This week is the annual Adobe Max conference which is being held in San Francisco. We will spend some time looking at what we expect to be announced at this conference as well as covering the Channel 9 Continuum, Silverlight styling with Expression Blend 2, the new Dojo extensions for Adobe AIR, and the future of ExtJS. All this and more on the Weekly RIA RoundUp from InsideRIA.
FEATURED: Adobe Max Begins
Technologies: Flash, Flex, AIR, ColdFusion
Adobe's annual Max conference starts today in San Francisco. It is at this conference that Adobe generally makes announcements about the Flash platform as well as their server tools. There are several things that we know will hear about at Max this year:
- More information on Flex 4
- Information on the next version of AIR
- Information (and a preview release) of the RIA Design tool codenamed Thermo
- Information on the next version of ColdFusion, which is rumored to have Hibernate ORM support and new support for AIR applications
OnFlash.org (Adobe): Adobe Max 2008 - The Calm Before the Storm
RIA Design Tool - Thermo
Serge Jespers made the announcement this week on his blog that each attendee at Max would receive a preview release of Thermo (presumably under its new name). While there are still a lot of questions about this tool, we know that it is an RIA design tool that will integrate very well with the Creative Suite applications as well as Flex 4's declarative graphics framework, FXG.
Webkitchen.be (Adobe): Can't Wait to Get Your Hands on Thermo?
The Future of ExtJS
Alex Moore highlighted several items that we will be seeing in the future of ExtJS in the published ExtJS version 3 roadmap. This version will include overall speed and performance enhancements as well as features like Flash charting support. In addition, they are currently working on a visual development tool for ExtJS that will work with the upcoming version.
ORM for Adobe AIR's SQLite
AIR developers have long wanted an Object Relational Mapping (ORM) tool to use with the embedded SQLite database. Matsiya announced this week that they will soon be releasing an open-source ORM for AIR, names SOFA, that will work in a similar way to Hibernate. Like Hibernate, it will require an XML configuration file, but it will support such features as cascade saving and deleting, nested fetching, inheritance, and more.
Matsiya Technology: Introducing SOFA an Adobe Air ORM for SQlite
After playing with the examples, JxLib seems quite polished and a welcome addition to the crowd. A year ago some folks may have counted MooTools out of the game, but with at least one major release this year, a revamped website, steps towards a plug-in community, and a now a quality UI toolkit, MooTools is in the game.
It will certainly be interesting to see if this is indeed true, and if MooTools will regain some of its past fame now that this toolkit is in place.
Ajaxian: JxLib: New Browser UI Toolkit
Continuum Highlighting Microsoft UI Technologies
Technologies: Silverlight, WPF
Adam Kinney blogged this week about the Continuum, which exists to inspire developers that utilize one of the different Microsoft UI development platforms (such as WPF, Silverlight, Windows 7, IE8, ASP.NET and Surface). Adam stated,
If you are designing or developing applications for WPF, Silverlight or another Continuum technology than this mass of content will ideally be one or more of the following: relevant, interesting, inspiring, helpful and make you feel good to know there are others like you.
This site was announced before PDC, and it is great to see that it has gone live.
Adam Kinney (Microsoft): Continuum on Channel9
Dojo + Adobe AIR
Technologies: AIR, Ajax
Dojo extended its integration with AIR by providing a new set of extensions that allow developers to work with common AIR API's just as if they were working with Dojo methods. Dylan Schiemann states:
The extensions offer convenience methods for your application, wrapping many common AIR Patterns in Dojo-like constructors and providing an entire framework from which to grow. Built-in persistent storage, granular window control from creation to destruction, Window FX, Audio/Video helpers, and extra console debugging facilities are just the beginning.
These extensions will also be featured in a session at the Adobe Max conference this week.
Ajaxian: Dojo Extensions for AIR
Silverlight Styling Tutorial
Scott Guthrie posted a tutorial this week that illustrates how to develop a Twitter application with Silverlight that is styled using Expression Blend 2. The tutorial walks through the entire styling process in Blend and also provides a demo video as well as the application code.
Scott Guthrie (Microsoft): Styling a Silverlight Twitter Application with Expression Blend 2
JavaFX vs. ZK
Technologies: JavaFX, Java, ZK
Charles at Flex RIA posted about ZK, "a open source AJAX RIA development environment/tool/framework, which is Java driven and claims to be Direct RIA solution". He also argues that Sun should have gone this route instead of JavaFX. It certainly brings up some interesting points about what developers actually are looking for in desktop Java, but ultimately we will have to wait until December to see what JavaFX 1.0 will truly provide (that is if the layoffs at Sun haven't delayed the release date).
Flex888.com: Can JavaFX Desktop Save Java?
Flex888.com: Java + MXML + AJAX = ZK, Sun Should have Done This