Welcome!

Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Java IoT, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Weblogic, Linux Containers, Adobe Flex, Open Source Cloud, Eclipse, Machine Learning , Agile Computing

Java IoT: Article

The Development Power of Open Source AJAX Tooling

Bridging the gap between the development environment and the deployed browser environment

(SYS-CON Media) - Understanding the complexity of AJAX at the browser level is critical to refining and debugging rich AJAX applications that leverage Web technologies such as JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and XMLHttpRequests. Adding a third-party AJAX runtime heightens the complexity and sufficient browser tooling becomes critical when attempting to build a rich Internet application around existing libraries. The Eclipse AJAX Toolkit Framework (ATF) provides both a multi-faceted set of browser tooling features as well as support for integrating and building on existing AJAX runtimes.

IBM has a long history of working with the open source community and supporting innovation and collaboration. The Eclipse ATF project is one of 150 that IBM is currently participating in and actively making technology contributions for various enhancements. IBM's goal around ATF is to accelerate the industry's acceptance of AJAX by offering it a complete open source AJAX IDE. The project including plug-ins to the Eclipse development platform is in ongoing development efforts to provide exemplary tools for creating and debugging AJAX applications.

How ATF Works
ATF provides views into the CSS, XMLHttpRequests, and the Document Object Models (DOM) of a Web application along with any error, warning, or information messages generated by the browser. These views are linked to the currently loaded document in the browser and responds to selections make of individual DOM nodes. Inspection is crucial for finding and locating problems in rich AJAX applications and doing this inspection in the same environment as development allows rapid application development and deployment. ATF provides a capability to select a DOM node and unravel it to expose any JavaScript functions referenced in the markup, the CSS rules and properties currently applied, and the HTML source. This allows quick discovery of the style sheets and JavaScript functions being used by third-party AJAX widgets, increasing their flexibility and maintainability. Sifting through directories and documentation to find out how widgets are defining their look-and-feel is no longer needed since simply selecting the widget in the embedded browser will reveal the file and line number of the CSS or JavaScript code used. Developers can now maintain API-level abstraction from the toolkits used during development but then have access via inspection into the components of the rich AJAX application at the browser level when debugging a deployed application.

The DOM Source view in ATF provides both an inspection tool and an editor for viewing and also making changes to a node's DOM source. ATF enables the browser to become a canvas that enables modifications to the DOM to be re-injected into the browser and any functional or visual changes will be realized. The source tooling around the embedded browser provides live rendering of changes made to any node in the DOM document. This feature has interesting and empowering applications such as the ability to inject link and script nodes into the page's DOM and then make use of the loaded scripts when editing other nodes on the page such as controls or user interface elements. This feature lets AJAX be enabled on any Web site that can be loaded via a URL and allow mashups of locally created and deployed scripts with remote pages. This editing capability provides developers with a sandbox for testing and exploring runtime toolkits as well as changing interactions dynamically within the browser. The DOM source tooling for the browser lets developers go so far as to develop rich AJAX applications completely inside the browser with no local project files on the system. The gap between written and rendered DHTML code is bridged as a side-by-side of runtime-specific source and browser source can be viewed and edited. AJAX application issues can now be resolved inside the browser, which shortens development iterations with changes only propagated back to application source files when the resulting application functionality is correct.

The use of Cascading Style Sheets is an integral part of rich Internet application development to achieve a consistent visual look-and-feel. Achieving the "desktop" application feel in a rich AJAX applica-tion means making use of CSS properties to create partial transparency when dragging an item into an online shopping cart. Style sheet management and refinement becomes tough for developers when mixing developed styles with existing styles in AJAX runtime toolkits. ATF provides a CSS view that's driven by selecting any DOM element and viewing all CSS rules currently applied to that element as well as any cascading that's occurring. This view allows any defined property for a rule to be changed and for properties to be added and deleted with any modifications affecting all nodes on the page using those style rules. The CSS tooling provides a feature to select a CSS rule and visually highlight all elements in the browser that currently have that property rule applied. This feature lets developers see what elements will be affected by changes to that property and exposes the differentiation of elements caused by cascading styles. The process of managing and refining style sheets becomes streamlined as developers can deploy applications and then tool the CSS live in the browser page until it's correct and then revert the changes made back to workspace project files using the diff computing of the CSS view that tracks all the CSS changes made since the page was loaded.

