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RIA Weekly #12 – Curl, AIR on Linux, Word as RIA, JavaFX 1.0

How open source, the web, RIA, and Microsoft relate

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This week, it’s just Ryan and I in a quick, 30 minute episode going over some news items and commentary:


Having just spoken with Curl, we discuss them briefly noting their use of a proprietary language, but their wider than (I) expected use of open source. Somewhat as with Adobe, Curl open sourced (or will) all of their stack except the runtime at the very bottom, as with Adobe and the Flash Player.

SaaS and RIA – Like Cream and Sugar to the Black Coffee of the Web

Curl noted that they’re seeing more SaaS people using them, esp. to re-write old client-server applications. After the obligatory “RIA is client-server 2.0” joke, we delve into the more serious observation that SaaS people seem hippest to RIA use.

AIR on Linux – How ’bout Photoshop?

We discuss AIR being on Linux as an alpha version. I ask Ryan what all this hubbub is about Adobe having the potential to help-out desktop Linux. That can be a raw topic from the faithful who may brusquely reply, “why would we need help?” Indeed. The larger point is drive at even weirder future scenerios like Adobe announcing Photoshop for Linux, built on AIR of course (but which distros?!).

Another Microsoft Avoidance Tactic?

I point the idea that RIAs seem like the new way to avoid using Microsoft in the same way Netscape was an attempt to cut-out Redmond. This doesn’t belittle Silverlight as a merely a defensive posture, but it shows that the fundamental architecture for RIAs very purposefully doesn’t depend on Microsoft being there, again, much like the effect that caused Microsoft to nuke Netscape.

See diagram above for more such frothing.

First AIR Company Cash-out

We mention the recent acquisition of Twhirl by Seesmic. I point out that it’s interesting that Seesmic bought a barely 1.0 product, raising the question if “beta” really means anything in the distributed software world anymore. Indeed, it does, when it comes to support and your software provider feeling like they should answer the phone. It turns out Adobe sells AIR developer support, for example.

Word as an RIA?

Bouncing off the news that Google has released offline support for Google Docs, I think out-loud that it’d be nice to see Google use MS-Word as a front-end for Docs. Microsoft’s interop mood-swing of late has seemingly opened up Word as something to muck around with, via plugins at least – remember the Word plugin? Couldn’t you see a lot of interesting citizen adoption of GDocs if they used Word as a front-end?

Never mind if us tech-nutjobs respond to the idea with a curled nose and the question “why would you want to do that?” just focus on the volume of slow-changers out there who’ll be using Word until forced to do otherwise. As Ryan points out, this would benefit Microsoft – though the SharePoint people wouldn’t be too cheery I counter-point out – and Google would get more use too.

JavaFX 1.0 Sometime Soon(ish)

Wrapping up, I mention a recent article by Paul Krill mentioning that a preview new of JavaFX in May and then a 1.0 release “shortly thereafter.” JavaOne is, of course, in May this year. So, yeah, that lines up, eh? Hopefully, we’ll have something on all this at the RedMonk CommunityDay during JavaOne, come on by!

Disclaimer: Adobe is a client, as are Microsoft and Sun. See the RedMonk client list for other clients mentioned.

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Categories: Development Tools, Ideas, RIA Weekly.

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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] about keeping up with the news lately because we’re in Europe with the on AIR tour but during our RIA Weekly podcast, Coté mentioned an article by Paul Krill which indicated that JavaFX is going to be releasing a […]

  2. […] to be myopic, there’re are a lot of other people running around here: WaveMaker, Curl, Bungee, Appcelerator, others, and, hey, what about Google? We’ve covered Apple above. The […]