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From Paul Fremantle <>
Subject Re: AJAX Toolkit Framework Proposal
Date Tue, 20 Dec 2005 14:33:22 GMT

I offer to help mentor this.


Paul Fremantle
VP/Technology, WSO2 and OASIS WS-RX TC Co-chair

"Oxygenating the Web Service Platform",

On 12/20/05, Adam Peller <> wrote:
> AJAX Toolkit Framework Proposal
> 0.  Rationale
> While the term AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) has only recently
> been coined, the underlying web standards and technologies (JavaScript
> a.k.a. ECMAScript, DOM, XML, SOAP, and so on) have been around for years.
> Although the term is used in a variety of ways, AJAX typically describes
> techniques towards developing interactive applications on the web client
> including asynchronous messaging, use of XML grammar in client-side
> applications, incremental page updates, and improved user interface
> controls. AJAX applications combine the rich UI experience of programmed
> clients with the low-cost lifecycle management of web-based applications.
> AJAX has raised awareness of the high potential of web applications, it
> has
> encouraged companies to adopt rich web-based interfaces over traditional
> "fat" clients, and it has spawned development activity to create toolkits
> and abstractions to make AJAX-style development easier and more powerful.
> This is an important trend for open source.  The client itself can be
> composed entirely of open-source parts, such as Mozilla's Firefox or KDE's
> Konqueror, and does not require any particular operating system, helping
> to
> make a more level playing field for all development.  More importantly,
> AJAX is back-end agnostic as transactions are done over HTTP.  Keeping the
> client open forces vendors to keep the communication channel open as well,
> and this can only continue as long as the client technology keeps pace
> with
> proprietary alternatives.  The open, standards based communications
> channel
> is what drives many technologies inside Apache, so success of the open
> client is vital to Apache.  The mission of this project is to encourage
> innovation around enterprise-strength client runtimes and tools and build
> a
> community which can select and nurture a select set which will be most
> beneficial to the web.
> 0.1 Criteria
> Meritocracy:
> Apache was chosen for an incubator primarily because of the guidance the
> community can provide.  The two subprojects put forth are among the first
> attempts to formalize this style of development.  Additional ideas, tools
> or entire runtimes may come forward and indeed would be welcomed to the
> project, either wholesale as new subprojects or incorporated into the
> existing code.
> Community:
> The contributed work was inspired by open source development but needs a
> strong and diverse community to validate its mission and carry it forward.
> A primary objective of the project is to build a vibrant community of
> users
> and active contributors.
> Core Developers:
> All of the initial committers are members of Zimbra and IBM development
> teams.  All developers have worked on open source projects before and have
> experience and understanding of open source principles.
> Alignment:
> Initial implementation consists of two sub projects.
> The AJAX Toolkit Framework will provide a strategic framework for
> Interactive Development Environments (IDEs) for the many different AJAX
> toolkit offerings in the market. It provides a rich set of tools for the
> AJAX / DHTML developer including: a JavaScript editor with edit-time
> syntax
> checking; Mozilla web browser; integrated DOM browser; integrated
> JavaScript debugger; and wizards and development aides tuned to specific
> libraries and toolkits.  The Framework is extensible to support other AJAX
> toolkits and has a wizard-based tool to facilitate the integration of new
> toolkits in the framework.
> The AJAX Toolkit Framework has dependencies on  Mozilla XULRunner and
> JavaConnect, and Eclipse WTP. AJAX Toolkit Framework is written as a set
> of
> Plugin extensions to Eclipse. It embeds 4 other open source components:
> Rhino, JSLint, Rico and Zimbra.  No code modifications will be made to the
> 4 open source components specified. They are incorporated to accommodate
> Eclipse plugin architecture and distributed as-is by repackaging them as
> part of the AJAX Toolkit Framework.
> The Zimbra AJAX Development Toolkit, the first toolkit integrated into the
> framework, provides a rich client library, similar in style to traditional
> object-oriented widget libraries like Eclipse's SWT.  This toolkit hides
> implementation details and browser quirks and makes web development more
> accessible to the enterprise developer.  It provides
> * User interface development
> * Network communications (both synchronous and asynchronous)
> * SOAP programming
> * XML document creation and manipulation
> * UI event handling and management
> For further information, please see the Zimbra AjaxTK whitepaper:
