Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: David Bermingham, Charlotte Spencer-Smith, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Tim Hinds

Related Topics: Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud

Java IoT: Article

ClearNova Exec Defends Open Source AJAX Development vs Java

Steve Benfield Objects to Comment by Yakov Fain

SYS-CON special correspondent and well-known author and teacher Yakov Fain recently took the emerging (or re-emerging) AJAX development world to task.

Writing in his recent Java blog entry, Fain (pictured above) said,

"The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. (But) every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples where this technology is being used: Google maps and e-mail. (BTW, I'm a little sick of these examples). Since I'm not going to be helping Google in improving their maps, I'd like to see some real-world examples implementing this technology."

ClearNova's Vice President of Strategy and Evangelism Steve Benfield, a leading proponent of AJAX development, took a bit of umbrage at these remarks, with a post of his own. Benfield (pictured below) protested:

"First, entry level developers can't do much to begin with. But they can use tools--as can intermediate and advanced developers. So what you'll see growing around AJAX are tools and frameworks--in droves.

"So, a better way to phrase the question is--can VB + PowerBuilder developers build their current apps without the tools they use--probably not. And even if they can, who wants to? It takes too long because hand-coding GUI is painful--something that is only for people that have too much time, bililng by the hour, or who have some very stringent functionality and/or performance goals.

"So, yes, I believe these programmers can build AJAX applications--with the right tools and frameworks.

"It is easy to say, just build it in Swing instead--but AJAX provides ubiquity across browsers with no special downloads--and it's backend independent. So you're free to choose a backend language and server whether its Java, PHP, .NET, Ruby, etc. Today, AJAX techniques can cover maybe 80% of the client/server GUI apps you might want to build. I predict more in the future.

"If you need to deliver apps to a mix audience--or you want to use a common set of programming techniques for your public and internal applications--then AJAX provides that. Any other downloadable medium does not although flash gets closer than anyone.

"Full disclosure: I represent a company that provides ThinkCAP JX, an open source, J2EE-based AJAX development environment and framework."

Sounds like the beginning of a good debate. What do you think?

More Stories By Open Source News

Enterprise Open Source News Desk trawls the fast-growing world of Professional Open Source for business-relevant items of news, opinion, and insight.

Comments (7) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
Don Babcock 12/16/05 01:15:22 PM EST

A noble idea indeed. But what troubles me is that no one seems to be considering the network/bandwidth/processing implications of AJAX. With today's broadband networks, many developers consume bandwidth as carelessly as they consume hard drive space. It's an easy mindset to get into. I've got a 200GB drive on my system that I'll never come close to filling before the system itself is obsolete. But server bandwidth (processing capacity) is not growing as fast as network bandwidth. XmlHTTP requests are a terribly inefficient way to provide client server communications if you consider the attendant request processing and protocol header overhead. The AJAX proponents argue that they are making "smaller" requests instead of entire pages. But if you calculate comm efficiency by

(data / (data + overhead)) x 100%

you can easily see that reduced data size given a fixed cost in header and other overhead actually REDUCES network efficiency. What's to prevent an ambitious HTML page coder from making a server request round trip for every keystroke (i.e. a simple auto fill field - actually being suggested as an "ideal" candidate for AJAX treatment.) My concern here is that amidst all the hype, no one is taking a hard look at the underlying software engineering considerations. I'd admit that I cut my teeth in this field back when memory and processing were scarce and expensive. But it still irks me when I see thoughtless approaches which gobble these as if they were practically unlimited. AJAX is really nothing more than yet another workaround for the inherent limitations of the browser client-server standards. It presents a wonderful opportunity for careless coders to bring servers to their knees with multiplied http requests. Think of it this way - a conventional web app pretty much only allows users to fire requests at a server and over the network in "single shot" mode. But an AJAX app built without regard to network and request traffic can easily "gun down" a server as each user sprays it with requests in "full auto." I think more needs to be said in this cautionary vein. Most developers don't seem to consider network and request overhead issues appropriately. They just focus on the client and assume the server/network will be there for them. I think many will discover significant scaling problems with their "noble" AJAX applications.

SVen 12/15/05 12:51:08 PM EST

I think there is some seriously flawed reasoning behind the Ajax approach. Writing event based code for the HTML widgets and perform some asynchronous tasks is nothing new. (Dynamically updated cascading menus using hidden applets to HTTP requests has been around for several years.) The Ajax tools just make it possible to do heavier async tasks and perhaps easier.

