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OpenLaszlo 3.0 Announced

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the what-happened-to-sesame? dept.

Programming 40

gse writes "The friendly folks at Laszlo Systems (of which I am one) have just announced the release of OpenLaszlo 3.0. Cool new features in this release: SOLO deployment (compile standalone .swf applications that don't need a proxy server), dynamically loadable libraries, a drawing API, and a bunch of optimizations. Info and downloads are at openlaszlo.org. (OpenLaszlo has been covered before on Slashdot.)"

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Nobody interested eh? (-1, Offtopic)

cc-rider-Texas (877967) | more than 9 years ago | (#12376785)

Since nobody can be bothered to put the first post up, I guess I will, so there.

fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12376869)

First post!

Re:fp (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12376924)

NINE minutes late.
Sorry, but you suck.

Interesting, trivia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12376871)

László is a hungarian male name.

Re:Interesting, trivia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12376922)

are you hungarian?

Re:Interesting, trivia (3, Funny)

fok (449027) | more than 9 years ago | (#12378106)

My hovercraft is full of eels

Re:Interesting, trivia (1)

secolactico (519805) | more than 9 years ago | (#12377348)

Uh? Isn't it a last name? As in Victor and Ilsa Laszlo?

Good ol' Boggie...

Re:Interesting, trivia (2, Interesting)

borsi (839813) | more than 9 years ago | (#12377799)

Actually, Laszlo is a hungarian first name, but it can be used as last name :) (Yes, I'm from Hungary)

Re:Interesting, trivia (1)

Smartcowboy (679871) | more than 9 years ago | (#12378181)

The only Laszlo I know is Laszlo Carreidas [rael.free.fr] , "the millionnaire who never laugh" in Flight 714 [tintinologist.org] . The first link show him as it is hypnotized by aliens. Not the best album in the collection.

I'm stunned (4, Insightful)

DJayC (595440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12376920)

I'm stunned that there is not more of a response to this news here on Slashdot. OpenLaszlo is a great product. You can author some really nice applications using their framework, and it's open source to top if off.

The ability to deploy standalone SWF files is most definitely a direct result of the folks over at Laszlo opening the source. Before, the server side "engine" was, really, their product. You would have to install that in order to serve up a Laszlo application. This is just like Macromedia/Adobe's business model with Flex. When they opened the source, the first thing they wanted to do was be able to publish stand alone SWF files because now the business model no longer centered around their server app.

So how do they make their money now? Well, they've got a few big time clients using their technology, and who better to apply the technology than those who designed it? Laszlo now hopes to generate cash flow by offering professional laszlo development. This is the type of business plan I would love to see more software vendors follow. I really hope Laszlo thrives as a company.. it would really make a statement. It's a great addition to the open source community in an area that has been littered with closed-source solutions (RIA).

Re:I'm stunned (3, Funny)

Scaba (183684) | more than 9 years ago | (#12377083)

I'm stunned that there is not more of a response to this news here on Slashdot. OpenLaszlo is a great product. You can author some really nice applications using their framework, and it's open source to top if off.

Response is subdued because the Slashdot community is still reeling over the shocking news [slashdot.org] that the Wayback Machine [archive.org] web archive archives web pages, even extremely popular ones like Google.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

DJayC (595440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12377123)

Response is subdued because the Slashdot community is still reeling over the shocking news that the Wayback Machine web archive archives web pages, even extremely popular ones like Google.

It's funny you should say that. I posted the parent, and since that time I've been looking at the google article and reading everyones comments.. And that was almost 30 mins ago! ;-)

Re:I'm stunned (4, Insightful)

V. Mole (9567) | more than 9 years ago | (#12377251)

I'm stunned that there is not more of a response to this news here on Slashdot. OpenLaszlo is a great product.

OpenLaszlo may well be the killer product I'm looking for. I don't know. Why not?

BECAUSE THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE DOESN'T SAY WHAT THE FUCKING PROGRAM DOES!

There. Now I feel better.

I see it might having something to do with Flash, assuming that '.swf' isn't some project specific extension. I dunno.

