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Sun and Laszlo announce Orbit: OpenLaszlo for J2ME 33

Posted by timothy
SimHacker writes "Sun and Laszlo Systems have announced project "Orbit": OpenLaszlo for J2ME. OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install 'AJAX' web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software. The OpenLaszlo 'Legals' project supports multiple deployment runtimes, including Flash and DHTML, and soon J2ME! The FAQ says a proof-of-concept demo will be available later this year."
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Sun and Laszlo announce Orbit: OpenLaszlo for J2ME

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  • Very cool (Score:1, Redundant)

    by jbellis (142590)
    I've had some ideas for smartphone apps that I'd like to write, but J2ME sucks too much. Laszlo, otoh, is pretty cool: maybe my apps will get written when this comes out.

    --
    Carnage Blender [carnageblender.com]: Meet interesting people. Kill them.
    • Have you used Open Laszlo? I attempted to, but after weeks of not finding correct documentation (most info I needed was missing, other parts were incorrect information that steered me the wrong way), forum exchanges, and e-mails from employees I was unable to get their "Hello World" to display anything at all.

      It seems like others have been able to do something with it, but I was quite surprized at how much work it took to get to a "broken" "Hello World". My environment might have had something to do wit
      • by ultrasaur (962701)
        When installing the Linux Flash Player it does require extra steps to get the fonts installed right (Macr/Adobe does provide those instructions). Maybe you ran into that...

        This has always worked for me:
        <canvas>
        <text>hello world!</text>
        </canvas>
        If you run it with hello.lzx?lzr=dhtml in the nightly builds of "Legals" you don't even need Flash!

        For a practical example, check out http://www.laszlomail.com/ [laszlomail.com] -- this is a very complete webmail implementation with a ric
        • Someone on the Open Laszlo forums suggested that, but couldn't help me any further (as to which font, etc). The sources they pointed to were quite complex. However, I thought part of the reason for using Open Laszlo was to not have to worry about the client environment as much. Or is this a font that is needed when developing, not when viewing? Is the font not included in the install for legal reasons?
      • by RicRoc (41406)
        I went through a lot of the tutorials available via their site, and had absolutly no problems -- on my Windows XP Professional (at work).
  • eh.... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Joffy (905928)
    I didn't put much time or effort into this, but if you make "hello" and "world" different colors they overlap each other. I actually had to specify "world"'s x and y cooridinates to adjust the spacing. I'm by no means a content creator of any sort other than an occasional whim, but this seems like it would become very tedious. Is there something i'm missing such as an IDE that would make this trvial?
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by gse (68728)
      LZX != HTML at all.
      you don't get any layout by default; though you could declare a simplelayout to get what you want:

      <canvas>
      <simplelayout axis="x"/>
      <text>hello</text>
      <text>world</text>

      it's really a different world than HTML authoring; it's application development. this stuff becomes very natural after a bit, and i find it much more pleasant than any other GUI creation frameworks i've used.

      (disclaimer: i'm a developer for laszlo systems, but i mean what i writ

    • Assuming that you used two different text elements, each with its own fgcolor, then my guess is that you need a layout to position the text objects one after the other -- otherwise they all are positioned at x="0" y="0" by default, so they overlap like this [donhopkins.com] (source [donhopkins.com]).

      You can put a layout element into a canvas or view, like <simplelayout axis="x"/>, and it magically positions its siblings (the text elements) like this [donhopkins.com] (source [donhopkins.com]). There are even more powerful layouts like the <wrappinglayout/> th

  • The #1 "FAQ" would of course be "can this J2ME OpenLazlo run existing Flash movies on lots of mobile phones?", but that isn't answered in that Sun page.

    So I'll also ask "is this Sun's attempt to take over Flash the way Sun has controlled Java, especially now that Flash has clearly beaten Java for mutimedia applets?"

    Maybe we'll have to wait until "later this year" to see. By which time those questions will be asked even more frequently.
    • by ultrasaur (962701)
      OpenLaszlo ! = Flash
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        OpenLaszlo kinda is Flash [donhopkins.com]:
        "OpenLaszlo is designed to use open standards, and built with open source tools and technologies. It's a high level architecture designed to target multiple rendering environments, and the first one it currently supports is Flash.

