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What is OpenLaszlo, and What is it Good For? 196

SimHacker writes to share an article he wrote recently that tries to answer the question; What is OpenLaszlo, and What is it Good For? From the article: "OpenLaszlo is an open source platform for developing user friendly web based applications, which work identically across all popular browsers and platforms (Windows, Mac, Linux, IE, Firefox, Safari, etc). It's ideal for presenting and editing raw XML data generated by PHP and other web services."
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What is OpenLaszlo, and What is it Good For?

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  • by siberian ( 14177 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @06:44PM (#15384251)
    Since Laszlo apps can be output either as DHTML or as SWF contained content it works wonders for embedded development.

    I'm building a small embedded linux based system to handle my A/V switching infrastructure in my home. The box itself can be considered a toaster, very much like a LinkSys router. Combining thttpd, Ruby (small footprint with Ruby2exe) serving POX(Plain Ole XML) and then Laszlo as the SWF contained client I can provide a hugely rich experience for the user on my minimalistic embedded platform.

    The Eclipe IDE tools are 'Ok' and do the job well enough at the start but you'll need to tweak it a bit more to get a really solid look.

    Overall this is a fantastic alternative to Adobe Flex in many ways, particularly in its openness, huge community support and low/no cost. Flex 2.0 is also low low cost now but we will see how that plays out.

    So, for me Laszlo is Rich App on a thin client primarily. Very nice.

  • by Trinition ( 114758 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @06:57PM (#15384313) Homepage

    To me, OpenLaszlo is not about the web. If you think about what it does, it allow syou to specify a complete user interface and logic in an XML file. The layout is done with XML, and the logic is done with ECMAScript (yes, that's what JavaScript became).

    The first OpenLaszlo solution compiled this XML into Flash which can run in any browser. Then they made a new compiler which turns it into DHTML so youd on't need Flash any more. So now you can take the same application written once (as an LZX XML file) and compile it to Flash or DHTML and get the same behavior. Both of those are very ubiquitous mediums. If you read their roadmap, they also have plans for Java client.

    My hope is that one day, there will just be clients that read the LZX XML directly. These clients could be written in Java, .NET, TclTk, C++, you name it. They would all read the same LZX XML and render it for the user. That's very much how various different browsers all read the same HTML file and render it. So you might be thinking that its no better than HTML, but:

    • It is a tighter specification than the original HTML which planted the seed for incompatibilities
    • It is designed from the beginning for user interface declaration, not text markup
    • It leverages two well-accepted standards: XML and ECMAScript

    If I had to pick a solution for the world to use for rich internet applications, I'd choose OpenLaszlo over Java Applets, Java WebStart, Macromedia Flex, DHTML, etc.

  • by vidog ( 83824 ) on Monday May 22, 2006 @10:57PM (#15385157) Homepage
    ...and it worked for us.

    Our web based diagram editor: []

    Chris Kohlhardt
    Co-founder, Gliffy Inc.
  • Yep, this is exactly the kind of tool that Microsoft and other Big Software wants to have and see widely used. The more that people begin seeing software as deliverable "content" rather than the buy-it-at-Sears appliance that it is, the easier it will be for Microsoft and other Big Software companies to force us to pay for it all every month.
  • COMIX on LAZSLO (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tiago.cardoso ( 976597 ) on Tuesday May 23, 2006 @06:54AM (#15385924) Homepage
    Hey, Laszlo also worked for us in a good way.

    MaiNada Comics [] use Open Laszlo for the drawing and displaying of comics.

    It's a new and free site, where users can draw their comic strips directly online. It's really fun and has some cool features. Other users drawing are drawn in "real time" and are ranked by everyone. Strips can be viewed by ranting, date or user. Anyone can even blog their comics with one line of code (an iFrame link). This is an important resource to artists wanting to publish their work online without the knowledge to create a website. And it's a good initiative for comic art.

    Chek it out and see what Lazslo can be used for!
    ( MaiNada Comics - Laszlo Drawing tool [] )

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