Announcing the 2008 InteropFest for IDEs and Mashups
OpenAjax Alliance is pleased to announce the start of this year’s interoperability event, the 2008 InteropFest for IDEs and Mashups. The 2008 InteropFest continues until just before AJAXWorld West 2008 (i.e., until just before October 20, 2008).
The 2008 InteropFest focuses on two main areas: Ajax IDEs and secure mashups.
InteropFest Focus #1: Ajax IDEs
Today, Ajax tooling falls short of potential, in large part due to interoperability problems. There are a number of Ajax IDEs today and hundreds of Ajax libraries, but only a small fraction of IDEs work well with only a small fraction of Ajax libraries, usually due to one-off coordination between particular Ajax libraries and particular IDEs.
To promote strong plug-and-play between Ajax IDEs and Ajax libraries, OpenAjax Alliance has developed an industry standard called “OpenAjax Metadata” (http://www.openajax.org/member/wiki/OpenAjax_Metadata_Specification), which defines an industry standard XML grammar for the following:
InteropFest Focus #2: Secure Mashups
OpenAjax Alliance is working on multiple related technology efforts in order to help realize the potential of mashup technologies to enable user-generated situational applications, where applications are assembled by end users by dragging various widgets onto a canvas and connecting widgets together. The two main inhibitors to widespread deployment of mashups are security issues and interoperability challenges:
- Mashup security: OpenAjax Alliance is addressing security primarily through the secure mashup runtime environment found within OpenAjax Hub 1.1.
- Widget interoperability: The alliance is addressing widget interoperability primarily through its widget metadata standards found within OpenAjax Metadata (see the related discussion of widgets in the discussion about IDEs)
What We Have Built At OpenAjax Alliance So Far
We have built a significant amount of technology in advance of the 2008 InteropFest:
For OpenAjax Hub 1.1, we have:
- Draft specification for OpenAjax Hub 1.1
- Open source reference implementation for Hub 1.1 that matches the draft specification. (Source code for Hub 1.1 is available at the OpenAjax Alliance open source site)
- Open source Sample Mashup Application that uses OpenAjax Hub 1.1 for loading and initializing widgets into isolated sandboxes (using IFRAMEs usually) and that provides a secure pub/sub engine for passing messages between the widgets through a secure and mediated message bus. (Source code for Sample Mashup Application is available at the OpenAjax Alliance open source site)
For OpenAjax Metadata, we have:
- Draft specification for OpenAjax Metadata, which was developed in the IDE Working Group, where the leading contributors have included the following companies/products: Adobe Dreamweaver & Spry Toolkit, Aptana Studio (Eclipse-based), Eclipse ATF, Eclipse JSDT, Microsoft Visual Studio and ASP.NET AJAX, OpenLink Software, and TIBCO General Interface
- Open source Sample Mashup Application that serves as a reference implementation for OpenAjax Metadata and implements most of the mashup-related features in OpenAjax Metadata
- An XML validator for OpenAjax Metadata in the form of a “Validator” widget within the Sample Mashup Application
As preparation for the 2008 InteropFest, we have set up the following:
- The main wiki page for the 2008 InteropFest, which describes how to participate and includes sections where participants can list their contributions.
- The Sample Mashup Application, which will be the centerpiece for many of the activities associated with the 2008 InteropFest
How to Participate in the 2008 InteropFest
The following sections explain how different classes of developers can participate in the 2008 InteropFest and how they can work with the Sample Mashup Application. Subsequent sections provide some additional information about the 2008 InteropFest.
- OpenAjax Metadata for Widgets – By providing OpenAjax Metadata for your library’s widgets, you will enable your developers to take advantage of visual Web application design (e.g., drag and drop onto a canvas) in selected Ajax IDEs and you will have made your widgets “mashable” in that they will be ready for use within mashup editors such as the Sample Mashup Application.
Web Widget developers
(For the purposes of this discussion, a “Web Widget”, aka Gadget, is a standalone Web component that can be embedded into other applications. One of the leading formats in the industry for Web Widgets today is Google Gadgets.)
Web Widget developers are strongly encouraged to create an OpenAjax Metadata file for their Web Widget, then use the Validator widgets within the Sample Mashup Application to validate their XML, and if possible upload the file to the repository so that it can be included within user-created mashups. A Web Widget developer can claim to be a successful participant in the 2008 InteropFest by producing an OpenAjax Metadata file for their widget where the file validates successfully against the language schema.
IDE developers should add support for both aspects of OpenAjax Metadata to their products:
- OpenAjax Metadata for Widgets – This will allow your IDE to support rich visual editing with widgets from arbitrary Ajax libraries.
An IDE can claim to be a successful participant in the 2008 InteropFest by consuming OpenAjax Metadata files and demonstrating user interface features that reflect the information from the OpenAjax Metadata files.
Mashup editor developers
Mashup editor developers should add support for OpenAjax Metadata for Widgets and OpenAjax Hub 1.1 to their products. This will enable your mashup editor to support the industry standard for Web Widgets and support the secure mashup runtime framework provided by OpenAjax Hub 1.1.
A mashup editor can claim to be a successful participant in the 2008 InteropFest by consuming OpenAjax Metadata files for widgets and/or including support for OpenAjax Hub 1.1.
Users who are interested in learning more about user-designed mashups (i.e., where applications are assembled without programming), or are interested in learning more about “secure mashups”, can play with the mashup editor to add widgets to the canvas and link the widgets so that data can be passed from one widget to another, all within the context of the security management features that are included in the Sample Mashup Application (due to OpenAjax Hub 1.1 being used under the hood). (Note: Need to build widgets and demos that showcase the security features.)
For more information
For more information about the 2008 InteropFest:
- If you are a member, you can send questions and comments as follows:
- Discussion on Hub 1.1 occurs on the Interoperability WG mailing list at email@example.com
- Discussion about OpenAjax Metadata occurs on the IDE WG mailing list at firstname.lastname@example.org (for things related to IDE workflows) and the Gadgets TF mailing list at email@example.com (for things related to mashups and Web Widgets)
- If you are not a member of OpenAjax Alliance, please send questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, feel free to send questions and comments individually to Jon Ferraiolo (jferrai at us.ibm.com), who manages operations at OpenAjax Alliance.