Silverlight/Flex/JavaFX versus AJAX
Last week a big announcement came from Microsoft regarding their new Web platform dubbed Silverlight. This is Microsoft’s answer to Adobe’s Flex platform and serves as an extension of the .NET framework. Today Sun announced their competitor to both platforms, dubbed JavaFX.
So why are all these companies eager to make a Flash replacement (or extender in Adobe’s case) when just 2 years ago everyone was calling AJAX the Flash killer?
The reason is very simple, writing AJAX code is painful. While a lot of work has been done to make using AJAX easier through frameworks and toolkits, the core problem remains that underneath the hood AJAX still looks and feels like a hack to provide State over HTTP, a protocol which was initially designed to be Stateless.
Despite its weaknesses, great things are being done with AJAX every day and this is likely to continue for quite some time. But with three major software companies putting their weight behind easy to develop, non-AJAX platforms for web development, it’s just a matter of time before AJAX becomes too unwieldy to be considered over Silverlight, Flex, or JavaFX.