Ajax ?

Discussion in 'Java' started by surfunbear@yahoo.com, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Guest

    I have started studying an Ajax book I bought. It occured to me to ask
    if Ajax could have found a niche that Java doesn't have and if that
    could develop into a new technology or paradigm ? I have studied java
    and applets a bit, but it seems to me that Ajax is doing something that
    java never was designed to do (except with a plug in etc) and that Ajax
    is possibly moving twards a new web technology. Will Java also move in
    that direction ?
    Might future versions of IE allow applets without a plug in or would
    Micros Soft try to prevent that ?
    , Mar 20, 2006
    #1
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  2. Guest

    wrote:
    > It occured to me to ask
    > if Ajax could have found a niche that Java doesn't have and if that
    > could develop into a new technology or paradigm ?


    Ajax doesn't do anything that can't be done with Java, but it's clear
    that Ajax _is_ doing things that were never widely done with Java
    applets. Ajax has a relatively lightweight footprint on the client,
    particularly for download and first-execution times. It seems that the
    marketplace out there prefers one large heavyweight control installed
    once, then a very thin scripting language, rather than a medium-weight
    Java applet each time.

    Java applets also typically provided a different user interface, where
    they took over a rectangle of browser window and operated within it
    with AWT, whereas Ajax apps are typically light on "GUI features" and
    instead work much more with the browser's HTML DOM. Again there's no
    hard and fast rule about one or the other, but popularity seems to
    align with practicality more closely for Ajax than for Java applets.

    Java applets are also basically unfashionable. A technology of the late
    '90s that peaked before the platform could really cope (JVM or network
    bandwidth). As a result they've always been regarded as slow, unwieldy
    and ugly. Ajax is almost as old (it really began in '99) but stayed
    hidden for some years before it was noticeable. By the time Ajax
    emerged into public view, it was already a powerful and well-developed
    technology.
    , Mar 20, 2006
    #2
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  3. wrote:
    > I have started studying an Ajax book I bought. It occured to me to ask
    > if Ajax could have found a niche that Java doesn't have


    No, it doesn't. AJAX is a rehearsal of a very, very old theme:

    Client/Server computing

    The idea is even much older than the web. With the added twist that the
    client code is loaded from remote. But that added twist is also not
    exactly new. It is only that the New Bubble 2.0 guys need to find some
    poster child "breakthrough technology" to start to pump up the bubble
    again.

    Regarding Java, Java could do that right from the beginning, and of
    course still can do it. The Java technology to deliver and execute
    client software in a web-based client/server setup is called Applets.

    Applets didn't catch up due to a number of reasons (to early, to slow
    for the networks at that time, horrible VM implementations in browsers,
    incompatible VMs in browsers, to long startup times, too much nonsense
    demo applications (dancing whatever stuff), very few experienced
    programmers, to much hype, etc.).

    > and if that
    > could develop into a new technology or paradigm ?


    People who want to get rich quick on the 2.0 thing will of course agree.
    From a technical point of view it is stone age (in computer terms). It
    already smells.

    > I have studied java
    > and applets a bit, but it seems to me that Ajax is doing something that
    > java never was designed to do (except with a plug in etc)


    Applets were right from the beginning designed to do client/server
    computing the way AJAX does.

    The need for a plug-in is an implementation detail. Just like JavaScript
    (the lanaguage for AJAX) today is build-in into all mainstream browsers,
    there once was a time when a Java VM was build into them.

    > Might future versions of IE allow applets without a plug in or would
    > Micros Soft try to prevent that ?


    MS flighted very hard and paid a lot of money in compensation to Sun to
    keep Java out of the Windows world and make the Java experience on IE as
    painful as possible. The plugin-solution is probably here to stay for a
    long time.

    /Thomas
    --
    The comp.lang.java.gui FAQ:
    ftp://ftp.cs.uu.nl/pub/NEWS.ANSWERS/computer-lang/java/gui/faq
    http://www.uni-giessen.de/faq/archiv/computer-lang.java.gui.faq/
    Thomas Weidenfeller, Mar 20, 2006
    #3
  4. Roedy Green Guest

    On 20 Mar 2006 09:27:57 -0800, wrote, quoted or
    indirectly quoted someone who said :

    > I have started studying an Ajax book I bought. It occured to me to ask
    >if Ajax could have found a niche that Java doesn't have and if that
    >could develop into a new technology or paradigm ? I have studied java
    >and applets a bit, but it seems to me that Ajax is doing something that
    >java never was designed to do (except with a plug in etc) and that Ajax
    >is possibly moving twards a new web technology. Will Java also move in
    >that direction ?
    >Might future versions of IE allow applets without a plug in or would
    >Micros Soft try to prevent that ?


    Personally I think Ajax is a piece of bailing wire and chewing gum
    trying to handle problems that Java or some other secure client side
    technology should be doing. However, Microsoft has at every
    opportunity done all it could to derail Java. They can't very well
    deliberately derail their own piece of garbage, now dignified as
    ECMASCRIPT.