But I can tell you, even simple functionality like Form Input Validation in Java Script on a frontend quickly becomes tedious and unsupportable in reallife. Everytime backend rules change, more has to change on the frontend.

I cannot understand how you can deploy heavier and heavier functionality under the guise of a thin client not pay the price.

In otherwords, you are almost working like an ActiveX or an Applet but trying to look like HTML. Alternative is Swing or Active/X. All Ajax gives is avoiding downloading the JRE? Or you do not want to use the JRE? But Swing and Active/X are very well defined OO programming paradigms with excellent production management possibilities. can Java Script or any other script ever compete with an OO platform for production management and longterm total cost of ownership and value?

Isn't JRE an insurance against platform/browser vagaries?

Doesn't the user expect to download the JRE when he expects to use a rich client experience?

Ajax is against good programming common sense.

SVen 12/15/05 12:48:58 PM EST

I think there is some seriously flawed reasoning behind the Ajax approach. Writing event based code for the HTML widgets and perform some asynchronous tasks is nothing new. (Dynamically updated cascading menus using hidden applets to HTTP requests has been around for several years.) The Ajax tools just make it possible to do heavier async tasks and perhaps easier.

But I can tell you, even simple functionality like Form Input Validation in Java Script on a frontend quickly becomes tedious and unsupportable in reallife. Everytime backend rules change, more has to change on the frontend.

I cannot understand how you can deploy heavier and heavier functionality under the guise of a thin client not pay the price.

In otherwords, you are almost working like an ActiveX or an Applet but trying to look like HTML. Alternative is Swing or Active/X. All Ajax gives is avoiding downloading the JRE? Or you do not want to use the JRE? But Swing and Active/X are very well defined OO programming paradigms with excellent production management possibilities. can Java Script or any other script ever compete with an OO platform for production management and longterm total cost of ownership and value?

Isn't JRE an insurance against platform/browser vagaries?

Doesn't the user expect to download the JRE when he expects to use a rich client experience?

Ajax is against good programming common sense.

SYS-CON Canada News Desk 12/14/05 05:37:00 PM EST

ClearNova Exec Defends Open Source AJAX Development vs Java. 'A Cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please,' wrote Yakov Fain in his recent article for JDJ blog entry. 'The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. (But) every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples.' Now ClearNova's Steve Benfield, an AJAX proponent, has responded.

JDJ News Desk 12/14/05 05:20:21 PM EST

'A Cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please,' wrote Yakov Fain in his recent article for JDJ blog entry. 'The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. (But) every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples.' Now ClearNova's Steve Benfield, an AJAX proponent, has responded.

JDJ News Desk 12/14/05 05:13:17 PM EST

ClearNova Exec Defends Open Source AJAX Development vs Java. 'A Cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please,' wrote Yakov Fain in his recent article for JDJ blog entry. 'The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. (But) every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples.' Now ClearNova's Steve Benfield, an AJAX proponent, has responded.

JDJ News Desk 12/14/05 04:14:52 PM EST

'A Cup of AJAX? Nay, Just Regular Java Please,' wrote Yakov Fain in a recent article for SYS-CON Media's JDJ. 'The idea is noble: instead of rendering an entire HTML page on each little change on the page, it's much better to send an asynchronous request that will get the data for you and refresh only the relevant portion of the screen. (But) every author writing on AJAX is giving the same (the only?) examples.' Now ClearNova's Steve Benfield, an AJAX proponent, has responded.

