System News
Struggling with AJAX
James Gosling Shares His Take on the Blow-by-blow Process
April 24, 2006,
Volume 98, Issue 4

Learning to listen closely to the developer community is one of the things Sun has done right.

-- James Gosling

James Gosling, father of JavaTM technology and CTO of Sun's Developer Products group, shared his views on Asynchronous JavaScriptTM and XML (AJAX) components and their incorporation into web applications with Darryl K. Taft, eWEEK senior editor in a piece entitled Gosling Outlines the Trouble With AJAX.

Sun is currently working on a number of AJAX-related projects, according to Gosling. One of the most important is making sure that server-side frameworks like JavaServerTM Faces work well with different client frameworks such as AJAX. Using JavaServer Faces to build JavaServer Faces components that can download AJAX on the client has resulted in a meta-component model that enables a variety of different components to work together, Gosling said. The big problem is in creating AJAX components, he added. Using them is one thing; making them, another.

One of the biggest difficulties in creating AJAX components, Gosling asserted, is the inability to perform cross-platform quality assurance and the difficulty of debugging, which are major obstacles in the effort to make AJAX development easier.

Taft raised the question of what, in Gosling's view, were the biggest software blunders Sun made. His first response had to do with Sun having to "play to a dozen different communities," as he put it. Learning to listen closely to the developer community is one of the things Sun has done right, he added.

Then Gosling went on to recall the tangle Sun got into over the Berkeley Software Distribution vs. UNIXR System V, Release 4 merge, which he said both marked the transition from SunOS to the SolarisTM Operating System (Solaris OS) and set Sun's operating system efforts back some two to three years.

On the other hand, he continued, one of Sun's biggest successes is clearly the Solaris OS, where the Solaris team is going all out, making downloads of the early builds of Solaris 11 OS available.

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