Re:I'm stunned (4, Informative)

gse (68728) | more than 9 years ago | (#12378116)

Doh. Sorry about that.

Laszlo is a platform for creating rich internet applications. It competes directly with (and pre-dates) Macromedia Flex. We open-sourced it last fall.

OpenLaszlo targets the Flash player as its runtime; that decision was made due to Flash's ubiquity. But there's nothing to stop it from being retargeted to Java, .NET, XUL, whatever.

More info here: http://www.openlaszlo.com/faq/ [openlaszlo.com]

(note: I'm a Laszlo employee but these are my personal opinions)

Re:I'm stunned (2, Insightful)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 9 years ago | (#12378861)

Flash, Java, .NET, XUL, blah. If Laszlo really wants to make a difference, you should target AJAX. Focus less on reinventing the user interface with unintuitive sliding buttons everywhere (hint: users don't want to learn a whole new user interface paradigm). Focus more on the easy fast rich application development with responsive client-side UI code, eliminating the round-trip delay of traditional web apps. Make it possible to develop GMail or Google Maps in Laszlo, easily, and watch the world beat a path to your door. Offer skinned sliding translucent windows rendered at about 1 frame per second in the Flash plugin, and watch the lukewarm reaction from the Slashdot community.

Re:I'm stunned (2, Insightful)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 9 years ago | (#12380590)

> Flash, Java, .NET, XUL, blah. If Laszlo really wants to make a difference, you should target AJAX.

You miss the point totally . Flash had the first Ajax (stupid name - because he went crazy and killed himself) like implementation. You should look at XmlSocket [macromedia.com] in flash to realize how good it was .

The real reason why this didn't become that popular was that you needed an expensive flash authoring tool to use it compared to just vi/emacs for Ajax.

Flash is cool , was cool and Adobe willing will remain cool. (and I'm a FOSS geek who thinks animated SVG will never quite make it).

Re:I'm stunned (2, Insightful)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 9 years ago | (#12381162)

When I said "AJAX", I meant "HTML, CSS, and Javascript", not "interactive web application". I meant to specifically exclude all things Flash. Flash is not cool, was never cool and likely will stay uncool, especially at Adobe. There are so many reasons; I can list them if you want.

I agree that animated SVG likely will never make it (especially now that Adobe's SVG plugin has conflict of interest, and Microsoft is never going to implement it). But you're the one missing the point. Vector graphics are not the point (Google maps does just fine without them). Web applications are the point. Animated SVG is irrelevant; it is unnecessary for web applications because they don't need swooshy translucent themed animated unintuitive buttons. Web applications also don't need to look like standard applications with resizable windows and menu bars.

What web applications *do* need is to be like GMail and Google Maps. What web applications need is a solid framework that abstracts away the vagaries of doing cross-browser Javascript/XmlHttpRequest/HTML/CSS, and allows development at a little bit higher level. I think something like Laszlo (or perhaps Laszlo itself) could be implemented on top of AJAX instead of Flash. It wouldn't have vector graphics, but aside from that disadvantage it could be an extremely capable platform. (Actually IMHO lack of animated vector graphics would be advantageous in many situations; it might keep the graphic artists from adding pointless distracting time-wasting animations and ignoring basic UI principles, which is one of my many problems with Flash.)

Re:I'm stunned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12394221)

There are so many reasons; I can list them if you want.

Yes, please do so. I'd like to hear them...

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 9 years ago | (#12394557)

OK:
  1. Requires a browser plugin.
  2. Subverts normal web navigation, making it impossible to link to a certain part of a Flash site, and making the browser back/forward and history not work.
  3. Doesn't use the normal page/link structure of the web, making Google less effective.
  4. Doesn't allow effective screen-scraping.
  5. Can't see where links are going in the status bar.
  6. Allows disabling of the context menu (removal of the "pause" and "stop" items, for example)
  7. Controlled by a single company.
  8. No good open-source implementation.
  9. Usually not accessible.
  10. Discourages open exchange of ideas and information by obfuscating source code, disallowing text and image copy/paste, not having "view source".
  11. Encourages unconventional, restrictive, flashy, and universally bad user interface design.
  12. No volume control, enabling those retarded "shoot the paparrazi" ads that blast your ears out if you have your volume up for listening to music.
Now, before you start getting all mad at me and flaming, know that I realize many of these problems are not exactly inherent to the technology, but are caused by the people who use it. However, IMHO that doesn't excuse Flash from these problems. You can't judge a technology on its technical merits alone; only on how it is eventually used. Flash provides affordances to web developers that cause them to make sites with these problems. A better technology would encourage doing the right thing by default, or do the right thing automatically.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 9 years ago | (#12395204)

