With the hub, multiple AJAX run-time libraries would be able to coexist on a page. Version 1.0 of the OpenAjax Hub is planned for completion by the end of this calendar year; integration of the hub into AJAX toolkits is expected in early 2007.
Clearly, Ajax will be far more successful if any widget works with any other widget, toolkit or platform.” Support for the hub is expected in toolkits such as Dojo and script.aculo.us as well as in AJAX frameworks such as Tibco General Interface and offerings from Backbase, JackBe and Nexaweb. “No one has made any commitments [to use the hub yet] but generally, [the parties cited] are all active in the alliance,” said Ferraiolo.
The unveiling of the hub is part of an update on the alliance’s activities that was provided last month. The group will announce a near-doubling of its membership since its formation in February. New members include The Ajaxian, American Greetings, Bling Software, Curl, edge IPK, eLink Business Innovations, ENOVIA, MatrixOne, Finetooth, The Front Side, Ikivo, ILOG, IN2, IT Mill, Javeline, JWAX, Merced Systems, Nexaweb, Nitobi, OpenLink Software, Seagull Software, Sitepen, Sun, Vertex Logic, Vircon, Webtide and Zoho.
Previously announced members of the alliance include: Adobe, Backbase, BEA Systems, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Fair Isaac, Google, IBM, ICEsoft, Innoopract, Intel, JackBe, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla Corp., Novell, Openwave Systems, Opera, Oracle, Red Hat, SAP, Scalix, Software AG, Tibco, XML11, Zend and Zimbra.
While the alliance already has an impressive list of members, one name remains conspicuously absent: Microsoft.
“Yes, we have extended an invitation and attempted to recruit Microsoft to join,” Ferraiolo said. “We would love to have Microsoft participate in the alliance.”
He continued by saying that “the purpose of the alliance is to make interoperability successful such that you can take AJAX technologies from one source and use it with another vendor’s. Microsoft is one of [those] vendors and an important vendor in the AJAX community and it would be to everybody’s advantage, particularly customers, if Microsoft’s products would interoperate well with other people’s products,” said Ferraiolo.
He added he was not making a statement that Microsoft products currently do not interoperate.
Although Microsoft has promoted AJAX via its Atlas technologies, Microsoft currently does not have plans to join.
“Microsoft has no firm plans to join the OpenAjax Alliance. However, Microsoft is very committed to working with the developer community and is engaged in dialogue with the OpenAjax Alliance organizers to learn more about the initiative,” Microsoft said in a prepared statement.
The alliance seeks to serve as an industry catalyst to boost AJAX-enabled Web 2.0 applications. Ferraiolo defines Web 2.0 as a new generation of the Web focused on collaboration.
OpenAjax technologies are intended to produce lower development costs, faster delivery of applications, vendor choice, interoperability and a richer Web experience. Greater collaboration capabilities that can be added to existing HTML sites or used for new applications is another goal.
Also unveiled in September was the organization’s Web site (www.openajax.org) and a white paper covering a description of AJAX, the AJAX value proposition and a technical section on AJAX architectures.
These architectures include single and dual DOMs (Document Object Model), in which the single model involves processing everything in HTML browsers, while the dual approach involves using an XML parser that holds the description of the UI. The dual model offers a richer set of functionality but requires a larger download, typically, Ferraiolo said.
AJAX in the open source world also is being included in the alliance’s list of issues to cover. One of the goals for the alliance is the ability to have a zero-cost option, but it’s not trying to lock out vendors from making money at all,” said Ferraiolo.
A second meeting of the alliance was planned for October in Santa Clara, Calif. The alliance plans to announce that it has moved to a governance model that includes a steering committee.