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RIA Weekly #49 – RIA Data-pipes, Selling RIAs

Charles Likes his ThinkLight

You can download this episode directly directly and it’ll also show up in the RIA Weekly feed for iTunes and other podcatchers. Or, just use the controls below to listen to it right here:

This week, while Ryan was living in the future (or, “down under” if you prefer), I had on a guest co-host, Charles Lowell. You may know him from one of my other podcasts, I had Charles on because he’s something of a UI specialist and has done much work with Swing, Ajax, and dabbled plenty in Flex and JavaFX. I wanted to take this chance to get one developer’s perspective on building rich user interfaces and, as you’ll see, some specific RIA frameworks and issues as well. Here’s roughly what we discussed:

  • Charles tells us his development history, esp. with respect to to UI’s, like Swing and Ajax
  • He tells us how his passion for ruby was translated into his current passion for JavaScript and the different UI glue-work he’s been doing over the recent users.
  • I ask Charles to detail the work he did at is company, The Front Side, with Freestyle, the Ajax UI->web server protocols and state sharing. We discuss the problems with the framework they developed, particularly with storing state on both the client and server side and how that makes garbage collecting a pain.
  • Now an indie-programmer, Charles works with several different clients developing UI’s. Recently, he tried to pitch using JavaFX to a client and he tells us how that went – not too well.
  • This gets us into a discussion of JavaFX and the technical and business reasons to use or not use it. He likes focusing on JavaFX as a way to do Swing better.
  • More generally, we talk about The Market’s desires when it comes to RIAs and rich-UI functionality. Charles is see a lot of pull for UI functionality that’s difficult to deliver in Ajax, but easier in more traditional desktop GUIs or, we hope, RIAs.
  • Getting to the only, major, even slightly-related RIA news of the week, I ask Charles how Oracle buying Sun purchase effects his view of JavaFX.

One items we didn’t cover was Adobe’s “Strobe” project. If you’re interested, I gave a small amount of commentary in this week’s Numbers post. Ryan has a small write-up as well.


This Episode is Sponsored by Adobe:

Use the Adobe Flex framework and Adobe AIR to create rich Internet applications. RIAs that combine the wide reach of the browser and the flexibility of applications that can also be delivered outside the browser. Adobe Flex combined with Adobe AIR provides an agile and powerful solution to develop and make quick iterations on applications that reach across platforms and deliver a consistent user experience.


Download the free Flex Builder trial and the Adobe AIR SDK and start building the next- generation of RIAs.

Disclosure: Adobe is a client and sponsored this podcast. Sun and Microsoft are clients as well.

Categories: Java, RIA, RIA Weekly.