Oh, forgot one: not resizable. Flash is vector-graphics-based, and yet you hardly ever seen a Flash site that even allows their embedded Flash to resize with the browser window, much less change the font size (and don't even think about custom user CSS for a high-contrast legible-font accessibility scheme). It sure is frustrating trying use a 640x480 Flash website on a 1600x1200 display. I notice that the Laszlo example programs display this fault; even the ones that display their own internal resizable windows are limited to a certain specific size.

Also, I'd like to make it clear that I realize HTML and Javascript can be abused to produce many of the same problems endemic to flash. However, in many cases smart browsers can override web developer stupidity, because HTML isn't tightly controlled by a single implementor who is beholden to the developers of the stupid sites (see pop-up blocking, etc). And in HTML you have to go far out of your way to produce the same user annoyances you get for free with Flash.

I'm stunned-Copyright violaters. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12395574)

4,6, and 10 Can be viewed as features not bugs. From the standpoint of those who work hard producing content. The above are features. From those who subscribe to the "your music and movies wants to be free", they are bugs. That's also part of the reason SVG and SMIL will not take off.

Re:I'm stunned-Copyright violaters. (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 9 years ago | (#12396835)

There is a reason the web took off the way it has, like few other things before it, and continues to grow at an incredible rate even today, ushering in a whole new era of communication. And it's not because everybody's intellectual property has been safely locked away where nobody can "harm" it. There is a place for DRM and content restrictions, but the general public web is not it.

Anybody who can't stand the thought of people "pausing" their precious intellectual property (oh noes!!!), or using the information contained in it in any way other than private viewing by a single individual (who doesn't record it, save it for later, reverse-engineer it, or modify it in the slightest, of course) is working counter to the spirit of the web. Not that people should rip off other people's work without attribution all over the place; but treating everybody as a criminal to stop the few who might err is stupid and restricts progress.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12378929)

Does that mean that I can copy/paste my ActionScript2 source code from my FlashMX project into OL IDE, and generate SWF and jarfiles that run the same on Flash Player (7) and the JVM, respectively? How much regression test/revision is required?

Re:I'm stunned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12378955)

I'm not sure if your post is a thinly-veiled commentary on the ridiculous state of the software industry, or if you're actually asking a question.

I think that, in itself, says a lot about the software industry...

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#12379028)

It's a straight question. And I think that the full flowering of "p-code" and open interop is really promising: 3-tier architecture of a program's source/object/executable code can let us each write in whichever language we're most expressive, targeting whichever devices have our market. If it works at all, it can be worth the regression test/revision.

Rich? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12378938)

Laszlo is a platform for creating rich internet applications

Rich to me means the follow:

fat

bloated

unreliable

won't work right in some browsers

probably proprietary in some way (flash?)

hard to repurpose (can I scrape it with curl and grep?)

causes heart attacks (well, rich food anyway)

Show me your tool for creating "LEAN" sites and I'll be interested.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) | more than 9 years ago | (#12394100)

If it creates just Flash, and not standard DHTML, why does openlaszlo.org say "These applications run on all leading Web browsers on all leading desktop operating systems from a single XML code base."??

Flash doesn't really run well (if at all) on most Unices.

BTW: "OpenLaszlo applications are written in XML and JavaScript" -- no thanks. I could write Mozilla apps if I wanted to, but I don't want to code JavaScript. And I don't want XML either, no matter how much of a cool new fad it is.

Re:I'm stunned (1)

black mariah (654971) | more than 9 years ago | (#12377320)

You have to remember that this is Slashdot, where Flash is the unholy hellspawn of Satan's own cock. In other words, this place is full of dumbass Luddites that can't deal with pretty pictures.

