OpenLaszlo – Cool Flash for Clunky Java people

Flash is created by cool people who wear black and use Apple Macs. If you’re not sure as to what flash is, the chances are that if you’ve seen something on the web recently that made you go ‘wow’ for it’s coolness, then it was built using Adobe Flash.

To add substance to this froth Java people can use Flash (instead of normal web pages) to create cool pages that do useful stuff. For example Google Analytics uses Java and Flash to create a stunning User Interface. Even though Ajax and DHTML give you a lot of interactivity on your web pages, Flash goes one better at the small cost of not being as good for SEO and requiring a plugin (that most people already have installed).

So, what are you to do if you want to combine the coolness of Flash with the heavy lifting of Enterprise Java on the Server? The two main options are:

  1. Flex from Adobe is one way for Java people to create flash. The core toolkit is free, but the editor costs about $500 and that’s before you pay for using it on your servers. More details in the previous blogposts on Adobe Apollo and Adobe Flex.
  2. Open Laszlo Project is open source all the way, but does’t have a drag and drop editor (i.e. it’s more technical than graphical). Still , it allows you to create some cool effects , such as this Flash Clock.

Which framework will win out? I don’t know , and that’s before you even consider the Standard Java Web Frameworks such as Struts 2.

More (In progess) notes on Open Java and Flash are on the wiki. In an impulse buy , I bought the OpenLaszlo in Action yesterday. As an EBook , with rebate (coupon LZ35607 before the end of August) it costs about 10 Euro. Initial impressions are good (both for the book and Open Laszlo) , but I’m still working my way through it (so don’t quote me on it).

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Disclaimer: I get a rebate if you buy the book from Amazon, but not if you buy the (Cheaper) E-Book direct from Manning. I bought the E-Book this time, but have got free books from Manning in the past for having reviewed (as yet unpublished) JBoss items.

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Drogheda Library follows the Ryanair Model

Think of Libraries as an early version of the internet, with books instead of pdf’s and web pages. You would think that as places of study , they would encourage student’s to use modern technology as part of revising for their Leaving Cert. Wrong.
Drogheda Borough Council Logo

Our local library in Drogheda has banned people from using laptops in the library. The excuse is that they can’t find a practical way of charging for the electricity they use. And don’t even think of asking for free wireless access. And all the student was asking for was a quick charge of his MacBook so he could do a final study session before his exam.
Forget about Web 2. If we don’t get the basics right we’re doomed.

Update

The Drogheda Independent has just picked up on this story (almost word for word). More to follow.

Update 2.

O’Reilly Radar have a very interesting related story (If Libraries had shareholders) with detailed graphs showing how people are using libraries less and less for the books, and more and more for the internet

Enterprise Web 2 Book – latest chapters (workflow,rules,search)

This an in progress draft of ‘Financial knowledge capture using Rules , Workflow, Search and Enterprise Web 2.0‘, complimenting the Red-Piranha Open Software project.


Chapter 1 – Introductionnotes

Chapter 2 – Problem Domain good draft

Chapter 3 – Red – Piranha Framework good draft

Chapter 4 – Technical Overviewdraft [new]

Chapter 5 – Financial Workflowdraft [new]

Chapter 6 – Financial Calculator and Business Rulesdraft [new]

Chapter 7 – Adaptive Searchgood draft [new]

Chapter 8 – Future Work and Conclusionnotes

Chapter 9 – Appendicesnotes


Barcamp Presentation Summary – Enterprise Web 2.0

A quick summary of the Barcamp talk on Enterprise Web 2

Until now, innovation has stopped at the corporate firewall, with most of the Web 2 activity taking place in the personal and consumer space. With blogs (slowly) coming to the attention of the business mainstream, what is next to be taken up? Why should large companies bother? How will they implement it, or is Enterprise Web 2 just a fancy name for stuff they are doing anyway? More importantly, will anybody make a living out of it?

Any thoughts / comments / suggestions on what people what like to see?

Barcamp Dublin Logo

And the winners of the Feedburner T-Shirts are..

And the winners of the Feedburner T-Shirts (as chosen by our completely automated selection process) are …. at the bottom of this post.

In another shock scandal, Bernie Goldbach got disqualified by following a link from his own blog. He did send the most (25) commenters our way, and since we’re making this up as we go along, if anybody doesn’t take up their prize , I’ll pass one onto him.

Thanks to everybody who took part , and to everybody who posted the message on their blogs! (Bernie , Damian, Phil, Billy Leo and Podcasting Ireland.

Drum Roll please …. The winners are ….

Feedburner logo

What happens next? I have the winners emails , so I will contact them directly to arrange posting the stuff out.

Many Eyes – A Web 2 Service from IBM – Graph Pretty Picture from Excel

It’s been a while since we posted a pretty picture on the blog. Not an Andrea Corr or Paris Hilton kind of pretty picture, but one to liven up the general flow of text on this site.

Just as well then that IBM has announced ManyEyes , an online Service to take boring old numbers and turn them into the kind of graphics that you see below. It’s pretty simple to use : upload your data in a table (Excel like) format, then select how you want to view it. They even provided a wizard to allow you to link the results on your own site.

For example: This is the Value of 1 US Dollar against the Other Major Currencies (Euro , Yen, Sterling , Yuan).

Interesting, in this Ajax-y world, that it’s implemented as a Java Applet. Maybe Bruce was right?

Race you to 100 Subscribers on Feedburner?

Update: Ok Ken ,congratulations on hitting 100 so soon – what are you having? Just noticed your ‘105 subscribers‘ post. Didn’t even get a chance to deploy my ‘secret weapon’.

At the risk of having to shell out for a 2nd Pint (that’s the marketing budget blown then), anybody up for ‘Biggest increase in subscribers’ (%) between now and the blog awards? Same rules – no gouging , no biting , no photoshopping or double subscribing but everything else is fair game?

Round 2 is now online here

Original:I’ve just noticed that Ken McGuire has about the same number of subscribers on Feedburner (he has 86, I have 83 – it’s the number on the top right hand side of the blog) with both numbers increasing gradually over the weeks. No doubt Ken has the same ‘mad-take-over-the-world’ ambitions as me , or a least has a target of getting these into three-digit figures as soon as possible.

So , I’m proposing a race. First to get to 100 subscribers on any given day wins. No biting , no eye-gouging , no photo-shopping, no double-subscribing but otherwise anything goes. Loser buys the winner a beer at the Irish Blog Awards.

Feedburner Logo

Anybody else feel like joining in? Same rules, but to make it fair , we may have to have some sort of handicap system for people with subscribers much higher or lower than us (i.e. we might need to give Tom Raftery a target of 1000).