Dec 05

OpenLazslo

A Flex alternative

I just ran into OpenLazlo. If you have not seen this before, then go there nowopenlazslo, and run through the tutorial. While billed as an Internet Platform it is better understood as a very easy way to write a UI that compiles either to Flash or to DHTML/Javascript.

OpenLazlo's native language is called LZX, which is an XML language with embedded Javascript. OpenLazlo can be run in a Client/Server configuration, where the OpenLazlo server can function as a proxy for other media, and a go-between for gathering data and transforming it to XML. It can also compile and serve a Client UI on-the-fly. However, in Solo mode, there is no server component. The apps are compiled into SWFs or DTML packages, and placed on your web server.

Solo apps can be designed as "rich clients", encapsulating both presentation and business logic. I would not use it this way. After finishing their quick tutorial, it occurred to me how easy it would be to use Django for a controller, serving up XML which OpenLazlo can then consume and present. In this way, OpenLazlo would take over all the duties usually performed by Django Templates and Forms, including client-side validation. What you gain, is a rich event-driven UI that is exceptionally easy to write and understand, developed in a fraction of the time as the equivalent in any AJAX toolkit you care to name.

I hope to play with this in the future, and when I do, I will post some examples of Django/OpenLazlo integration.

About

I'm a Lutheran pastor, a CTO, a father, amateur photographer, programmer, Irish music fan, and all around geek, but I only have one blog. So, you will find here a mix of theology, photography, geek speak, family news, and whatever else strikes my fancy. If you get confused, there are now categories…

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