
• Adaptive Path
• Adobe Systems Incorporated [21 delegates]
• Adobe Systems Romania
• Ajax13
• All Risks, Ltd.
• alliance
• Alliance For Community Care
• AlphaDetail Inc
• Altera Corporation
• [6 delegates]
• Appeon Corporation [2 delegates]
• Apple Computer [5 delegates]
• Apress [3 delegates]
• Arkivio
• Astute Solutions
• Avaya Inc [2 delegates]
• Avenda Systems
• Avenue A | Razorfish [3 delegates]
• Axcella, LLC [2 delegates]
• Aximsoft
• Azimyth
• Backbase USA Inc. [4 delegates]
• BAE Systems [2 delegates]
• Bank of America [2 delegates]
• Barkley Evergreen & Partners Interactive
• Bayview Financial [2 delegates]
• BEA Systems [3 delegates]
• Billeo
• BMC Software, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Borland Software Corporation
• Bradford Technologies, Inc [2 delegates]
• Brilliance
• Brocade Communications Systems, Inc. [2 delegates]
• Brookside Capital LLC
• Brulant
• Bungee Labs, Inc [6 delegates]
• Bureau of Labor Statistics
• BUZ Interactive
• Cadena Software
• Calix Networks
• Callidus Software [2 delegates]
• Cambia Security
• Carnegie Mellon West
• Cautella, Inc.
• Celequest [3 delegates]
• Change Vision, Inc.
• Charles E. Kenney, CPA
• Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. [8 delegates]



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