        OpenLaszlo's platform independent architecture gives it the ability to target other runtime environments like DHTML, Java, XUL, Avalon, SVG, open source Flash players
        "

        If OpenLaszlo apps run in Flash VMs, and do what Flash does, then it effectively is Flas
        • by ultrasaur (962701)
          Sorry, perhaps my shorthand there wasn't clear...
          When OpenLaszlo compiles to DHTML it isn't Flash.
          When OpenLaszlo compiles to J2ME it isn't Flash.
          When OpenLaszlo compiles to SWF, you could say it is Flash. I would call it a way to create Flash (or to be more explicit, applications that run in the Flash player).

          Is that more clear?
          • by Doc Ruby (173196)
            Yeah, now that your "clarification" reverses your claim refuting my original questions about whether OpenLaszlo can replace Flash for apps in mobile phones, it's a lot more clear.

            I'd even go so far as to say "OpenLaszlo is more than Flash".
            • I'd actually clarify this even more, because Flex is in this space too - it's an awesome tool for producing wonderful powerful Flash applications and has its own sweet bag of tricks.

              At this point Flash the IDE is for designers - programmers targetting swfs should be using Flex (which is ALSO free, btw, if you don't want "Flex Builder" which is basically Dreamweaver for Flex) or Laszlo.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by El Tonerino (875866)
      No, instead of creating Flash files, it will send J2ME to the phone.
  • by metamatic (202216) on Friday October 13, 2006 @08:31AM (#16421669) Homepage Journal
    I'm sick of hearing about what OpenLazlo will do one day. They still haven't released the final 1.0 version of their DHTML-targeting back end, and now they're hyping up how it'll produce J2ME as well?

    I'm not going to touch it while the stable version only targets Flash.
    • by gse (68728)
      yeah, it's frustrating when software makes massive progress [openlaszlo.org] in full public view, eh? wtf.

      the DHTML target has been going since about the start of the year. how soon would you like it to be done?
      • by metamatic (202216)
        Well, looking at the same demos, I see the same 3 as were working the last time the thing was advertised on Slashdot, and the blog notes that a bunch of basic controls don't work properly and the thing's still in alpha. I'm of the "get a working release *then* announce it" school, I'm afraid.
        • by SimHacker (180785) *

          I don't understand what you're so angry about.

          Are you complaining that Laszlo developers should be more secretive about their plans and development process, and not tell anyone what they're doing until the software is fully completed and tested? That's just NOT how an open source project works.

          Or are you complaining that we're not working fast enough? Then why don't you lend a hand and contribute some of your own time and effort to the open source project? That IS how an open source project works.

          • by metamatic (202216)
            No, I'm saying that I think you should announce things when they're actually ready. Or maybe when they're in beta.

            If you want to post a request for participation, then fine, post one. But I'm tired of monthly plugs for OpenLazlo saying "Hey, we've got this great tool for developing AJAX UIs", and when I go look there are the same 3 demos and a bunch of pre-alpha code in CVS.

            Google didn't announce their AJAX toolkit until it was usable. Ditto Yahoo.
            • by SimHacker (180785) *

              Who are you to say when open source projects should make announcements? Would you lecture Linus that he announced his operating system too soon, and should have waited until it was beta quality? Bill Gates would certainly agree with you, and he'd probably add that it's still not beta quality.

              First of all, please read the announcement and web pages before replying, this time. Second of all, we use Subversion, not CVS. Third of all, you can download an installer for the nightly build or the latest stable

              • by metamatic (202216)
                Who are you to say that I am not entitled to an opinion about how open source projects should be run?

                As for reading the announcement, it says "OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for creating zero-install 'AJAX' web applications with the user interface capabilities of desktop client software"

                That's deliberately misleading. Maybe OpenLaszlo will be a platform for creating AJAX web applications, but right now it's not, it's a bunch of alpha-quality code that's looking for developers. It's that habit of repe
                • by SimHacker (180785) *

                  That's not misleading at all -- you're just misunderstanding. OpenLaszlo applications certainly are "AJAX". AJAX stands for: "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML". That's exactly what OpenLaszlo is, whether it's running on Flash or the web browser. OpenLaszlo was "AJAX" long before the term was coined.

