OpenLaszlo on Slashdot

Interest in OpenLaszlo is certainly heating up. Yesterday saw the third post to Slashdot about OpenLaszlo — yes, Slashdot is still relevant even in this age of Digg and Reddit. I was especially intrigued by a post written by someone who has been using OpenLaszlo for over a year, and who commented that "our application dynamically loads in its objects and layout from a db, completely configurable…"

Building LoR up into a DSL for supporting OL apps at a very high level of abstraction is worth pursuing. Feeding XML datasets to a grid is fine, but there is much more payoff in making OL components self-aware, not in the sense of being sentient, but in the sense of being created, positioned and controlled in a totally data-driven way. The more that line between data and logic is blurred, the more one approaches absolute power. 


One thought on “OpenLaszlo on Slashdot

  1. Cheers Mike, I’d not seen that. It’s great to see OL getting high-profile coverage.

    To blur the data/logic divide, OL needs to be looking beyond XML as a means to manipulate data. As it stands, we lose much of the Rails functionality because of the divisions between Laszlo and Rails and the need to dip into XML to bridge the gap.

    For example, if I want to do validation within OL, I have to somehow extrapolate the validation information from my Rails model into XML, then tell OL to request that info and store it in a dataset. This feels pretty clumsy, and it goes against Rails’ DRY methodology. As long as we’re using XML as our ‘babelfish,’ there will always be a hazy layer of separation that gets in the way or the data, logic and display layers.

    Were OL to have AMF support (and if we could port AMFPHP or OpenAMF to “RailsAMF”), it would really break down the barriers and make our lives happier. Not only is AMF faster than XML, but it blurs the divides between Flash and the backend in a way that XML cannot. Look at the evolving ColdFusion connectivity in the current Flex 2.0 beta release for some inspiration. ( )

    What I describe would take large-scale collaborative efforts from the OpenLaszlo and Rails communities, but imagine an LoR where Rails classes can be mapped to Laszlo classes, and where there’s no XML barrier in between. Once we’ve got that, absolute power wouldn’t be so far off.

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