Considering Open Laszlo, hAxE

I was catching up with one of the engineers who works on Open Laszlo, a rich-internet application system that came out some time before Flex from Laszlo Systems. Laszlo has historically produced output for Flash Player, but now it’s targeting DHTML also! There’s a demo on the home page, showing both examples with Flash and DHTML.

I’ve been interested in Laszlo for some time, but have been preoccupied with regular Flash development using the Macromedia IDE. I think it’s time to take another look at it; Laszlo separates presentation from logic through a declarative XML-based schema that seems like it would be pretty fast. What kept me from really getting into it was the additional requirements to host it (Apache Tomcat) and my lack of a really good XML editor (I dislike formatting XML in general). The former has been addressed by neat try it out in 10 minutes tools and non-commercial hosting options, and the latter…well, I am mature enough now to overlook my silly prejudices.

I’m also curious about hAxE, the “web oriented universal language” that grew out of the MTASC team. It also can target either DHTML or Flash Player.

Anything that can isolate me from actually having to deal with the DOM and browser-based javascript is a good thing, as far as I’m concerned :-)