    It is only a matter of time until a big security scare pulls
    JavaScript from corporate desktops. Then where will everyone be who
    built their houses on the JavaScript sand?

    --
    Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
    http://mindprod.com Java custom programming, consulting and coaching.
    Roedy Green, Mar 20, 2006
    #4
  5. Daniel Dyer Guest

    On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 19:06:50 -0000, Roedy Green
    <> wrote:

    > On 20 Mar 2006 09:27:57 -0800, wrote, quoted or
    > indirectly quoted someone who said :
    >
    >> I have started studying an Ajax book I bought. It occured to me to ask
    >> if Ajax could have found a niche that Java doesn't have and if that
    >> could develop into a new technology or paradigm ? I have studied java
    >> and applets a bit, but it seems to me that Ajax is doing something that
    >> java never was designed to do (except with a plug in etc) and that Ajax
    >> is possibly moving twards a new web technology. Will Java also move in
    >> that direction ?
    >> Might future versions of IE allow applets without a plug in or would
    >> Micros Soft try to prevent that ?

    >
    > Personally I think Ajax is a piece of bailing wire and chewing gum
    > trying to handle problems that Java or some other secure client side
    > technology should be doing. However, Microsoft has at every
    > opportunity done all it could to derail Java. They can't very well
    > deliberately derail their own piece of garbage, now dignified as
    > ECMASCRIPT.


    I agree with the first point, but for historical accuracy, it was Netscape
    Corp. that first forced JavaScript upon us. Microsoft was pushing its own
    VBScript. When Microsoft implemented JavaScript-work-alike JScript in IE
    the choice became one of using VBScript and only having your script work
    in IE, or use JavaScript and have it work in Netscape and IE. I vaguely
    recall that there was also a PerlScript language that worked in at least
    one of the major browsers.

    > It is only a matter of time until a big security scare pulls
    > JavaScript from corporate desktops. Then where will everyone be who
    > built their houses on the JavaScript sand?


    Extremely unlikely. If security problems exist they will be patched
    somehow. There are far too many sites that rely on JavaScript in order to
    work properly for it to be practical for any corporate IT department to
    banish it.

    Dan.


    --
    Daniel Dyer
    http://www.dandyer.co.uk
    Daniel Dyer, Mar 20, 2006
    #5
  6. Roedy Green Guest

    On Mon, 20 Mar 2006 19:29:36 -0000, "Daniel Dyer"
    <> wrote, quoted or indirectly
    quoted someone who said :

    >Extremely unlikely. If security problems exist they will be patched
    >somehow. There are far too many sites that rely on JavaScript in order to
    >work properly for it to be practical for any corporate IT department to
    >banish it.


    JavaScript installs software. If you take that away from it, a lot
    will stop working.
    --
    Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
    http://mindprod.com Java custom programming, consulting and coaching.
    Roedy Green, Mar 20, 2006
    #6
  7. David Segall Guest

    Roedy Green <> wrote:

    >It is only a matter of time until a big security scare pulls
    >JavaScript from corporate desktops. Then where will everyone be who
    >built their houses on the JavaScript sand?

    How do you justify this assertion? JavaScript does not provide any way
    to alter the file system or gain net access which are the most likely
    causes of trouble.

    It has not yet happened and I don't doubt that many clever people have
    worked on it. Meanwhile, browsers have been hardened against several
    other attacks on privacy and security.

    JavaScript may be involved in a "big security scare" for the same
    reasons of convenience and responsiveness that makes it used in other
    applications. I can't see how it will be the cause of the problem.
    David Segall, Mar 21, 2006
    #7
  8. David Segall Guest

    wrote:

    >
    > I have started studying an Ajax book I bought. It occured to me to ask
    >if Ajax could have found a niche that Java doesn't have and if that
    >could develop into a new technology or paradigm ? I have studied java
    >and applets a bit, but it seems to me that Ajax is doing something that
    >java never was designed to do (except with a plug in etc) and that Ajax
    >is possibly moving twards a new web technology. Will Java also move in
    >that direction ?
    >Might future versions of IE allow applets without a plug in or would
    >Micros Soft try to prevent that ?

    Microsoft are fully supporting Ajax. So much so that they have renamed
    it Atlas <http://atlas.asp.net/> and, no doubt, are working on ways to
    make it totally incompatible with J2EE Application Servers. Meanwhile,
    they claim it is "Based on existing standards – DHTML, JScript,
    XMLHttp, CSS, etc.".
    David Segall, Mar 21, 2006
    #8
  9. Roedy Green Guest

    On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 15:36:39 GMT, David Segall <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >JavaScript does not provide any way
    >to alter the file system or gain net access which are the most likely
    >causes of trouble.


    You are saying that JavaScript has a sandbox like Java? How then do
    so many programs install themselves with it?
    --
    Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
    http://mindprod.com Java custom programming, consulting and coaching.
    Roedy Green, Mar 21, 2006
    #9
  10. Timo Stamm Guest

    Roedy Green schrieb:
    > On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 15:36:39 GMT, David Segall <>
    > wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
    >
    >> JavaScript does not provide any way
    >> to alter the file system or gain net access which are the most likely
    >> causes of trouble.

