Flapjax on the griddle for Web apps

AJAX-based technology debuts

Flapjax, an open source programming language leveraging AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) and geared toward easier development of Web applications, made its debut this week.

Flapjax is "designed around the demands of modern client-based Web applications," according to the Flapjax Web site, where the technology is available under a BSD license.

"It's a very generous BSD license. We want people to use it," said Flapjax lead developer Shriram Krishnamurthi, an associate professor of computer science at Brown University.

Flapjax, Krishnamurthi said, "provides a better programming language for writing the client application, but it also makes it easier to communicate and store data on a server." The Flapjax team is providing a server to host data and applications; users also can host their own applications or prototype on the Flapjax server and then migrate to their own hardware. Flapjax technology is accessible here.

Featuring a JavaScript syntax, the language shields developers from the intricacies of AJAX by building in AJAX support. "It buries the need for you to worry about the AJAX details," Krishnamurthi said.

Flapjax is envisioned as a solution for developing rich Internet applications such as front ends for e-commerce systems. It runs on traditional Web browsers and requires no plug-ins or additional downloads.

Flapjax also features event-driven, reactive evaluation, which involves a programming model for writing client-side applications that saves developers from dealing with "bookkeeping" details such as data passing, Krishnamurthi said. A templating syntax in Flapjax enables insertion of Flapjax code onto an HTML page.

Access control is provided for shared data.

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