                  [itconversations.com]

                  Before AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) had a name, there was Laszlo Systems, a software tools developer using AJAX-like methods along with with Macromedia's Flash player to deliver richer Web experie

                  • by metamatic (202216)

                    OpenLaszlo applications certainly are "AJAX". AJAX stands for: "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML". That's exactly what OpenLaszlo is, whether it's running on Flash or the web browser.

                    Flash's ActionScript is not JavaScript. And when most people say "AJAX", they mean web pages that use asynchronous JavaScript and XML, not Flash applications that do.

                    Note that even the text you quote to support your position says "AJAX-like" methods with Flash, admitting that Flash applications are not what we mean by AJAX e

                    • by SimHacker (180785) *

                      Flash's ActionScript is not JavaScript.

                      You're wrong about that. But then again, you're the one who proudly proclaims to know nothing about Flash, so I wouldn't expect you to know. But please stop spreading misinformation.

                      Rhino is Netscape's Java implementation of JavaScript. JScript is Microsoft's implementation of JavaScript. In the same way, ActionScript is Macromedia's implementation of JavaScript. It started out something else, but now it's completely JavaScript. JScript has just as many quirks

                    • by metamatic (202216)
                      Tell you what, if you really want to argue that Flash applications are AJAX, go do it on Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. The article there doesn't mention Flash at all, and stresses use of the DOM which isn't ActionScript's model, so it clearly needs a lot of correction... When it says Flash applications are AJAX, come back and try telling me so again and I might listen.
                • by SimHacker (180785) *

                  I'd also like to address your deliberately misleading statement that "It's a bunch of alpha-quality code that's looking for developers." You're implying that OpenLaszlo itself is alpha quality, which is totally false and misleading. OpenLaszlo version 3.3 is quite solid and production quality code. Earthlink is happily shipping Laszlo Mail [laszlomail.com] to millions of their customers, right now. That's certainly production quality by any measure, and you can try it yourself for free.

                  You're also implying that the anno

                  • by metamatic (202216)

                    I'd also like to address your deliberately misleading statement that "It's a bunch of alpha-quality code that's looking for developers."

                    Quoting the web site [openlaszlo.org]:

                    Developers wishing to get a head-start building applications on top of Legals will be able to do so with our beta release in a few months.

                    (Emphasis mine.) What do you call code that's a few months from being ready for beta? I always heard it was called alpha.

                    OpenLaszlo version 3.3 is quite solid and production quality code.

                    And OpenLaszlo vers

                    • by SimHacker (180785) *

                      The misunderstanding that you're spreading and I'm trying to clear up is your implication that OpenLaszlo itself is Alpha quality code. OpenLaszlo is a mature released product, in version 3.3, and many production quality products have been built and delivered with it, like Laszlo Mail [laszlomail.com]. The Legals project targeting alternative runtimes is in alpha, but it works well and it's certainly not vaporware -- you can prove that to yourself by downloading the installer and checking it out.

                      And as I said in my othe

                    • by SimHacker (180785) *

                      Here's the definition of AJAX [slashdot.org] from another recent article on Slashdot. This definition, which makes no mention of DHTML, exactly describes OpenLaszlo running on Flash:

                      "Asynchronous Javascript And Xml, popularly known as Ajax, is a combination of Javascript, XML and some coding on the server side. Even though this technology existed for years, many believe it was Google which brought it to the front by implementing it on its sites and thus raising it to the cult status it enjoys now. There is something m

        • by SimHacker (180785) *

          Is it just new demos that you want? Well that's easy! Here's an OpenLaszlo YouTube Player [donhopkins.com], which is a demonstration of the new video api [openlaszlo.org]. And of course there's SimFaux [huffingtonpost.com] and its open source code and content [donhopkins.com].

          -Don

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