I’ve submitted a panel idea for South by Southwest 2008. If enough people vote for it, I’ll by talking about “AJAX and Flash mistakes”. My theory is that people talk way too much about successes, and not enough about their failures. We’ve had plenty of each, but if accepted, I’ll be talking exclusively about our failures.
So please: vote for me! The panel picker interface this year is very gmail-esque and cool.
My talk from last year was an inspirational little thing about how Flash and AJAX have a lot of synergies. Check it out below.
While you’re at it, vote for Rashmi’s MUCH funnier panel on “True Stories from Social Media Sites”. It will be a guaranteed laff riot. And it has audience participation, so it will wake you from your deepest SXSW hangover. Here’s the description:
Social websites are funny places. What stories do you tell over drinks with friends? Tell us about when someone accidently revealed their company’s business plans, or uploaded the *wrong* folder of pictures to your site. Share stories of funny bugs, features gone haywire, or crazy customer emails. Stories solicited from audience (maximum 5 minutes / story).
Youtube is the cannonical success story for Flash Video. I’m wondering, where is the big consumer success story for Flash Sockets?
I had long assumed that cool web chat applications like Meebo and GMail-Embedded-GTalk used Flash sockets. But on closer investigation both of them are using COMET.
What gives? What are some examples of massive scale webapps that use sockets? And please, no custom-built inside-the-firewall type app stuff. I want to know about popular consumer webapps that leverage Flash sockets.
The Uzanto team has been hammering away at an awesome new social web app that we will be releasing into the wild “real soon now”. One of the things we’ve learned while building it is that Flash is an absolutely essential component of the modern web.
Flash gets a bad rep among programmers. The programming model is very different from typical programming languages, and the uses of the technology have typically been annoying (banner adds, skip-intro splash pages). More recently, AJAX has emerged as an extremely popular way of introducing dynamic behavior into web pages. So why do we even need Flash?
AJAX Info writes about the network effects that are driving AJAX adoption in the enterprise and consumer space.
Programming languages in general benefit from network effects. To boil this down we could say that as more people use a particular language, the value derrived from using it increases exponentially. An example of this might be that as more people start using Ajax, more resources, information, and 3rd party components become available.
Another key point is that AJAX is a continuous, rather than a discontinuous technology. It builds on existing skillsets that web developers have in a way that some other technologies don’t.
He also presents a nice comparison of AJAX to some alternative rich client technologies. The upshot? Vendor Independence and Skill Set Transferrance are the major differentiators. Read the whole thing!
Why don’t more people think of using Flash in this way? In a word, positioning. Bosworth writes: I do think there’s a very distracting red herring here, and that’s Flash’s rich user interface abilities. Every flash demo I’ve ever seen focuses on great looking shiny buttons that look like you took a slick win32 app and plopped it down in a browser window.
A nice little white paper comparing the different RIA technologies has just been published. It’s a good 30,000 ft overview of the different technologies available (including java and xaml and other non-swf, non-AJAX solutions). Among other things, it’s a great collection of links to articles and documentation on Flash, Laszlo/Flex, AJAX, etc.