Technometria: AJAX Progress and Challenges

Phil Windley interviews Ben Galbraith, Bruce Grant, and Scott C. Lemon.

This is an audio show, around an hour in length, and since the topic isn't directly programming language related, I was not sure if I should post the link here. Still, we have been fairly quiet recently, and this show suggests some project ideas that may interest language hackers, so you might want to listen in.

Among the ideas I spotted are: JIT for Javascript, better debugging support for Javascript (possibly via an open standard for getting debug information from the javascript engine) and better ways to handle failure in web services orchestration.

This is related to previous discussions of what might be called the Web 2.0 programming model. See, for example, the discussion of the Google Web Toolkit, my suggestions about a google DSL here , Microsoft Atlas, and the various discussions about Ruby on Rails.

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May I plug....

You forgot to list haXe which is an highlevel mixed OO/functional programming language with type inference which can generate to either JavaScript (like GWT) but also Flash (6 to 9) and Neko (for server-side and desktop programming).

May I plug.... You should

May I plug....

You should plug it, of course...

In fact, I just email a link to haXe a couple of minuites ago to someone. I should have included it in the list.

JIT for JavaScript?

I suppose it might make it a little faster but is there much research into how much this sort of thing can speed up very dynamic languages?

I know Psyco got good results for Python but that is incredibly complex and trades off memory for CPU time quite aggressively; given Firefox is often accused of using too much memory is that really a wise swap?

It might be better to figure out a proper security model for native code instead, and allow C/C++ to be linked into the browser once verified. Something like LLVM linked with static analysis to prove memory safety of C/C++ like in the papers done by the LLVM team, see "Memory Safety Without Garbage Collection for Embedded Applications"

It might be better to figure

It might be better to figure out a proper security model

While maybe true, I think this is harder than it appears. This will eventually happen, and involve things like PCC, TAL etc.

The NekoVM which haXe is

The NekoVM which haXe is targetting has JIT support. It's not Javascript but Neko is a dynamicly typed programming language with similar constructs and a very clean OO prototype-based system.

Is Secure JavaScript Even Possible?

They should first answer the above question since, without appropriate security, downloadable code (JavaScript, AJAX, or whatever) will not be allowed.

Large corporations that understand security now strip all JavaScript out of incoming pages at the firewall, so AJAX pages appear dead. And that is an appropriate measure in today's environment.