Where Rev could be going...

Bernard Devlin revolution at knowledgeworks.plus.com
Sun Nov 19 19:51:06 EST 2006

Mikey said
As far as a browser plugin goes, what are you suggesting?  On its
face, wouldn't it be more "where-the-world-is-going" compliant to have
RR follow the lead of Morfik and natively build AJAX and/or Flash

I suggested before that Ajax/Flash targets were a possibility for  
delivering applications built in Rev.  In the current thread I was  
just quoting an excerpt from an old post of mine last year.  I'm  
hoping that there could be wider discussion of these issues since  
Runrev have recently voiced an interest in seeing what people want in  
terms of interfacing with browsers.

Being able to produce an Ajax app from other source languages is  
something that Morfik say they have been working on for a few  years  
(5 or 6, can't remember exactly).  Laszlo are effectively doing that  
too - being able to produce a Flash app or an Ajax/DHTML app.  And  
even though Laszlo may have been able to produce Ajax versions of  
apps in some 6 months or so of development, the Flash versions of  
their apps are still much better than the Ajax version.  Furthermore,  
since the Laszlo architecture was designed so that it was independent  
of the provisioning platform (Flash), I think it would be quite an  
undertaking for Runrev to try to do something in this area.

I guess Runrev need to find out what the majority want: to be able to  
deliver their Transcript-driven 'native look and feel' apps via a  
browser, or to deliver a web application that was an Ajax version of  
a Rev app.   I can see benefits from both kinds of app.  But since  
Runrev have hitherto seemed reluctant to build a plug-in (which I'm  
guessing is less work than producing an engine to produce an Ajax  
app), it seems unlikely to me that they are going to be in the  
position to do both.

Then again, since Lynn brought this up a few weeks ago, it doesn't  
seem to me that there has been _that_ much discussion of these  
issues, so maybe most people are just not interested.  An enhancement  
request has been entered in Bugzilla (http://support.runrev.com/ 
bugdatabase/show_bug.cgi?id=3940) for a browser plugin - so I'm  
guessing that is actually what most people are interested in with  
regard to deliverinig Rev apps via browsers.

I'm going a different route myself - I'm relying on Rev to provide  
the front-end to what are dynamically produced stacks.  I still feel  
that Ajax apps are often ugly, behave in strange ways, and are  
problematic.  I think there are also some problems with Flash - I've  
tried using Laszlo before and the edit-compile cycle was soooo slow  
in my experience, and I much prefer to provide the user with native  
look and feel.

Of course, Richard and Andre are usually quite quick to point out  
that the problem with a plug-in is that someone has still got to  
visit a host site and download it and install it before they can see  
any cool Rev content.  And they are right.  It is the existing  
ubiquity of Flash/Javascript that makes them instantaneous platforms  
for dynamic apps.

However, I suppose it could well be argued that there has been  
considerable demand from Rev users for a browser plugin, but very  
little demand for something like U3 apps.  So maybe the time of the  
plugin has finally arrived.  In

It would be good if we could have more discussion of what the  
possibilitiies might be.


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