OpenAjax Face-to-Face Results

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on October 27, 2008 at 7:59 am

The members of OpenAjax Alliance held a face-to-face meeting on Thursday October 23 in San Jose, hosted by Microsoft. It was a packed day that covered several key issues. This article summarizes what happened. Complete minutes can be found at:

The two main slide decks used at the meeting have been posted at:

Recent accomplishments

Jon Ferraiolo summarized accomplishments since the last face-to-face meeting (March 2008):

  • Near completion of the OpenAjax Hub 1.1 and OpenAjax Metadata specs (for JavaScript APIs and widgets)
  • Open source implementation of Hub 1.1 and the widget features found in OpenAjax Metadata
  • Open source implementation of a sample mashup editor that uses Hub 1.1 and Metadata, and also adapter logic for Google Gadgets and an OpenSearch-compatible widget repository
  • Open source software to convert JSDoc annotations within JavaScript files into OpenAjax Metadata
  • Open source software to generate OpenAjax Metadata for the YUI toolkit
  • Open source schema for OpenAjax Metadata and open source validator
  • Completion of a major industry interoperability event, the 2008 InteropFest, where multiple industry leaders showcased their support for OpenAjax Hub 1.1 and/or OpenAjax Metadata. On the IDE side, participants included Adobe Dreamweaver, Aptana, Eclipse (JSDT) and IBM Rational Application Developer. On the mashup side, participants included the OpenAjax Alliance’s own open source project, Dojo Foundation, Google, IBM Opus Una (multi-user, interactive mashups), ILOG, Nexaweb, Programmable Web, SAP and TIBCO. (press release, Application Development Trends, , eWeek, , Infoworld, , Trading Partners)
  • Two white papers: Introduction to Mobile Ajax for Developers, Good News for Ajax – The Browser Wars Are Back
  • Mobile Device APIs initiative (use cases, requirements, security considertations, style guide) and successful transfer of our early work to the OMTP BONDI project
  • Browser wishlist initiative, which proved to be a big success
  • Speaking engagements at countless conferences
  • Organization of the OpenAjax Pavillion event to happen at Mashup Camp on Nov 17.

Working Group Charters

The charters for the three chartered working groups all expire at the end of 2008. After discussion, the attendees decided to not renew the Marketing Working Group’s charter at this time and divide its responsibilities between the Steering Committee and the various technical working groups, where each technical working group’s charter must include marketing plans. The attendees decided that we should renew the IDE Working Group and Interoperability Working Group until Dec. 2009. The Interoperability Working Group would take over responsibility for the OpenAjax Conformance specification. We might charter other working groups around Gadgets and Mashups, Mobile and Security at the point which those task forces need to produce something official.

2008 InteropFest Show and Tell

For a couple of hours, we saw demonstrations from the following vendors: OpenAjax Alliance’s open source project, Adobe, ILOG, Lightstreamer and SAP.

OpenAjax Hub 1.1, OpenAjax Metadata and Mashable Widgets

We reviewed our list of open items, which we will work through over email and upcoming phone calls. Four key resolutions:

  • Drive towards completion of OpenAjax Hub 1.1 and OpenAjax Metadata on a fast track, with weekly phone calls to discuss open issues, and shoot for early 2009 finalization and approval.
  • Push the “mashable widgets” features found in OpenAjax Metadata into a separate supplemental specification so that the mashup features do not slow down completion of Hub 1.1 and Metadata.
  • Work towards reconciling OpenAjax mashable widgets with Google Gadgets to achieve specfication alignment to be as close as possible, while living with the constraints that many of the widget features in OpenAjax Metadata will not be changed because they are already supported in commercial products (e.g., Adobe Dreamweaver and IBM Rational Developer).
  • Soon before finalizing OpenAjax Hub 1.1, we will rename it to OpenAjax Hub 2.0. (We will hold off on the renaming because the brand “Hub 1.1″ is used quite a bit in industry, and we think changing the name at a later point will minimize confusion in the industry.)

