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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Rich Internet Applications: an update

RIA White PaperBlogging has taken a backseat to other activities for a couple of months, so I have some Performance Matters to report.

Following publication of the seventh in my earlier series of posts about managing Rich Internet Applications (RIAs), I reworked most of that material into a single paper. After some delays to reformat the content and redraw the diagrams, it is now available an an Industry Brief, which you can download from the Keynote resource library. The title is Rich Internet Applications: Design, Measurement, and Management Challenges.

Although I referenced Wikipedia when introducing the subject of RIAs, and retained those references in the paper, I did not feel that the current contents of Wikipedia did a very good job of explaining RIAs. In my second post I described how I had met Aleksandar Šušnjar online after reading his contributions to the discussion of RIAs in Wikipedia. I wrote that Aleks had:
... shared insights gained from his experience building a product first released in 2002 ... In delivering desktop capabilities via the Web, it clearly predated much of today's thinking about the purpose of RIAs and how to build them.

Naturally, Aleks also discovered some potential pitfalls an RIA designer might run into, which I will be mentioning in later posts. Regrettably, many of his insightful contributions to Wikipedia (which can still be found in its history pages) were subsequently removed by other contributors who lacked either his intimate knowledge of the technology or his historical perspective. Rather than waging Wikipedia edit wars, which for a hot topic can continue interminably, he has simply posted his own page about RIA and AJAX.
Despite Aleks' experiences, having made the effort to understand and summarize the SLM challenges posed by RIAs as coherently as I could, I felt it was time to try my hand at editing Wikipedia. So I have tackled the Wikipedia RIA page; I suspect that this entry may not be quite as "hot" as the Ajax entry, where Aleks was posting. So today (at least) you can find my handiwork throughout the section that compares RIAs with traditional Web applications, including (not surprisingly) the entire section on management complications.

Tomorrow may be another story. After all, the Wikipedia editor carries the clear warning: If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly or redistributed by others, do not submit it. So please feel free to improve on my efforts -- I know what to expect!

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