Emilio Suarez's WebLog

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

PDF and Flash

Now that Adobe is acquiring Macromedia, the landscape of RIA is going to get interesting. Just by marrying the two most popular products of both companies, I can see some very interesting things comming out. Imagine a time where you can send a read-only document with an embedded application. Well such a thing will be possible by creating PDF documents with Flash embedded applications. This would be a new paradigm for building small, compact, disconnected applications, that can also connect to a centralized server. A PDF document with an embedded Flash application, can be opened and the application can retrieve up-to-date information from a server. The user can update data, see graphs, modify the content, and publish the updated document.

There is also some overlap on their products, so I think there will be some consolidation there, like Photoshop absorbing Fireworks, Dreamweaver taking over GoLive and Illustrator taking an edge over Freehand.

It is possible that both lines will coexist too. There is big customer base for Macromedia products, their ease of use and it will be hard to take that away.

What this creates too, is a strong competition for Microsoft, which has a roadmap for building small scale office applications using MS Office. I think the combination of PDF and Flash will prevail over Microsoft solutions, just due to the fact that these two technologies are so widespread.

Anyway, it's going to be interesting to see how things evolve...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Ruby and Java

I have been interested in learning Ruby for a while... and since the release of the Ruby on Rails framework there has been much more press about Ruby and how good fit it is for building web apps.

Justin Gehtland has just released an interesting comparison of the same application built on a Java stack (Java/JSTL/Spring/Hibernate/MySQL) versus one built in Ruby using Rails and MySQL. The conclusions of his study are:

To me, the eye-opening revelation isn’t “Rails is faster than Java/Spring/Hibernate”. It’s “Rails can be very fast”. I think that there is a lot to be said for Rails, and it deserves much of the press it is getting. However, I don’t think its a Java-killer. I think there are plenty of applications, and development teams, that are better suited to Java and its immense universe of available support libraries. I certainly am not going to stop developing in and learning about Java just because I’ve discovered Rails. On the other hand, I am going to spend more of my time trying to find projects that I can use Rails on.

And I think that resonates with me. With all the hype lately about Ruby on Rails, and how some people think it threatens Java, and some people defending it, I think it is just the normal reaction of what happens when something arrives and shows a different way of doing things. This happened with Struts, Hibernate, Spring, and other technologies that challenged the stablished J2EE stack with different (lighter) approaches.

Anyway, since I don't kow Ruby yet, I cannot judge, but I think it is an interesting technology that is on my radar for the immediate future.