State of Web Development

Web 2.0 Expo Conference

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Presented by Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith from Ajaxian

“Web interfaces are becoming richer than the desktop.”

They used some “pages” from the Apple store as examples and I have to admit that they’re right. (Click on the bag and then click again to zoom in. Then you can drag on the image to view all the details. Kind of cool). You do see sexier UI stuff on web sites these days. Stuff that you don’t get in desktop applications.

They went through the evolution of the various Ajax/javascript libraries.
Prototype, GWT, jQuery, Dojo

core library extension UI components
prototype scripteka scriptaculous
jQuery plugins.jquery.com jQuery UI
dojo dojox dijit

What’s coming down the pipe?

  • Processing.js and the canvas element.
  • jQuery UI
  • Ext JS
  • dijit
  • scriptaculous
  • Mobile Me/Sprout Core
  • 280 North

Books: “The Humane Interface” by Jef Raskin
Jacob Nielson on Usability: Response times should be between 0.1 seconds and 1.0 seconds. Anything longer than that is BAD.

The problem in browsers is that there is a single thread available. In general threads are not supported by browsers.

‘Threads suck”

Brendan Eich

New browsers/plugins are providing a work around for the thread problem.
Google Gears

  • provides what are called “WorkerPools” for javascript.
  • Firefox 3.1 has something call WebWorker threads

They proposed a solution to the lack of canvas support in IE.
There are two possible workarounds right now:

  • Bridge via Silverlight
  • Bridge via Flash

New Javascript engines

  • Safari Squirrelfish
  • Firefox Tracemonkey
  • Google Chrome V8

New Java plugin 1.6 Update 10

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