Wednesday, March 21, 2007

AjaxWorld 2007 Day Three (Morning)

I didn't start my Day 3 at Ajaxworld until 8:50am. There were 2 previous sessions: ASP.Net Ajax, and Kapow: Serving Mashups from the Long Tail of the Web. Fortunately - I had the opportunity to see ASP.Net Ajax in action at AOL back on March 1st from another Microsoft evangelist....which mean't I could sleep a little longer.

For 8:50am - I attended Reginald Stadlbauer: Automatically Testing the UI of Ajax: Challenges and Solutions. What I didn't realize until the talk started was that this was really a product demonstration of Squish - a UI testing tool from FrogLogic. The product appeared to be a very useful web UI testing tool that is built with Ajax testing in mind. Some downsides I saw - it appeared to be very slow, even though Reginald was testing a localhost web-app, the live demo dragged. And the price is pretty steep: $2,100 per user license. I don't know the UI testing field well enough to identify its competitors. But for what its worth, I'd try Squish in a heartbeat if it was open-source!

This session finished a little early so I ran to Google Web Toolkit: Quick Relief of Ajax Pain. But this session was overflowing with people and I couldn't get in close enough to see.

9:40am brought Christophe Conreats to the stage to demo Adobe's products: High Definition User Experience with Flex & Apollo. This was also a similar presentation to one I attended at AOL on March 1st. But since Adobe's Flex and Apollo's products look so good - it was still interesting to watch a second time. The most impressive demo was a virtual biology book with transparent layered pages that turned and over-layed organs on a cut-away view of the human body. I don't need this feature - but it's great eye-candy. For me the 4 leading Ajax toolkits/frameworks to pay attention to are: Dojo Toolkit, Adobe Flex/Apollo, Open laszlo, Prototype/

11:35am's presentation was from Helmi Technologies: Step-by-Step - Open source RIA platform. I want to say something nice, but this presentation was a complete train-wreck. The audience repeatedly shouted "we can't hear you"...but it made no difference. If they were hoping to make a good impression of Helmi - they didn't. At the end of the talk - the application never worked, and the presenters left the stage without taking any questions.

Next, JetBrain's presentation JavaScript Puzzlers was a lot of fun. In the spirit of the book Java Puzzlers, Mike Aizatsky delivered a entertaining demonstration of how tricky JavaScript coding can be. His puzzlers challenged the audience to find casting problems, differences in equal statements in JavaScript, and issues with switch statements. This wasn't an Ajax talk, but it was enjoyable -- and appropriate since JavaScript and Ajax go hand-in-hand.

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