IBM tool eases JavaScript development

The Eclipse-based technology features EGL modeling language to help developers build Web 2.0 apps

Countering rivals Microsoft and Adobe Systems, IBM is offering a free tool to simplify development of JavaScript-based Web applications, featuring use of a modeling language, according to IBM sources.

Big Blue's EGL CE  (Enterprise Generation Language Community Edition), released Tuesday, is an Eclipse-based tool geared to building Web 2.0 applications. It leverages IBM's EGL modeling language. Developers who code in PHP, Ruby on Rails, Groovy, JavaScript, and HTML can use the EGL tool to code, test, and debug Web 2.0 applications using one language.

[ Microsoft also is offering a new tool, called Doloto, to boost JavaScript-based applications. ]

EGL does not try to replace HTML or JavaScript, unlike Adobe Flash/Flex or Microsoft Silverlight technologies, said Will Smythe, EGL product line manager at IBM, in a slide presentation posted on the EGL Web page (PDF).

"EGL is a higher-level programming language designed for developing powerful, modern applications," Smythe said. "The goal is to shield developers from complexities typically associated with Web 2.0 application development."

"EGL CE is intended for anyone who wants to develop RIAs (rich Internet applications) quickly and efficiently. Since EGL syntax is easy for people to learn and can integrate across different business tiers, people from all development backgrounds (Java, PHP, Cobol, etc) find they are very productive using EGL," said Smythe.

EGL CE enables development of JavaScript-based user interfaces without having to write JavaScript. It also can be used to build Java-based Web services without the need to write Java code. Developers can build complex Web applications without coding in multiple different languages and patching pieces together for the end product, according to a statement from an IBM representative, and can spend less time deploying and more time coding.

Developers can download EGL CE at IBM's Web page.

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