[General] King of Lively part II : LIE and CHEAT

Owen Densmore owen at backspaces.net
Thu Nov 12 20:10:18 CET 2009

This is not specific, but fairly general.  A strategy.

I believe LK should join the rapid JS revolution: server side, client  
side, and communication between the two.

Server Side: From the day of Steve Yegge's Rhino On Rails post, a  
flood of server side JS stunts have been flourishing.
Aptana's Jaxer, with a DOM on the server side, and now Google App  
Engine supporting Rhino.  Why is this happening?  History.  Us old- 
timers are used to desktop programming.  But the *average* programmer  
is young and web centric.  Proof?  Look at Adobe's AIR which uses JS,  
CSS/HTML, DOM to create desktop apps!  Yup .. migration of web tech to  
desk tech.  And its pretty impressive.

Client Side: Yes, script kiddies have used snippets to make pages  
horrid for years.  But since the rise of brilliant JS practitioners  
(John Resig, Douglas Crockford, and more) .. including LK .. people  
recognize JS's power, simplicity, and sophistication.  The Browser has  
made JS the dominant language, period.  Its everywhere.  With Doug's  
"JS the good parts" book, snobs like me have been converted.  And  
Rhino being built into the Java release has made JS outside the  
browser popular.  Flash is JS++.  And more systems are becoming JS  
based daily. And with Chrome and other really fast JS implementations,  
performance is less and less an issue daily.

Communication: This is the sleeper: JSON.  XML was the ugly duckling  
for quite a while for client-server communication .. the X in AJAX.   
But now savvy programmers are sending JSON back & forth, needing no  
parsing .. eval the payload and you get a native JS data structure!

Libraries: I might as well include these too.  What is a JS library?   
A URL.  You simply can't have easier deployment.  And a HUGE number of  
libraries are being converted to JS.  Processing, for example now has  
a ProcessingJS (Resig).

So gone is PHP-XML-JS-Classpath and always forgetting which language  
you are using.  JS has unified the whole client-server-communication  
life cycle.  And it has turned deployment into HTTP.  This is almost  
impossible to believe!  I study Complex Adaptive Systems and this  
emergent phenomenon is hard even for me to believe!  Prisoner's  
Dilemma heck, look at the JS ecology.

This unification is important.  I built an early GAE web app, using  
Google Maps, their Big Tables, Django for the server, JS for the  
client, a bloody blend of XML and JSON, and so on.  Painful!

So what does that have to do with LK?  Strategy.  I don't know how to  
do it, but building a part of the JS ecology/revolution above would be  
absfab.  Downside: you'll now have to fit in with the rest of the  
crowd.  That is often difficult, architecturally.  How to avoid  
conflicts.  How to factor LK so that it can be used with or without  
the DOM.

But its the direction I would take.  I'd get Resig and Crockford on  
the phone and chat strategy.  I left Data Base out of the above but if  
you need to spin it for the New Sun (how's it going, btw), JS+JSON+DB  
is a great story.  It certainly not hard to convince folks XML is  

Best wishes,

    -- Owen

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