First AJAX, now AFLAX?


So what is all this XAML-based AFLAX I've been hearing about the last couple of days and what of it?


Fooshen seems excited:



"Web development has certainly comes a long way. Check out this product: XAMLON (http://www.xamlon.com/software/xamlonpro/flash/). Create your app as if you are doing a Windows application, then let the tool generate the flash for you to use in the web!

 

First there's AJAX..(by the way, this is not a new technology... it's an old trick given a new name)

now let there be AFLAX - Asynchronous Flash with XML."

Could AFLAX the next big thing?  John Meyer is not convinced:



"Let's compare AJAX and AFLAX:


AJAX: based on Open Standards; runs in browsers from multiple vendors; runs on desktop; mature mobile support; has a great Open Source implementation.


AFLAX: Uses Macromedia Flash, a propietary closed runtime from a single vendor; no Open Source implementation; weak mobile phone support; sounds like an insurance company."

Comments (5)

  1. I fully agree with John Meyer – web 2.0 needs open standards, not proprietary solutions. That’s why AJAX is here to stay and AFLAX is, hopefully, going to fade away pretty soon.

  2. MSDNArchive says:

    Hey Pete, I like your blog. Subscribed.

  3. can we trash the trendy acronyms already? says:

    The comments regarding AFLAX seem rather uneducated.

    There are multiple open source flash IDEs and compilers in circulation, and the player itself has been opened up rather well for people. What we don’t need though are 50 variant versions of the flash player, so keeping the player itself distributed from one free source is the optimal situation for greatest compatibility. Macromedia makes their own proprietary IDE for flash, but there are plenty of open source alternatives as well, and Macromedia has been very encouraging of these open source products for years. Sure there are counterpoints to things being proprietary, but the negatives on the open source side are just as great. What it comes down to in this instance is that AFLAX requires the least amount of work AND expense to produce the greatest amount of compatibility and functionality. Furthermore, with tools like xamlon, etc., AFLAX implementations have a much greater flexibility for developers than AJAX.

    A few points i must strongly disagree with in Mr. Meyer’s rant:

    "AJAX: based on Open Standards;"

    so are you telling me that you can write most AJAX functionality in IE using ONLY open standards? i somehow highly doubt this. trumpet mozilla all you like, but the point remains that IE, for better or for worse, is the most widespread browser in use.

    standards mean absolutely nothing if only a niche minority embraces them.

    "runs in browsers from multiple vendors"

    not without multiple versions of the same code. anything more than the most basic functionality pretty much needs a rewrite to run in each browser. write flash once and it runs in any browser that has the plugin – a plugin that is freely available, compact, not bug-prone, and has something like 90% penetration on the interent.

    "runs on desktop;"

    correct me if i’m wrong, but i’ve never seen an implementation of AJAX that runs outside of a browser. Flash however DOES, and does it quite well.

    "mature mobile support;"

    sorry, gotta throw the BS flag on this one – AJAX is NOT mature on mobile phones. just because a couple smart phones out there might have some halfway decent support for it in their browsers does not make it mature. Flash’s mobile implementation is much more solid.

    "AFLAX…no Open Source implementation"

    not true.

    "weak mobile phone support"

    untrue. see above.

    "sounds like an insurance company."

    and a tech that sounds like a kitchen cleaner is much better?

  4. Jon Meyer says:

    A quick response to the previous poster:

    "so are you telling me that you can write most AJAX functionality in IE using ONLY open standards? i somehow highly doubt this."

    Its true that XmlHttpRequest is not part of any open standard, but it is supported on a very broad range of second generation web browsers, not just IE. I just ported a large Ajax App (~10k lines) to Opera/Safari/IE/FireFox. Sure, it was a pain, but very doable.

    ‘"runs in browsers from multiple vendors"

    not without multiple versions of the same code. ‘

    In the app I just mentioned we isolated all the differences between browsers into a single "XPlatform" class. Again, it was a pain, but nothing major. Certainly not a rewrite.

    … ‘a plugin that is freely available, compact, not bug-prone, and has something like 90% penetration on the interent. ‘

    Flash is all roses if you stay in the Flash box. But when you try to get Flash to play nicely with any non-Flash web content on a page and you quickly hit cross-platform issues and usability potholes.

    I firmly believe that the coveted 90% Flash penetration is due almost entirely to the fact that IE prompts users with a "Do you want to install …" popup every time they hit a page with a Flash advert it. Eventually people tire of saying No. If that dialog had a "no, and don’t ask me again" option, I suspect the 90% figure would drop.

    ‘correct me if i’m wrong, but i’ve never seen an implementation of AJAX that runs outside of a browser. Flash however DOES, and does it quite well’.

    Hosting an IE control in a Windows Forms app is very straightforward. Its just an ActiveX control. There are some very nice wrappers to it. Once you do that you have the full power of .NET. Or, what about Apple’s Dashboard widgets, which also use XHTML? If Flash is so great on the Desktop, why didn’t Apple use Flash?

    You did catch me though – I was BS’ing about Ajax on mobile:-)

    Still, I laugh at "Flash’s mobile implementation is much more solid." Yes, Flash Lite runs on millions of devices. No, it doesn’t mean you can run your Flash content on a mobile. Last I checked, none of the ActionScript 2 stuff is in Lite, so you can’t share code between desktop and mobule. Also, due to resource constraints you’ll probably end up rebuilding your visual assets to port a project to Lite. From what I hear, people end up making two completely different versions. So much for cross device…

    >"AFLAX…no Open Source implementation"

    >not true.

    Your argument appears to be that since Flash is widely installed and since there are open source products that work with Flash, Flash is Open Source? What a strange statement. By the same argument, you must think Microsoft Office is open source too, since lots of open source products work with it?

    Cheers

    Jon

  5. If you really gotta throw the BS flag on this one then we can help! OfficialBSFlag.com

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