Sony Ericsson joins OpenAjax Alliance

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on June 18, 2008 at 1:45 pm

We are pleased to announce that one of the leading mobile phone makers, Sony Ericsson, has joined OpenAjax Alliance and will participate in our Mobile Ajax activities. We look forward to their help in advancing Ajax technologies on mobile devices.

Final voting phase on OpenAjax Browser Wishlist

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on June 12, 2008 at 10:27 am

The OpenAjax Alliance is developing an Ajax industry wishlist for future browsers, using a dedicated wiki. The feature list now lists 37 separate feature requests, covering a wide range of technology areas, such as security, Comet, multimedia, CSS, interactivity, and performance. The goal is to inform the browser vendors about what the Ajax developer community feels are most important for the next round of browsers (i.e., FF4, IE9, Safari4, and Opera10) and to provide supplemental details relative to the feature requests.

The initiative is now in its final voting phase, and the alliance is issuing a call-to-action to Ajax developers to vote on which features should have the highest priority. To make the voting process as quick and painless as possible, the voting page lists all 37 feature requests, along with a popup menu for each feature with possible values of 0 (no importance) to 10 (highest importance). The voting period ends on July 10, 2008. To vote, you will need a wiki login (as explained on the wiki home page) and then cast your votes on the Phase II Voting wiki page. The alliance also strongly encourages people to comment on the wiki pages for each of the existing features and to add any important new features that are not yet on the list.

The initiative is open to both OpenAjax Alliance members and to non-members. The alliance especially would like participation from Ajax toolkit developers and leading web developers with expertise in using open browser technologies to achieve rich user experiences. The initiative operates on an honor-system basis.

Mobile Device APIs Fast-Track Exploratory Phase Completed

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on June 11, 2008 at 8:13 am

The Mobile Task Force at OpenAjax Alliance has completed its fast-track exploratory phase into Mobile Device APIs.

What we mean by the term “Mobile Device APIs” are JavaScript APIs available within the browser engine to allow HTML+JavaScript applications to access device-resident capabilities such as current location, the phone dialer, the address book, the SMS system, the MMS system, the local email system, battery levels, network connection status, and various other things such that the next generation of Mobile Ajax applications can be delivered to the community, but in the context of appropriate security measures. Our effort looked at 4 scenarios: running in the browser, running as a widget, running within a compiled application, and site-specific browser applications.

The OpenAjax Mobile Task Force decided in February to pursue a fast-track exploratory phase where the time period was fixed (i.e., finish by the end of April, 2008) and we would try to get as far as possible in assembling use cases, requirements, and characterizing security considerations. The main purpose of the exploratory phase was to get a broadbrush characterization so that the members of OpenAjax Alliance could make decisions in the May/June timeframe about what formal activities at OpenAjax Alliance might help move the industry forward.

The exploratory phase met (and probably exceeded) our objectives. As we had hoped, we assembled a good set of use cases and requirements and outlined a conceptual framework around security considerations. Many thanks to the participants, which included contributions from Aplix, Cisco, IBM, Ikivo, MobileAware, Motricity, Mozilla, Oracle, and Vodafone. (Sorry about any omissions.)

Now it is May/June, and we have indeed decided on our next step, which is to launch on open source project. I will blog about that later.

(Note: One more apology. This post should have gone out about a month ago when the exploratory phase actually finished.)

OpenAjax Alliance white papers on Mobile Ajax and recent browser advances

Blogged by: Jon Ferraiolo on June 9, 2008 at 9:26 am

The OpenAjax Alliance has recently published two new white papers, one on Mobile Ajax and one on recent browser advances.

The first white paper, Introduction to Mobile Ajax for Developers, provides an overview of Ajax application development for mobile devices. The white paper was the collaborative effort among several leading companies in the mobile industry within the OpenAjax Alliance’s Mobile Task Force. The target audience for the white paper is both the Ajax desktop developer who wants to also support mobile phones and the existing mobile developer who is interested in moving towards Ajax for future application development. The white paper characterizes the state of Mobile Ajax today, identifies the key challenges, and highlights the unique opportunities for innovative new applications offered by today’s mobile devices (e.g., telephony, location, camera, SMS). The white paper provides a comprehensive list of developer tips for addessing the challenges and taking advantage of the opportunities.

The second white paper, Good News for Ajax – The Browser Wars Are Back, highlights the major changes in the browser world that are manifesting themselves in this year’s browser releases (i.e., IE8, Firefox3, Safari 3.1, Opera 9.x). The white paper describes how the Open Web, after years of slow advancement, is now adding key features at a rapid rate. The white paper highlights the importance of the new Mobile Web, where desktop Web browser software is appearing on mobile platforms from leading mobile vendors, with shipping products or announcements already from Apple, Google (Android), Microsoft, and Nokia. The long-term result of today’s healthy, fast-paced competition among the browser vendors will be better cross-browser interoperability, improved performance, and major new opportunities to developers for innovation.