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RIA & Ajax: Article

Flashback to January 2006: Exclusive SYS-CON.TV Interviews on "OpenAjax Alliance" Announcement

IBM is taking the lead role in rolling out an 'OpenAjax' initiative that seems sure to add significant momentum

In any case, the result of these talks is now apparent with the Open AJAX announcement, which no doubt qualifies as the most significant story in the open-source technology world since the creation of Linux. With no less than Big Blue leading the charge, joined by the likes of Oracle, Novell, and Red Hat, the initiative demonstrates that open-source has fully grown up and has now earned its seat at the adult's table.

Boloker told us that this effort was "not top-down at all (and resulted in large part) it had a to do with a lot of folks just chattering, across wikis, across e-mail, at's been a wonderful example people collaborating."

Speaking of which, the most intriguing aspect of this initiative lies with the inclusion of not only organizations such as Eclipse, Dojo, and Mozilla, but with the rising software players such as Zend, Zimbra, Laszlo, and OpenWave. Many of these companies will compete with one another for business, and this is seen as a strength by all, as it provides a collective legitimacy to their efforts to win new business. And it also reflects the many "personalities" of this initiative, according to IBM's Boloker.'s Milinkovich affirmed this notion, telling us that "there’s going to be, for the foreseeable future several different AJAX frameworks, and the tools are meant to be able to maintain personalities for different open AJAX tools and frameworks...we’re hoping that as more of these frameworks come into existence, that they’ll also adapt the Eclipse tool, and they plug in as personalities to the Open AJAX Eclipse tool."

Laszlo Founder and CTO David Temkin (pictured) added an additional splash of color to the announcement, pointing out to us that "we work using Flash. (Developers) don’t have to write in Flash, but Flash program comes out the other side, yet we are independent of Flash or any partiuclar runtime environment." Temkin was enthusiastic in his company's backing of this initiative, stating that he's "never seen something catch on so quickly in the tech industry. (Atlhough AJAX) is a catchy acronym for techniques that have been available for years, (the term now) lets technical people talk about it in a tangible ways. (The Open AJAX initiative) puts some different kinds of structure for different audiences; it's not about establishing a new standard but about a bunch of diferent ways to get there." He also said that the initiative would not have been possible "without the widespread use of blogging."

SYS-CON Media worked to track down numerous other executives involved with the announcement on Tuesday, January 31, 2006, as the story was breaking.

One comment came from Sun Microsystems, which was not part of the Open AJAX announcement. Tim Bray, Director of Web Technologies, touted his own company's recently announced AJAX-related product.  "Sun is actively building AJAX support into the Java platform and shipping AJAX tools. In fact, last week we announced Sun Java Studio Creator 2, with new AJAX development support. We haven't just started a project to do something -- we have a solution for developers, today."

Bray also pointed out that "AJAX is a client-side technology, and is not dependent on Java, .NET, or LAMP on the server-side. If it's done correctly, the technology should work well across the IT spectrum. There are many AJAX initiatives and Sun agrees with IBM that there will be a consolidation as developers decide what set of tools they prefer."

Exclusive, recorded interviews with some of them can be found at SYS-CON.TV as they are posted. Only Borland's executives were said to be too busy to consider our interview requests; interviews from other coalition members are expected to take place in the coming days as the initiative's ramifications begin to play out.

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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