Aptana Jaxer bridges the client and server

I believe that we’re going to see some significant post-Rails server side web tools developments this year. TurboGears and Django were both never “Rails clones” because of their history and where they came from. But, all three promote a fairly similar idea of webapps are put together on the server.

Last month, AppJet provided a look at something different. It combined transparent persistence and, importantly, a seamless ability to run code on both the client and server.

A bigger deal, though, is Aptana Jaxer which has just been introduced. Jaxer runs the Mozilla engine on the server and provides a mechanism for writing the server side of webapps in the same way that you write the client side (only without the browser compatibility headaches, of course!) You can manipulate the DOM using traditional JavaScript and have the server push out the changed document to the client. Jaxer will also automatically generate client->server proxy functions or copy code from the server to the client if you have code that needs to run in both places.

I think that Jaxer and AppJet are just the beginning. I’ll definitely be writing more about how the server is changing.

Update: I just noticed that Jaxer is licensed under the GPL. That complicates things a bit, because it seems more like a library than a compiler. In other words, you can’t freely give someone a copy of your app with Jaxer and not be forced to use the GPL. I’m not certain that you could even give them a copy of your app.

Dojo 1.0 released

I’m an early riser, usually starting work around 7AM Eastern. Today is no exception, despite the fact that this is my first day at my new job. I was surprised to find Alex Russell online when I started up this morning, but this explains it all: Dojo 1.0 has been released. Dojo 1.0 is huge (and yet compact… 23K core!) and powerful. Congrats to everyone who worked on this release!

Dojo toolkit overview at CodeMash

I’ll be speaking at CodeMash for the second year in a row. At CodeMash ’07, I did an introduction to TurboGears.

At CodeMash ’08, I’ll be doing an overview of the Dojo JavaScript toolkit. Dojo is a comprehensive and powerful package, so I’m going to do what I can to highlight nifty things the package can do. I’m going to work under the assumption that people who attend this talk understand JavaScript, but that’s really the only pre-req.

CodeMash ’07 was a remarkably well run conference, given that this was the first year. It’s a great conference to show off technology like Dojo, because there is a very diverse audience. (That’s the whole point after all: bring people from different areas together… .NET, Java, Python, Ruby and JavaScript all in one conference!)