Doris Chen Explains and Demos jMaki

jMaki logo

On the second (and last) day of Sun Tech Days Atlanta, Doris Chen, who starred with Sridhar Reddy in a previous posting of mine, was at the podium for a 6:00 p.m. jMaki session. The turnout was impressive for such a late talk and I hastened to take a front-row seat for an unobstructed view. Here’s a summary of what I learned.

What Is jMaki?
According to Doris, jMaki, which first started as a wrapper for JavaScript technology, was invented by Sun senior staff engineer Greg Murray, who’d spent many years in Japan. The lowercase j stands for JavaScript; maki means “wrap” in that language.

jMaki as an open-source project has evolved to be a model for creating widgets and is now much more than just a wrapper, supporting both the server and client sides. The server side is a runtime with JavaScript libraries and resources; the client side manages the widgets and services. The name jMaki, however, sticks.

See www.jmaki.com for details.

Why jMaki?
Why build Web applications with jMaki? The reasons are many—

  • Universal interface by means of tag libraries with popular widgets
  • Generic, shared libraries
  • Standardized data model
  • Support for tools
  • Support for multiple servers and languages, for example, JSP pages, portlets, PHP, and Ruby

In short, jMaki makes the development of Web 2.0 applications easy, seamless, and flexible. ajax.dev.java.net contains the details.

What’s the Architecture?
The components of jMaki include the model, client services, layouts, client runtime, server-side runtime, and XmlHttpProxy. Through a NetBeans 6.0 application, Doris demo’d the ins and outs. Choosing a layout and dropping widgets there, for example, involve only a few clicks. Sheer magic!

Doris pointed out that Ajax applications usually call for numerous scripts, which makes debugging a pain. Plus, Ajax is not standard and must be implemented differently for the various browsers. Testing on those browsers is a labor-intensive chore. jMaki boasts an effective debugging mechanism that takes care of cross-browser issues by wrapping the widgets from Dojo, Yahoo!, Google, and such, which already work across browsers.

What About External Resources?
With jMaki’s XmlHttpProxy, dubbed “a window to the world,” accessing external resources, such as RSS, REST, and JSON, is a breeze. XmlHttpProxy enables access to RESTful Web services and enterprise resources. You can also customize jMaki components, a simple task that Doris showed the audience. A couple of minor changes in the code did the trick—truly amazing!

jMaki can also work with enterprise resources, like retrieving data from a database or other persistence data sources.

What About Communications Among Widgets?
Doris assured everyone that the widgets can talk with each other and proved that with code examples. For details on the widgets, see widgets.dev.java.net.


What an illuminating session! Toward the end, Doris gave out her email address and invited feedback. One participant after another approached her with questions. The enthusiasm was catching. Take a bow, Doris.


Do visit the Sun Tech Days site.

Comments:

[Trackback] A late-afternoon session on the second day of Sun Tech Days Atlanta on how to build Web applications with jMaki drew quite a crowd. No surprise: jMaki is hot software and Doris an expert.

Posted by Marina Sum's Blog on January 13, 2008 at 07:11 AM PST #

[Trackback] Bookmarked your post over at Blog Bookmarker.com!

Posted by various on January 13, 2008 at 08:30 AM PST #

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