> 0.2  Warning signs
> Orphaned products:
> The initial code submission is based on colloborative work between IBM and
> Zimbra to provide a toolkit and a framework to embed the toolkit in IDE
> environment and provide additional enhancements. Both the companies
> believe
> that taking a joint approach and making it available through open source
> will make it widely accepted and create a community and unify Industry
> momentum to consolidate requirements and accelerate community growth and
> enhance the toolkit to ease development of AJAX applications.
> Inexperience with open source:
> Both the companies and several of the commiters are very experienced in
> Open Source environment. All efforts will be made to ensure that the work
> done and momentum will be in strict adherence to open source guidelines.
> Homogenous developers:
> The current list of committers includes developers who are geographically
> distributed.  They are experienced with working in a distributed
> environment, and with resolving technical differences.
> Reliance on salaried developers:
> All of the initial developers are paid by their employers to contribute to
> this project and the employers track records for ongoing investment in
> open
> source communities well known.
> No ties to other Apache products:
> The initial codebase will be licensed under the Apache License 2.0.The
> dependencies on other external projects are defined in the alignment
> section.  While there are no direct build dependencies on other Apache
> projects, the development of AJAX clients will often be driven by Apache
> middleware and will have a positive impact on the open source movement as
> described in the "Rationale" section.
> A fascination with the Apache brand:
> The committers are intent on developing a strong open source community. We
> believe that the Apache Software Foundation's emphasis on community
> development makes it the most suitable choice.
> 1. Scope of the subprojects
> The subprojects will include development tools necessary to encourage
> browser-based, AJAX-style development for individual users as well as in
> the enterprise.  The tools will be driven by an extensible IDE Framework
> and may include utilities to assist in code development, analysis, and
> testing.  The tools will be adaptable to different AJAX runtimes, some of
> which will also be subprojects in the incubator.  The initial submission
> includes an IDE and one such runtime.
> These initial projects are intended merely as starting points and should
> not be taken as bounding the scope of the project as a whole. Some other
> potential projects may include:
> * WYSIWYG tools for building AJAX-style interfaces
> * Declarative grammars or abstractions for AJAX programming
> * A common data model to facilitate efficient server communication with
> Javascript or DOM access
> 2. Identify the initial source from which the subprojects are to be
> populated
> AJAX Toolkit Framework was developed at IBM as a set of plugins based on
> the Eclipse Framework and WebTools Project.  Zip files containing
> snapshots
> of CVS directories are provided with this proposal at
> and
> The Zimbra AjaxTK is available today in open source, and can be downloaded
> as part of the Zimbra Collaboration Suite (choose the source code version)
> at
>  A snapshot of the AJAX
> toolkit code is provided at
> 2.1 External Dependencies of the project
> AJAX Toolkit Framework has dependencies on Mozilla XULRunner and
> JavaConnect, and Eclipse WTP. AJAX Toolkit Framework is written as a set
> of
> Plugin extensions to Eclipse. It embeds four other open source components
> Rhino, JSLint, Rico and Zimbra.  No code modifications will be made to the
> four open source components specified. They are incorporated to
> accommodate
> Eclipse plugin architecture and distributed as is by repackaging them as
> part of AJAX Toolkit Framework. In the future any AJAX toolkit that is to
> be supported can be included as another plugin.
> 3. Identify the ASF resources to be created
> 3.1 mailing list(s)
>     * ajaxtk-ppmc
>     * ajaxtk-dev
>     * ajaxtk-commits
>     * ajaxtk-user
> 3.2 Subversion repository
>     * [WWW]
> 3.3 Bugzilla
> 4. Identify the initial set of committers:
>     * Craig Becker
>     * Leugim Bustelo
>     * Andrew Clark
>     * Conrad Damon
>     * Ross Dargahi
>     * Becky Gibson
>     * Javier Pedemonte
>     * Adam Peller
>     * Roland Schemers
>     * Donald Sedota
>     * Parag Shah
>     * Greg Solovyev
> 5. Identify Apache sponsoring individual
> We request that the Apache Incubator PMC sponsor the AJAX Toolkit
> Framework
> as an
> incubating project, with the eventual goal of graduation as a TLP.  The
> initial contributors feel the scope of the project doesn't clearly
> overlap with any existing TLP, and is broad enough to justify eventual
> TLP status.
> Champion:    Sam Ruby
> Mentors:     ??
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