9/19/2003

Mainstream Press!!

InfoWorld: Laszlo builds flashy Web apps: September 19, 2003: By James R. Borck: Application Development

I originally said "Wahoo", but it looks like tere are some points that need to be addressed in this review.

The author understands the choice of plug-ins: "With a reported market penetration topping 90 percent of desktop users, Flash makes for a readily available client component"

but later slams that technology decision: "Laszlo’s dependence upon the availability of the free, third-party, nonstandardized Flash client, rather than a Laszlo-supported rendering engine, may also be of concern to the wary IT manager."
Now wait a second... One would assume that it is in the best interest of Macromedia to maintain backward compatibility with ALL flash content. Even the stuff they don't like. Anyone care to relive Office 97?

But in the enterprise space with a closed installation, IT controls what gets installed where. So I can see his point. But if I were in the middle of a large scale deployment, I would tend to choose a product that has had millions of man hours of testing rather than hundreds.

One nit: "I also confronted shortcomings in its development environment"
This is almost silly because there is no development environment. This is not a bad thing, you can use any xml-aware editor to develop LZX. I like Xemacs, my boss likes vi somehow we still get things done.

"Upon receiving a client request, Laszlo’s compiler combines the LZX tags, scripts, media files, and Flash resources into executable bytecode, compresses it, and streams the Flash executable."
Right, this process is only done once per application and only during development. When you deploy your server, you set it to cache the compiled swf which is served up much faster.

"So migrating existing code may require a good deal of tweaking."
uhhh... yeah?

"The solution’s data-binding mechanisms are limited to XML, lacking support for JDBC and direct JMS integration, for example."
This is not true nor was at the time of the review.

"I found it easy to compile and deploy my smaller sample applications, whereas managing and maintaining larger LZX applications proved taxing."
This is very odd because LZX is specifically designed for large applications. Large applications belong in source code control systems, with all of the good and bad that comes with it. Compare LZX to php, python, perl or java, and you see many simmilarities. Compare it to VB or MS Access VBA and you will find many differences.

It seemed to me that this reviewer was looking for MSAccess and found WebLogic

I need to refine my thoughts as the blog rolls...

Here's a funny update:
James touts Altio, and I looked into the article he linked and found this gem:In our testing, we ran into a problem: Deployment of two or more applets simultaneously within a browser demanded that client-side polling -- rather than server streaming -- be used, limiting the server push capabilities. Altio is aware of the difficulty and anticipates having the issue resolved by the next release.

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