OpenAjax Registry and OpenAjax Conformance

We will turn the OpenAjax Registry into a lightly monitored, self-service utility where both members and non-members can document what JavaScript globals, CSS classnames and HTML custom markup is used by various Ajax toolkits. The Registry and Conformance specs will have minor modifications and serve more as best practices documents rather than heavy-handed attempts to push the industry towards interoperability. The next step is to implement the self-service software for the Registry. These tasks are lower priority than completing Hub 1.1 and Metadata.

Browser wishlist

Microsoft said the browser wishlist has been very helpful to them. In subsequent discussion, the attendees decided that the alliance would refresh the browser wishlist sometime in 2009, with new round of feature requests and prioritized voting.

Mobile Ajax

We reviewed the Mobile Device APIs work that started at OpenAjax Alliance and that has now been largely transitioned to the OMTP BONDI project. We talked about the OpenAjax style guide that we pulled together in response to a request from OMTP. We talked about the upcoming event on Nov. 5 where industry leaders will talk about how to minimize fragmentation of mobile browsers in their support for Ajax.

Mashup single sign-on and mashup authorization

The Security Task Force is looking at starting an initiative around mashup security, focusing on single sign-on and mashup authorization, included delegated authorization. The initial ideas center around embracing OpenID and OAuth, but then defining appropriate profiles (i.e., subsets) and necessary extensions to achieve the desired security features in a cross-vendor interoperable manner.

OpenAjax announcements at AJAXWorld

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on October 21, 2008 at 4:42 pm

OpenAjax Alliances announced some of the participants in the 2008 InteropFest within a press release that was picked up various industry publications, who wrote follow-on articles. Here are links to the press release and some early press coverage:

The InteropFest targeted two main Ajax development scenarios:

  • Ajax developer tools (IDE) – The key OpenAjax technology is OpenAjax Metadata, which defines an industry standard XML format for describing the JavaScript APIs and widgets in an Ajax library. This standard will allow developer tools to support a single format (i.e., OpenAjax Metadata) and automatically gain support for countless Ajax toolkit, which is a great improvement over the one-off tool-to-toolkit situation that exists in today’s world.
  • Ajax mashups – OpenAjax Alliance provides two technologies for mashups. OpenAjax Hub 1.1 provides an open source secure mashup runtime that isolates 3rd party widgets into secure sandboxes (usually leveraging IFRAMEs), with a mediated message bus to control which messages go between which widgets. OpenAjax Metadata also defines a “mashable widget” standard that extends OpenAjax’s widget format to provide the extra metadata and APIs needed by mashup tools.

With today’s announcement, multiple vendors have implemented key parts of OpenAjax Metadata. Developer tools from Adobe, Aptana, Eclipse Foundation, and IBM’s Rational software division consume OpenAjax Metadata and various popular Ajax libraries and widgets have been made available in the OpenAjax formats.

Vendors participating in mashup-related interoperability include Google, IBM, Nexaweb, SAP and TIBCO. The members of OpenAjax Alliance have completed a reference implementation for both OpenAjax Hub 1.1 and OpenAjax Metadata.

One of the highlights of AJAXWorld today was when Adobe’s CTO, Kevin Lynch, began his keynote at AJAXWorld today by talking about how Dreamweaver CS4 was using the widget format from OpenAjax Metadata as the product’s native widget format, with demos of drag&drop of widgets from some popular toolkits onto the Dreamweaver canvas (e.g., I am pretty sure I saw Dojo and YUI widgets showing up in Dreamweaver, but the screen was a bit blurry).

We are happy about the great efforts from other organizations who have participated in the OpenAjax Hub 1.1 and Metadata interoperability efforts, which includes: Adobe, Aptana, the Dojo Foundation, the Eclipse Foundation, Google, IBM, ILOG, Lightstreamer, Nexaweb, ProgrammableWeb, SAP and TIBCO.

Congratulations to Aptana, Dojo, Eclipse and IBM – winners in Steering Committee election

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on October 4, 2008 at 5:25 am

Congratulations to Aptana (Kevin Hakman), Dojo Foundation (Kris Zyp), Eclipse Foundation (Mike Milinkovich) and IBM (David Boloker), who have been elected for two-year terms on the OpenAjax Alliance Steering Committee. We look forward to their strong leadership and guidance. They join Microsoft (Bertrand Le Roy), Nexaweb (Coach Wei) and TIBCO (Howard Weingram) on the Steering Committee.