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AJAX is everywhere ! You can go to almost any web site, it is using AJAX or talking about AJAX. Why ? Because we can now have on the web things like drag&drop, on-the-fly form validation, auto-completion, list reordering, … Great ! But wait a minute… Is it really new ? Well… not really. In fact any “fat client” application have these. You see, this is the thing : we have no more limit on our “thin client” applications !
OK. But what about Look&Feel ?
JAVA Swing’s biggest complain is that it doesn’t have the look and feel of the Windows application users are used to. Can you see a common Look&Feel emerging for AJAX enabled sites ? I don’t. We talk a lot about Web 2.0. Will it come with a standard L&F ? In that case, what will it look like ? MacOSX Aqua, Windows Vista, Linux Kde or (Add you own) ? The fact that even Google doesn’t manage to apply a common L&F to all its web applications makes me a little pessimistic. The web looks like an old Amiga : nice colors everywhere, no common direction for GUIs. Seems like it’s allways the same story we play again and again. (ps: think also about accessibility)
In the integration world, the buzz is around ESB. One of the reasons might be the increasing availability of good quality Open Source products. My current favorite is Mule because it does what I need. The most interesting challenger might be Service Mix. Because it’s based on JBI, it is more powerful. The project one should keep an eye on is OpenESB. Sun’s coming on the playground is a good thing.