Ric Smith

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Top Stories by Ric Smith

Since Web 2.0 kicked off scarcely a day goes by without a headline targeting mashups and their enablers, AJAX and Web Services, as the next hot Web technologies. Mashups are Web sites that integrate a variety of services (e.g., news feeds, weather reports, maps, and traffic conditions) in new and interesting ways. Just take a look at Zillow.com, which provides instant home valuations plotted as thumbtacks on a map (Figure 1), or HousingMaps.com, which marks listings from craigslist.org as captions on a map, and you'll get a clear picture of the power behind converging data sources. Google Maps is often identified as the disruptive force that spawned the mashups movement. The popular mapping service is now the home of more than 600 mashups according to ProgrammableWeb.com. Why the hype? Google Maps provides a simple JavaScript API that makes geo-spatial data, a histor... (more)

AJAX, Flash, Silverlight, or JavaFX...

AJAX has forever altered user expectations regarding the experience delivered by the Web. In today's world, users sit at the edge of their seat waiting to see what scrumptious eye candy AJAX will serve them next. Some of the more notable visual effects and desktop-like interactions include Prototype-esque fades, Dojo style fisheyes, the near ubiquitous drag-and-drop, and, of course, who can live without the entertainment provided by the assortment of animated loading icons that now distract us while AJAX does its asynchronous "thing." Yes, it would appear that AJAX can do it all ... (more)

Why the Web Dinosaurs Died

A fast-moving Comet is about to impact the Internet. When it hits, it will wipe away the architecture flaws we have lived with for the past 15 years and allow a new World Wide Web to evolve. This new Web will include applications that are instantly on and always on, applications that are truly multi-user, and applications that go far beyond today’s “click and wait” Web solutions. Brace for Comet Impact Comet (or Reverse AJAX) introduces a significant departure from the stale “click-and-wait” interaction we traditionally associate with Web applications, and resurrects push-style c... (more)

The Future of the Web: HTML5 Web Sockets

AJAX, with its asynchronous updates, enabled a richer user experience on the Web. It accomplished this primarily by obscuring the latency issues that brought a "clunk-ish" feel to traditional Web applications. More recently, Comet reintroduced HTTP-based "push" communications to enable Web applications with real-time events through a medium, namely JavaScript and a variety of transports (e.g., long-polling, forever frames, XHR Streaming, etc.), that is far more accessible than the "push" technologies of the late '90s, and which further lessens latency concerns felt by end users, ... (more)

Enterprise Mashup Services

In my previous article, "Enterprise Mashup Services: Real-World SOA or Web 2.0 Novelties?" (JDJ Vol. 11, Issue 12), I discussed how a Java-to-AJAX library such as Direct Web Remoting (DWR) can bridge the gap between mashup services implemented with JavaScript and business services written in Java, allowing developers to blend corporate services with external services such as Google Maps. The problem with this approach is that it relies on AJAX as an integration point, which entails a fragile development platform as well as the need to maintain browser-specific code due to idiosyn... (more)