Why did Javascript/AJAX mop the floor with Java, Flash and Silverlight? Or, why open standards eventually win

It's not always true that the neatest, most advanced technology ends up winning most of the market share. There are other reasons which get in the way. Sometimes, the less advanced solutions end up winning -- and evolve in order to become more solid and established. An example of this is Javascript/AJAX, which has conquered most of the web-based client programming -- despite the fact that there were competing technologies which could (and maybe should) have easily won, purely based on technical merits. How did that happen?

Does anybody still develop Windows applications? Or, the programming world has gone online

Steve Ballmer has recently sent a memo to every Microsoft employee. Ballmer's memo leaked really quickly (I wonder if he expected it). After swallowing the corporate-madness part (but that's allowed: he's a "mad" corporate leader after all), one particular passage really grabbed my attention. Taking about Internet applications being popular, he wrote: "But we also need to make sure developers have the .NET skills to write unique Windows applications using Windows Presentation Foundation". Which begs the question: does anybody still develop Microsoft Windows applications? Really?

Interview with Thomas Hansen, organiser of the Gaia Programming Contest

I had the chance to interview Thomas Hansen, who recently announced the Gaia Programming Contest (€10,000 reward). Here are his enlightening answers!

TM: Hello Thomas. Please tell us something about you and about the company running the contest!

Gaia Ajax Widgets: no-JavaScript Ajax

Imagine you need to create an Ajax application, and you’re scratching your head in frustration since you don’t understand prototype.js, you think using ASP.NET Ajax feels like building a car with scissors and paperclips and you don’t know enough Java to use GWT. If this is your problem, Gaia Ajax Widgets could solve your problem: Gaia abstracts away JavaScript, feels like normal ASP.NET, works on both ASP.NET and Mono—and it’s free software.

Book review: AJAX: Creating Web Pages with Asynchronous JavaScript and XML by Edmond Woychowsky

AJAX is the broadest of broad acronyms for a series of technologies that enable fashionably dynamic Web 2.0 applications. Edmond Woychowsky’s valid, technically correct and humorous book AJAX: Creating Web Pages with Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, published by Prentice Hall, plots a careful and viable path through the underlying complexity and smoke.

The book’s coverThe book’s cover

Book review: AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications by Christian Darie, Bogdan Brinzarea, Flip Chereches-Tosa

The big unstoppable trendy Web 2.0 train is at full steam, allegedly knocking downing the walls of conventional website buildings. Sure, the technologies used may date back to the beginning of the century (wow that sounds like a long time ago!). However, thanks to the publicity and dare I say hype, we are now sitting at the beginning of the second internet bubble.

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