Technometria's interview with Jason Smarr

Phil Windley has posted another really interesting Technometria podcast, this time featuring Joseph Smarr, the Chief Platform Architect of Plaxo:

Over the course of an hour Phil, Joseph and Scott Lemon cover a range of topics including (but not limited to):

  • The differences between traditional applications and web applications.
  • Creating efficient Javascript and the role of Javascript frameworks in this process.
  • Why HTML/Javascript is a better approach than proprietary Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) such as Adobe Flash/AIR and Microsoft Silverlight.
  • AJAX cross-site scripting opportunities and risks.
  • New functionality in Firefox 3 and Internet Explorer 8 to enable better browser-level cross-site data transfer.
  • Data portability of social networking graphs and the OpenSocial API.

Overall it is a great listen and it is refreshing to hear from someone who still believes traditional Web technologies like HTML and Javascript hold a great deal of potential. I cringe each time I hear proponents of Flash/AIR and Silverlight proclaim that these platforms will eventually dominate the Web. Sure the companies behind these technologies can give a great demonstration, but do we really want to turn the clock back twenty years to a world of closed development on one or two tightly controlled platforms?

Thomas Fuchs AJAX presentation & Google's AJAX API

Thomas Fuchs, the guy behind recently did a presentation in San Francisco about AJAX that looked pretty interesting. He has is slide show online in PDF format here. Associated notes made during the presentation have been put online by the guys at Ajaxian.

What is Web 2.0 again?

There is a lot of talk about Web 2.0, my paper to CAADRIA even mentioned it in the title. Whether its a fad or the next big thing is fairly uncertain but it does provide a nice general purpose container for a bunch of different read/write Web concepts like blogging, tagging, and RSS. Certainly there is a lot of hype around the whole thing but as a general theme for a bunch of technologies it is pretty strong.

What I do think it is achieving is the evolution of a far more conceptually and technologically richer Web space. The Web is no longer about hugely expensive and flashy billboards, tightly controlled portals or online stores with weird names. Sure all these things still exist but they are now taking second place to far more dynamic sites with their background and identity rooted firmly in the Web rather than being simply the extension of a conventional organisation's operations. Web 2.0 seems also to be more about empowering the individual to be able to do things like get their own 'stuff' online and track/search the Web in ways that make sense to them. MySpace,, Technorati and Flickr are all successful Web 2.0 sites that have these fundamental ideas at their core. Recently Apple announced iWeb which is the first 'traditional' application that attempts to blur the lines between the computer, the Web and your life.