    >
    > You are saying that JavaScript has a sandbox like Java? How then do
    > so many programs install themselves with it?


    JavaScript is ECMA262 + DOM. These specs do not define any methods for
    file system access.

    You can't install anything using JavaScript on a web site.


    Timo
    Timo Stamm, Mar 21, 2006
    #10
  11. Roedy Green <> writes:

    > On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 15:36:39 GMT, David Segall <>
    > wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
    >
    >>JavaScript does not provide any way
    >>to alter the file system or gain net access which are the most likely
    >>causes of trouble.

    >
    > You are saying that JavaScript has a sandbox like Java?


    Not really. The language has no security model at all, mostly because
    there is nothing in the language that can be unsafe.

    JavaScript/ECMAScript is a "pure" language with no standard library or
    expected runtime environment. It has no I/O facilities.

    When an ECMAScript implementation (like JavaScript, JScript or the
    script engine in Opera) runs in a browser, the runtime environment
    is populated with a suite of host objects, e.g., the W3C DOM
    and the so-called DOM 0 (which includes methods like setTimeout
    and alert).

    If the host objects allow access to abusable resources, they must
    have their own security model to prevent abuse. Since security
    is hard, this sometimes fails.

    Javascript running in the scope of a PDF document would have a
    different runtime environment, with different objects and methods
    available.

    > How then do so many programs install themselves with it?


    Not understood. Are you referring to malicious code abusing
    flaws in the security of a browser to install malware?

    /L
    --
    Lasse Reichstein Nielsen -
    DHTML Death Colors: <URL:http://www.infimum.dk/HTML/rasterTriangleDOM.html>
    'Faith without judgement merely degrades the spirit divine.'
    Lasse Reichstein Nielsen, Mar 21, 2006
    #11
  12. David Segall Guest

    Roedy Green <> wrote:

    >On Tue, 21 Mar 2006 15:36:39 GMT, David Segall <>
    >wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :
    >
    >You are saying that JavaScript has a sandbox like Java?

    I suppose it does although I would not have looked at it that way.
    From that view point the interpreter in the browser is the virtual
    machine and the JavaScript downloaded from the web can only perform
    operations that are permitted by the browsers "VM". There are no
    instructions in the JavaScript language, and hence in the VM, to alter
    the local file system or gain Internet access. Modern browsers also
    impose additional restrictions. e.g. the interpreter will not permit
    the script to close a window it did not open or create a window the
    user can't see.
    > How then do
    >so many programs install themselves with it?

    I don't understand this question. The JavaScript that is downloaded
    from a web site by a browser is not installed (i.e. written to the
    user's file system).

    If a program is installed by the user then it can install almost
    anything it likes "with it". However, I assumed we were discussing the
    potential risks of JavaScript embedded in web pages and interpreted by
    web browsers.
    David Segall, Mar 22, 2006
    #12
  13. Roedy Green Guest

    On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 16:23:12 GMT, David Segall <>
    wrote, quoted or indirectly quoted someone who said :

    >> How then do
    >>so many programs install themselves with it?

    >I don't understand this question. The JavaScript that is downloaded
    >from a web site by a browser is not installed (i.e. written to the
    >user's file system).


    I have always blamed the holes in JavaScript for abortions like Comet
    Cursor that simply by visiting a website suddenly your cursor turns
    into Nelson Mandela's head. They somehow installed software on my
    machine without my permission.

    JavaScript most certainly sends data to servers without my permission
    and does all kinds of downloading of JavaScript texts I cannot follow.
    It also generates HTML pages it refuses to show me.

    There is also the matter of websites tormenting you opening a million
    windows. Like the Hydra of Greek mythology, every time you close
    one, two more spring in its place.

    It seems to me turning JavaScript off goes a long way to protecting
    you from malicious websites. If JavaScript is as blameless as you
    claim, why would that be? What components are causing the trouble?

    JavaScript seems to be able to take over your entire browser, not just
    the display from a single site.


    --
    Canadian Mind Products, Roedy Green.
    http://mindprod.com Java custom programming, consulting and coaching.
    Roedy Green, Mar 22, 2006
    #13
  14. On Wed, 22 Mar 2006 21:04:09 GMT, Roedy Green wrote:
    > It seems to me turning JavaScript off goes a long way to protecting
    > you from malicious websites. If JavaScript is as blameless as you
    > claim, why would that be? What components are causing the trouble?
    >
    > JavaScript seems to be able to take over your entire browser, not
    > just the display from a single site.


    I think your *browser* is to blame for allowing these things to
    happen, not the language per se.

    /gordon

    --
    [ do not email me copies of your followups ]
    g o r d o n + n e w s @ b a l d e r 1 3 . s e
    Gordon Beaton, Mar 22, 2006
    #14
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