Style vs Substance (1)

tigersha (151319) | more than 9 years ago | (#12383187)

I wish I had point to mod you up. Slasdot's main problem is that most idiots here infer that, since substance is more important than style (which is true), the logical conclusion is to remove all style from everything.

There is life beyond a green terminal screen.

Scalable apps (1)

Laz10 (708792) | more than 9 years ago | (#12385866)

All the demos are fixed size apps.

They look cool but it isn't cool that they don't scale like we are used to html based application do.

Is it hard to make the Laszlo applications scale with the browser window??

Re:I'm stunned (1)

Hortensia Patel (101296) | more than 9 years ago | (#12391772)

I'm stunned that there is not more of a response to this news here on Slashdot.

Right, because folks have been crying out for a way to get even more frickin' Flash sites polluting the Web. I was looking at Laszlo a couple of weeks ago, and the backend looks sensible, but Flash? These days I just block it, as do a growing number of people given its primary use as an ad vehicle, but even on the rare occasions when I've used a Flash site it's annoyed the living crap out of me.

I realize that the framework can target other client technologies, but right now it doesn't. Ergo, not interested.

Flash Applications don't learn (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12376986)

I've yet to see a useful Flash MDI or desktop type application (like the http://openlaszlo.org/ [openlaszlo.org] demos) that was an improvement over a cleverly implemented HTML/javascript type application doing the same thing.

I suspose part of the problem is that the platform (Flash MX 2004 or whatever) doesn't have many useful IDE type tools for more serious development. Perhaps this OpenLaszlo will help, but I still think it's a mistake to implement anything more than a gimmiky or widgety type program with Flash. It never feels like a decent app!

Flash is not a replacement, at best it's addition. (2, Insightful)

jbn-o (555068) | more than 9 years ago | (#12378006)

I dislike how little control users have over how Flash appears and works -- there are very good reasons why I use user stylesheets and set the font size on my browser so I can read text. There's also the problem of not having a free software Flash player which can play the Flash data people commonly use.

Too many times I've seen webpages where Flash is used as a replacement for what is done better with (X)HTML+CSS instead of as an augmentation for (X)HTML+CSS. Even Javascript is sometimes unnecessarily used or no alternative means of access is provided for those who don't have Javascript or don't want to use it because of various security problems.

XUL is not a replacement (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12378917)

Well since it's open source. You all can modify it to spit out anything you want, up to and including XUL.

Re:Flash is not a replacement, at best it's additi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12380304)

Yep, know what you mean...

Take http://www.heavy.com/ [heavy.com] very heavy on Flash.

Three words (2, Insightful)

pjf(at)gna.org (807061) | more than 9 years ago | (#12377464)

Flash must die.

so? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12378918)

I has no idea what Laszlo is (Victor Laszlo?) . I see it has something to do with SWF (generates it? turns it into a delicious stew? Who knows).

I like plain HTML.

I tolerate Ajax.

I avoid SWF.

Sorry, whatever this thing does, it ain't doin' it in my browser.

Question: Flash and open source (2, Insightful)

pfafrich (647460) | more than 9 years ago | (#12381699)

I'm just wondering what the position of Flash and open source etc. Q1: Is the swf format open? i.e. are their any restrictions on creating clients which read swf or programs which can create swf. Q2: Is it API documented? Q3: Are there patent problems? Q4: are there any good open source alternatives to Flash Player? Q5: Any good open source flash dev tools? Rich

Why did you Open Source it??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12391932)

It seems from your site you decided late in the game to go FOSS. From your management profiles, it would seem that the bunch of Valley suits running the company have decided to jump on the latest business bandwagon to "leverage" Open Source after sales were nil.

That doesn't keep very well with the true spirit of the FOSS community (not to metion the Flash thing). We can all use corporate acceptance and help, but switching over last minute to *use* the community and shore up a failing business is insincere to say the least.

kool app (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12393457)

I got to say that I'm extremely impress about this openlaszlo, particularly its open sourceness. I cannot wait to write an app with it...

Cheers, ajam
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