AJAX derives its power by using XMLHttpRequest (XHR) as a transport for asynchronous communication to other sites or Web servers. ATF provides a monitor of all XMLHttpRequests that occur for a page once it's loaded in the embedded browser. Developers can get the turnaround time for the request as well as the contents of the request and response and the target URL. The XHR monitor rounds out the necessary inspection tools for components used in rich AJAX applications.

Developers Can See the Benefits
Developers familiar with the Java debugging support inside Eclipse will see the same features in ATF for JavaScript debugging such as breakpoints, expression evaluation, and variable inspection. ATF brings the Eclipse Java debug experience to JavaScript-based applications with the same debugging behavior and functionality. ATF provides a debugging perspective that shows all the scripts currently loaded for a page launched in the embedded Mozilla browser. The script view can be used to inspect loaded scripts by opening them in an editor with support for breakpoint creation. Developers can easily discover and explore scripts used in the page by setting the necessary breakpoints and then interacting with the page to see what actions are handled by what scripts.

The debugger is unique in the sense in that its functionality is supported for both locally created and deployed applications and remote applications launched via URL. A Web application can be fully debugged with no local workspace files needed and JavaScript files can be opened remotely with support for adding remote breakpoints. Now testing a site simply requires ATF and a URL and from that breakpoints can be set for files, errors, exceptions, or on launch and the entire user interaction with an AJAX application can be stepped through. This lets developers explore runtime toolkits from the top down with a JavaScript stack frame that allows the correct level of inspection and evaluation to verify the correct use of widgets and AJAX support.

The complexity created by utilizing various Web technologies for building rich Internet applications requires tooling not just at the source level but at the browser level as well. The browser becomes a crucial development tool since inspection and tooling allow introspection and modification to take place for any page navigated to. This bi-directionality gives Web 2.0 developers and testers the necessary information and tooling needed to understand and resolve browser interactions. The AJAX Toolkit Framework seeks to bridge the gap between development environment and the deployed browser environment. ATF provides the necessary tooling around a Mozilla browser inside Eclipse and reveals, via inspection, all the necessary elements of the rich AJAX application for troubleshooting and debugging. ATF brings the Eclipse development experience to developers looking for a complete and sufficient tool for developing and debugging rich Internet applications. ATF is an open source project under the Eclipse Web Tools Platform. More information can be found at www.eclipse.org/atf.

More Stories By Kevin Sawicki

Kevin Sawicki is strategic software engineer, IBM Internet Emerging Technology.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
SOA Web Services Journal News 12/27/06 04:02:37 AM EST

Understanding the complexity of AJAX at the browser level is critical to refining and debugging rich AJAX applications that leverage Web technologies such as JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and XMLHttpRequests. Adding a third-party AJAX runtime heightens the complexity and sufficient browser tooling becomes critical when attempting to build a rich Internet application around existing libraries. The Eclipse AJAX Toolkit Framework (ATF) provides both a multi-faceted set of browser tooling features as well as support for integrating and building on existing AJAX runtimes.

JDJ News Desk 12/27/06 12:17:24 AM EST

Understanding the complexity of AJAX at the browser level is critical to refining and debugging rich AJAX applications that leverage Web technologies such as JavaScript, Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), and XMLHttpRequests. Adding a third-party AJAX runtime heightens the complexity and sufficient browser tooling becomes critical when attempting to build a rich Internet application around existing libraries. The Eclipse AJAX Toolkit Framework (ATF) provides both a multi-faceted set of browser tooling features as well as support for integrating and building on existing AJAX runtimes.

@ThingsExpo Stories
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...