Flex, Java/JavaFX, Silverlight, AJAX & RIA Frameworks

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I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.  Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possibly already be so old-fangled that an early practitioner like Ichbiah can already no longer be with us? The thought was so disquieting that it took me immediately back to the last time I wrote about Ichbiah, and indeed about Ada Lovelace for whom his language was named. It was in the context ... (more)

Twenty-One Experts Define Cloud Computing

It is the infrastructural paradigm shift that is sweeping across the Enterprise IT world, but how is it best defined? I refer of course to 'Cloud Computing' - the phenomenon that currently has as many definitions as there are squares on a chess-board. To try and narrow it down we bring here a round-up of some recent attempts to bring welcome precision where there risks being unnecessary vagueness. Enjoy! "What is cloud computing all about? Amazon has coined the word “elasticity” which gives a good idea about the key features: you can scale your infrastructure on demand within min... (more)

Zuora Seeks Cloud's Silver Lining

Zuora, the Marc Benioff-backed on-demand billing and payments start-up, has announced what it calls the Z-Commerce Platform, a development platform dedicated to monetizing cloud computing services. Zuora CEO Tien Tzuo describes the widgetry as the start-up’s most important product announcement to date, “a big step towards our vision of being the de facto commerce engine for the cloud.” With Z-Billing, Z-Payments, and Z-Force, its existing products, the company’s supposed to have a suite of business cloud solutions focused on driving revenue from cloud computing. It figures there... (more)

Google Maps and ASP.NET

I am sure that most of you have heard about or have had a chance to use Google Maps. It's a great service and I was really impressed by the responsiveness of the application and the ease with which users could drag and zoom maps from a Web browser. It has in many ways heralded the arrival of AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which I am sure will revitalize Web development in the days to come. What makes the service even better is the availability of the Google Maps API (Application Programming Interface) as a free Beta service. The API allows developers to embed Google Map... (more)

Ship Happens! Insights From the Eclipse SWT Community

The Standard Widget Toolkit (SWT) is the GUI toolkit used by Eclipse. The same folks that worked on the Common Widget (CW) library for IBM/Smalltalk developed it, this time for Java. Now, it's maintained as part of the Eclipse Platform project and distributed under an open source license, the Eclipse Public License (EPL). One key design point of SWT is that it uses native functionality on each operating system and, at the same time, presents a common, portable API. Joe Winchester, Desktop Java Editor for Java Developer's Journal, asked Steve Northover (SWT Team Lead) recently whe... (more)

Oracle XE + AJAX: Asynchronous XML in Action

This article covers the process of building a real working AJAX application on top of Oracle's free database software. The demonstration takes advantage of features integrated directly into Oracle Database 10g Express Edition (Oracle XE), the Embedded PL/SQL Gateway and Oracle XML DB, which let you serve XML content derived from SQL queries directly over HTTP protocol. You've probably run up against one of the numerous frameworks for AJAX that were probably Java- or .NET-based. Although they fit large-scale environments perfectly, smaller projects may not require such overwhelming... (more)