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< JIA: Comparing Java Web Frameworks: JSF, Struts, Spring, Tapestry and WebWork by Matt Raible   JIA: Deploying Apache Axis in Mission-Critical Environments by Eugene Ciurana >
JIA: The Server-side Architecture Behind OpenLaszlo Applications by Geert Bevin
[series of entries regarding my trip to JIA]

[full-disclosure: I work with Geert and therefore may be biased even if I attempt not to be]

OpenLaszlo is an RIA framework (currently Flash output only) that I've seen some incredible things done with. Pandora especially. As well as Geert's own Bla-Bla List. So naturally going in I was quite interested.

Geert started off the presentation with various demonstrations of advanced OpenLaszlo applications including an Amazon store example with nice drag and drop and a very nice UI. Pandora the front-end from the Music Genome Project which allows you to select a song or an artist and get other music that is similar to that selection. And, of course, Bla-Bla List, a simple but nicely done todo list application.

Geert was the only person in the entire conference that I saw that used video in his slides and this really made a big difference in how the explanation of the applications came across. While the videos played he walked us through what was happening at each step. It seemed that in a few places his videos went just slightly too fast for his explanation, but it never detracted from the presentation.

After this he went into the architecture of OpenLaszlo and how it changed the traditional MVC structure. This part garnered some questions from the crowd, but from my perspective (and a few others in the audience) it seemed like there were two types of people in the crowd. Those that understood MVC completely and those that had no idea what MVC was and were totally confused as to what these slides meant. I even had someone behind me ask me what the term URL (pronounced Earl) meant. I discussed this with Geert later and we both agreed that it was probably an audience issue rather than a presentation issue. However, Geert did clarify the term in his updated slides which are now available.

Earlier in the conference there was a session dealing with Ajax given by Justin Gehtland who showed an example application with a city/state lookup based on an entered zip code. Geert took this example application and reimplemented it in OpenLaszlo. So for those that attended the earlier presentation it was a nice clean example showing what you can do.

All-in-all I think it was an excellent intro presentation to the OpenLaszlo system. I would've liked to have seen more code examples, but there just isn't a whole lot you can get to in only an hour.
posted by JR Boyens in JIA on Oct 11, 2005 8:00 PM : 0 comments [permalink]
 

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