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that VAI, a leading ERP software provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. VAI (Vormittag Associates, Inc.) is a leading independent mid-market ERP software developer renowned for its flexible solutions and ability to automate critical business functions for the distribution, manufacturing, specialty retail and service sectors. An IBM Premier Business Part...
Fortunately, meaningful and tangible business cases for IoT are plentiful in a broad array of industries and vertical markets. These range from simple warranty cost reduction for capital intensive assets, to minimizing downtime for vital business tools, to creating feedback loops improving product design, to improving and enhancing enterprise customer experiences. All of these business cases, which will be briefly explored in this session, hinge on cost effectively extracting relevant data from ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 ad...
As enterprises work to take advantage of Big Data technologies, they frequently become distracted by product-level decisions. In most new Big Data builds this approach is completely counter-productive: it presupposes tools that may not be a fit for development teams, forces IT to take on the burden of evaluating and maintaining unfamiliar technology, and represents a major up-front expense. In his session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Andrew Warfield, CTO and Co-Founder of Coho Data, will dis...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
The cloud promises new levels of agility and cost-savings for Big Data, data warehousing and analytics. But it’s challenging to understand all the options – from IaaS and PaaS to newer services like HaaS (Hadoop as a Service) and BDaaS (Big Data as a Service). In her session at @BigDataExpo at @ThingsExpo, Hannah Smalltree, a director at Cazena, will provide an educational overview of emerging “as-a-service” options for Big Data in the cloud. This is critical background for IT and data profes...
With the Apple Watch making its way onto wrists all over the world, it’s only a matter of time before it becomes a staple in the workplace. In fact, Forrester reported that 68 percent of technology and business decision-makers characterize wearables as a top priority for 2015. Recognizing their business value early on, FinancialForce.com was the first to bring ERP to wearables, helping streamline communication across front and back office functions. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Kevin Roberts...
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, will discuss the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry's single source for the cloud. Fusion's advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including clou...
Most people haven’t heard the word, “gamification,” even though they probably, and perhaps unwittingly, participate in it every day. Gamification is “the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (as a task) so as to encourage participation.” Further, gamification is about bringing game mechanics – rules, constructs, processes, and methods – into the real world in an effort to engage people. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robert Endo, owner and engagement manager of Intrepid D...
Eighty percent of a data scientist’s time is spent gathering and cleaning up data, and 80% of all data is unstructured and almost never analyzed. Cognitive computing, in combination with Big Data, is changing the equation by creating data reservoirs and using natural language processing to enable analysis of unstructured data sources. This is impacting every aspect of the analytics profession from how data is mined (and by whom) to how it is delivered. This is not some futuristic vision: it's ha...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
Learn how IoT, cloud, social networks and last but not least, humans, can be integrated into a seamless integration of cooperative organisms both cybernetic and biological. This has been enabled by recent advances in IoT device capabilities, messaging frameworks, presence and collaboration services, where devices can share information and make independent and human assisted decisions based upon social status from other entities. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Heydt, founder of Seamless...
The IoT's basic concept of collecting data from as many sources possible to drive better decision making, create process innovation and realize additional revenue has been in use at large enterprises with deep pockets for decades. So what has changed? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Prasanna Sivaramakrishnan, Solutions Architect at Red Hat, discussed the impact commodity hardware, ubiquitous connectivity, and innovations in open source software are having on the connected universe of people, thi...
WebRTC: together these advances have created a perfect storm of technologies that are disrupting and transforming classic communications models and ecosystems. In his session at WebRTC Summit, Cary Bran, VP of Innovation and New Ventures at Plantronics and PLT Labs, provided an overview of this technological shift, including associated business and consumer communications impacts, and opportunities it may enable, complement or entirely transform.
There are so many tools and techniques for data analytics that even for a data scientist the choices, possible systems, and even the types of data can be daunting. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Harrold, Global CTO for Big Data Solutions for EMC Corporation, showed how to perform a simple, but meaningful analysis of social sentiment data using freely available tools that take only minutes to download and install. Participants received the download information, scripts, and complete end-t...
For manufacturers, the Internet of Things (IoT) represents a jumping-off point for innovation, jobs, and revenue creation. But to adequately seize the opportunity, manufacturers must design devices that are interconnected, can continually sense their environment and process huge amounts of data. As a first step, manufacturers must embrace a new product development ecosystem in order to support these products.
Manufacturing connected IoT versions of traditional products requires more than multiple deep technology skills. It also requires a shift in mindset, to realize that connected, sensor-enabled “things” act more like services than what we usually think of as products. In his session at @ThingsExpo, David Friedman, CEO and co-founder of Ayla Networks, discussed how when sensors start generating detailed real-world data about products and how they’re being used, smart manufacturers can use the dat...
When it comes to IoT in the enterprise, namely the commercial building and hospitality markets, a benefit not getting the attention it deserves is energy efficiency, and IoT’s direct impact on a cleaner, greener environment when installed in smart buildings. Until now clean technology was offered piecemeal and led with point solutions that require significant systems integration to orchestrate and deploy. There didn't exist a 'top down' approach that can manage and monitor the way a Smart Buildi...