talking about…well, it’s just javascript

People have been talking about “Flash Killer” again and I suppose it’s logical that they are Apple people, since Apple hasn’t tried to do this before, so it’s novel to them, and they’re very excited about having ‘their team’ beat out Flash. Well, ok, so aside from the silliness of the ‘team” thing what do we really have here? We have sproutcore, and that’s a really cool name. And what is it? Well, it apparently is something that will: “replace Flash without requiring any secondary plugin runtime”. Ooh, tell me more! Well: “Cocoa for Windows + Flash Killer = SproutCore”. Oh! Wow! So, what is it? What is this revolutionary new technology? It’s….prototype. The classic and pretty damn awesome javascript library used damn near everywhere. It’s what ships with Rails. What else? Well, some other pretty sweet javascript libraries! And? Merb+ActiveRecord! And…that’s about it. Ok. So, really, what it is, is a nice, pretty lightweight Ruby library with a large Javascript library to facilitate building out UIs. And, that, well, I’m not sure what that’s supposed to prove. Is that really going to be a Flash Killer? Meh, me thinks probably not. Why? Well, because if these tools were going to “kill Flash” they already would have done it because they’ve been around for a while. Now, I do believe in an open web, I do believe in Javascript, I like merb, and while, you know, it’s pretty silly to have ‘a team’ I guess it’s fine to get all excited about what ‘your team’ does, seriously, I watch Microsoft and Adobe guys do it all the time. (Seriously, really, people, “your team” is your clients and your co-workers, not the companies that build your tech stacks). But seriously, guys, “Flash Killer”? That’s just silly.

Ok, so I was reading this “Flash killing” news from this post at roughlydrafted and while he said some kind of silly things, one thing he said that I agree with is this:

“…RIAs haven’t really taken on the world by storm. Instead, Flash, Silverlight and other proprietary tools and their required runtime plugins are all still aiming at some future date when they can claim the status of being the platform monopoly in RIA development. (EDIT this line is just silly, and not what I was interested in this quote :) However, many of the most popular rich web apps today are from Google, including Maps, Reader, Docs, and Sheets. Google’s rich web apps take on Microsoft Office desktop apps without needing Flash, Silverlight, or Java.”

which I’ll give him, is a fair point, and something I’ve said before as well. Food for thought. Anyways, even though I tease it here, I might even use sproutcore on something, I like Merb, and the ORM in it seems nice. And, of course, if you want to make iPhone apps, well then, one knows what they need to do.

4 thoughts on “talking about…well, it’s just javascript

  1. Howdy, thanks for the reality-check, appreciated.

    I don’t recall anyone from Macromedia or Adobe caring about “achieving monopoly”… the conversation has been about achieving *capability* instead. As this capability has been achieved, others have said they will soon also offer capability. At some point there’s pushback against overblown hype, but that’s about it.

    Google apps lock you into Google’s ad-selling mechanism, their personalization databases. Each person needs to reach their own decision on this. (I’m amazed that some care about code, but not about proprietary and opaque databases.) Google does use Flash video, Measure Map graphs, Flash API to Maps. Not sure he has a point.

    That SproutCore discussion was based off a pair of hype-essayists, with other techbloggers echo-ing it in the early Monday news vaccuum. More a social thing than a tech thing.

    Thanks for confirming the facts, makes me feel the world isn’t *all* crazy…. ;-)


  2. Yeah, I edited that line, that wasn’t what I was interested in, what I was interested in was the comment about Google docs, which is, in fact, the most widely used RIA-ish web app out there. There is a ton of lock-in on it, fair point, but I think that’s totally outweighed by the usability and simplicity of the apps. I don’t think he was talking so much about Flash tools (i.e. video, mapping, etc) but Flash (read Flex) apps, which is something that I wonder about: I like using Google docs built in JS, would I like using Google docs built in the Flash Player?

  3. If you want to find out if you’d like using Google docs in Flash (Flex) try buzzword;

    It’s a true replacement for Word online. The features are things that are not easily doable in js right now. It’s not for everyone, and there is no real right choice in my opinion, but it does have it’s strengths that js currently cannot touch, i.e. wrapping text around images in real time, better tables, better organization, better syncing, etc. Just my opinion, but it’s worth a look if you’re willing to compare the two apps.

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