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Day 1 @ The Server Side Java Symposium

Posted by arungupta on March 23, 2007 at 9:53 AM PDT

I've been in Las Vegas for past 2 days attending
The Server
Side Java Symposium
. Sun is the only platinum

The conference is at
The Venetian
, one of the nicest hotels on the strip, but found two
irritating issues for working people:

  • Using fitness center facilities require you to pay $35/day charge. That
    is ridiculous to me. They anyway charge fortune for the room so why this
    extra fee ? I used the facility yesterday without knowing the charge but
    found out about the charge as there were folks lined up on the "reservation
    desk" for the fitness center. I've never seen that for a fitness center in a
  • There are no power connections on the office table. There is a
    personalized fax machine but I'd rather have a power connection to make it

TheServerSide sponsored the travel and lodging and check out the pictures of
the suite, it's pretty cool!


I missed the opening keynote by Karen Tegan Padir but heard it went well. Later that day, I attended a session by Ben
and Dion Alamer
(co-founders of Ajaxian) on "State of Ajax".

The session started by asking "Does anyone here not know how to do Ajax ?".
There were few hands raised and so the session started by creating a simple HTML
form that takes a zip code and returns the corresponding city using
XMLHttpRequest without
any page refresh. Then the talk explained three main Ajaxian architectures:

  • Return data (JSON / XML) - Smart clients, parse XML and JSON and
    populate the front end.
  • Return HTML (responseText + innerHTML) - Slightly dumb client, just shows the
    results as is.
  • Return JavaScript (eval) - Really dumb client, invoke the script sent by

The talk identified Google Maps,
Google Suggest,
TaDaList as Ajax innovators. In my opinion,
Google Suggest was really the first effort that showed Ajax-like interactions.

Ben and Dion divided JavaScript in two camps: "JavaScript is Good" and "JavaScript is Bad".
jMaki was classified in the first camp,
Google Web Toolkit in the second
camp and Direct Web Remoting in partly
both the camps. Project Phobos was also classified in "JavaScript is Good" camp
as it enables server-side scripting. Ben will be uploading a new video on jMaki showing Craig's list
mashup so stay tuned for that.

Prototype, Scriptaculous and Dojo were rated as the most popular toolkits in
a survey conducted last year on Ajaxian. The speakers classified Dojo as "Huge
Elephant of JavaScript" with support for offline storage, presentation, remoting,
charts and many other features.

IntelliJ IDEA 6.0 and
NetBeans 5.5 for development and
FireBug for debugging
were the recommended tools. Then there were few slides on offline storage,
especially the upcoming capabilities in
Firefox 3 (off-line cache, off-line
events, persistent cache), package and Adobe Apollo with offline
flash. There was a brief mention of
Project Tamarin that will provide approx 10
times faster JavaScript runtime and this will be integrated in a later version
of Firefox. And the talk
concluded by giving a future slide including topics such as off-line Ajax, fast
JavaScript interpreters,
HTML 5 and others.

A complete Day 1 report is available
Ed Ort also posted

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