At the Rich Web Experience conference, the OpenAjax Alliance promotes OpenAjax Metadata, a specification to facilitate interoperability across AJAX IDEs. Another version of the OpenAjax Metadata specification supports widget interoperability and security.
VIENNA, Va.-The OpenAjax
Alliance is working to address interoperability issues among development
environments for AJAX as well as to
facilitate the creation of secure mashups.
At the Rich Web Experience conference here on Sept. 4, Jon Ferraiolo, an IBM
engineer and director of the OpenAjax Alliance, a consortium of vendors and
organizations working to promote AJAX interoperability, said the group has
published draft specifications for ways to make AJAX IDEs (integrated development
environments) more interoperable, to secure the creation of mashups and to make
widgets more interoperable for use in mashups.
Ferraiolo said the capabilities in AJAX IDEs-such as code assist, debug and visual
to be interoperable across the different IDE
platforms, but as each AJAX tool kit documents its APIs and widgets in its own
way, that has been a problem. So the OpenAjax Alliance is working to overcome
that problem with a new specification known as OpenAjax Metadata for AJAX Libraries,
It should be possible for there to be intelligent code assist for APIs
across different AJAX libraries,
and visual design should be possible using widgets from AJAX
libraries, Ferraiolo said. The OpenAjax Alliance specifications will help get
to that point, he said.
is leading the OpenAjax Alliance's IDE Working Group.
Ferraiolo said the
group wanted to follow the lead of the leading AJAX IDE in the industry and
that is Aptana's.
Standards will improve industry efficiency and unleash innovation, Ferraiolo
said. So in that regard, AJAX
libraries can produce one format, OAM (OpenAjax Metadata), for their APIs, and
these libraries will then be compatible with many IDEs, he said. If the library
uses JSDoc, then autogeneration of OpenAjax Metadata is possible. "We are
investigating autogeneration for other inline documentation formats, such as
what Dojo uses," Ferraiolo said. "AJAX IDEs can consume one format,
OAM. That IDE will now support dozens of AJAX
libraries. By unifying the industry around a single XML file, [this makes it so
that] IDEs can now innovate and compete in other areas."
The OpenAjax Alliance IDE Working Group
has a number of participants, but the core group that shows up on the weekly
calls includes folks from Aptana, folks from Adobe's Dreamweaver group and folks
from Microsoft's Visual Studio team,
And while Microsoft has taken a rap for not participating or playing well in
some standardization and open-source efforts, Ferraiolo said the company is working to make Visual Studio support the OAM format.
Other organizations with participants in the working group include the Eclipse
Foundation, Sun Microsystems, TIBCO and OpenLink Software.
Aptana has contributed much to the effort, including sharing some of its
in a way that enables code assist and code completion style features in Aptana
Studio, the company's open-source IDE for
Web 2.0 apps that use AJAX.
has been a strong, active participant, as has Adobe, IBM,
Eclipse, Sun, OpenLink and others," said Kevin Hakman, chairman of the IDE
Working Group and director of evangelism at Aptana. "All have influenced
the specification offering insights from their respective IDEs, user
communities and code annotation conventions. Not to diminish others who have
contributed significantly, but Bertrand Le Roy of Microsoft has been a consistent
core contributor to this process whose input has been very insightful and