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I wonder how many people, as I did, found themselves thrown into confusion by the death last week of Jean Ichbiah (pictured), inventor of Ada.  Learning that the inventor of a computer programming language is already old enough to have lived 66 years (Ichbiah was 66 when he succumbed to brain cancer) is a little like learning that your 11-year-old daughter has grown up and left home or that the first car you ever bought no longer is legal because it runs on gasoline in an age where all automobiles must run on water. How can something as novel, as new, as a computing language possibly already be so old-fangled that an early practitioner like Ichbiah can already no longer be with us? The thought was so disquieting that it took me immediately back to the last time I wrote about Ichbiah, and indeed about Ada Lovelace for whom his language was named. It was in the context ... (more)

Data Services Made Easy for Adobe Flex Applications

Flex has gotten popular lately because of its rich GUI capabilities. It also comes in handy with HTTPService and Web Service components connecting to back-end servers to fetch and update data. But using this mechanism to talk to the back-end server requires formulating a unique service object from the Flex side, making a request, and getting back data from the back-end either in XML or plain text format. The response data then has to be parsed and fed to the Flex objects to update the UI. For small to medium-size Flex projects it's a viable solution, but for enterprise projects w... (more)

The Future of Rich Web Apps: Melding the Web and the Desktop

Experts at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania have been considering the future of Web apps vs desktop apps. While they predict that any gap between web and desktop software will narrow in the future, one wild card is how well hybrid webtop/desktop applications will match the features of their desktop cousins. "Creating a cross-platform application that 'feels right' to individual users of Windows, Mac and Linux platforms is a tricky task," notes Kendall Whitehouse, senior director of information technology at Wharton, at one point in the discussion, recorded in ... (more)

AJAX Reporting Challenges & Solutions with Adobe Flex

Creating reporting applications in AJAX is often more challenging than developing data entry CRUD applications. Reporters usually need to process lots of data, preferably on the client side to minimize the amount of information that goes through the wire. Reporters need to know how to apply formulas, group the data, and calculate totals and subtotals. Add to the mix a requirement to give the end user an ability to customize the look and feel of the report, and you're facing a serious project. Currently AJAX frameworks don't offer advanced reporting capabilities. So let's go over ... (more)

AJAX World RIA Conference & Expo Attracts Top Faculty

Rich Internet Applications offer the potential to fundamentally change the user experience and in doing so, yield significant business benefits. The theme of this October's AJAXWorld Conference & Expo 2008 West is 'Beyond AJAX to the RIA Era' and the Call for Papers, which is still open, specifically encourages submissions from exceptional speakers with high-quality use cases of the fast-emerging RIA alternatives. Call for Papers Now Open - Submit Your Speaking Proposal Here ! The business value of RIAs is very clear: aesthetics do matter and users would like a pleasant experience.... (more)

Adobe Pre-Announces Q1 Results

Adobe, the subject of a lot of Wall Street downgrades lately, pre-announced Wednesday and said it will fall short of its revenue target of $800 million-$850 million for the February quarter. Instead it should clear 30 cents a share (GAAP) on revenues of $783 million-$786 million, That would be 44 cents or 45 cents a share on a non-GAAP basis. The numbers work out to a 26%-26.5% gross margin on a GAAP basis and 37%-37.5% on a non-GAAP basis, slightly less than it had hoped for but within range thanks to cost controls. Everybody knows that Adobe’s Creative Suite 4 hasn’t been sell... (more)