AJAX futures

The hosted demo of Zimbra's AJAX mail client, which James Governor pointed to yesterday, is up and running today (backstory here). The skinny on Zimbra: it was originally called Liquid Systems; Scott Dietzen went there from BEA; it has open sourced its Linux-and-Java-based collaboration server, its AJAX client, and -- very interestingly -- the AJAX toolkit, AjaxTK, used to build the client.

Zimbra's architecture whitepaper lays out a compelling vision of a future enterprise messaging landscape that blends open source server componentry (Linux, MySQL, Postfix, Lucene) with AJAX client technology, and that bets on a strategic mix of standards and protocols including the usual suspects -- POP, IMAP, LDAP -- as well as SOAP, JSON (JavaScript Object Notation), RSS, and XForms.

The Zimbra screencast is worth watching, and the hosted demo really does do all of the extraordinarily rich things that the screencast depicts. Driving the demo makes the next steps along this line of evolution crystal clear. First, we'll need to get one or more high-quality open source AJAX toolkits working with GUI construction kits, and on that front, Zimbra's AjaxTK whitepaper hints that Eclipse support is forthcoming.

Second, we really, really need a more intelligent kind of browser cache. Will Alchemy (or something like it) every see the light of day?

Former URL: http://weblog.infoworld.com/udell/2005/09/29.html#a1311