AJAX and alternatives, was: Re: [FoRK] AJAX: Asynchronous JavaScript + XML

Stephen D. Williams sdw at lig.net
Wed Mar 30 17:48:51 PST 2005

Processing leverages Quicktime I believe, although I think that still 
only gets them Win32 and OS X at the moment.
Some apps leverage Flash for video now.

Once you have a cross-platform plugin, including Java potentially, it 
can be available pretty easily.
I believe I saw that Sun has a module you can add to the Java plugin 
environment to get video input access, but I believe it said it only 
worked for Win32 currently (!).


Luis Villa wrote:

>[BTW, until there is a cross-platform way to reliably set up
>drivers/cameras/etc., I tend to think that videochat will remain a
>platform-specific domain.]
>On Wed, 30 Mar 2005 18:43:30 -0500, Stephen D. Williams <sdw at lig.net> wrote:
>>>>MS seems to be preparing for XAML-as-browser-replacement,
>>>>which would be great for a Firefox/XUL/Java/OSS solution but scary from
>>>>The untrustable Monopolist bad-boy of the IT world.
>>>This scares me (as a free software developer) more than anything else
>>>MS is doing. The web is /the/ killer app; if they succeed in patenting
>>>it (which is basically what a XAML-based web would mean) then all
>>>other OSs are DOA.
>>The flipside is that XUL-like (and AJAX, Flash, Processing et al) 
>Two of three still requiring proprietary software, but yes, I grant
>the general point.
>>just as much chance of making traditional and ineligant
>>thick-application development obsolete, seriously undercutting
>>architecture affinity upon which such a monopoly depends.  Someone had
>>to have looked at XUL and said: "crap, the popularity of HTML and XML
>>show that if you could invoke arbitrary infrastructure and application
>>logic with XML like HTML pages are used, native applications are dead".
>>Or so I imagine.
>Certainly that was the line Mozilla was pushing with XUL since pretty
>much Day 1 of that project; now that it has higher market penetration
>(finally!) it'll be interesting to see if that takes off. My guess is
>it won't, for the same reasons that Java+swing hasn't really taken
>off- cross-platform GUIs are asstastic.* They don't integrate with new
>technology well (see mention of video cameras above), they never look
>or feel like other applications on the system, etc. It's just not
>worth it to most developers to handicap their application on the
>platform of choice (almost always Windows, but increasingly on Mac and
>in some cases on Linux) so that they can reach out to those other
>platforms. There will be some niches, of course- particularly in cases
>like webmail where people want access to the same data across multiple
>machines. But I think ATM that is still a niche, and even when it
>isn't, XAML will likely fill that better than XUL or other such
>technologies will, for most people.
>* Mozilla/Firefox is the exception that proves the rule; it's the best
>major cross-platform GUI tool ever, and it still only made market
>headway after Windows basically failed to update their browser for 4

swilliams at hpti.com http://www.hpti.com Per: sdw at lig.net http://sdw.st
Stephen D. Williams 703-724-0118W 703-995-0407Fax 20147-4622 AIM: sdw

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