Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: XebiaLabs Blog, Yeshim Deniz, SmartBear Blog, Derek Weeks, Automic Blog

Related Topics: Linux Containers, Industrial IoT, Machine Learning

Linux Containers: Article

AJAX: "XML for Client-Side Computing"

It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side

This article originally appeared in XML-Journal on March 10, 2004

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

However, we have not seen significant use of XML on the client side to date. When we write client-side code, we are likely using HTML/DHTML for browser-based applications, Win32 for Windows desktop applications, and Java Swing/J2ME for Java applications.

The truth of the matter is that XML makes a lot of sense for client-side computing. The difference between client-side computing and server-side computing is that the former is more concerned with user presentation and interaction while the latter is more concerned with business logic and data access. XML has proven to be an effective tool at both the business logic layer and data layer. It is also a great solution to the challenges at the user interface (UI) layer. Two UI layer challenges stand to benefit most obviously from the use of XML.

The first challenge is how to decouple UI description and UI logic. Separating UI description and interaction logic would allow greater flexibility, clearer separation of programmers and designers, and lower development and maintenance costs.

Today, UI description and UI logic are tightly coupled in most client-side programming models. UI description must be written as program code and normally mixed together with UI interaction logic. For example, to create a UI layout for a Win32 dialog, a developer must write Win32 code. Changes to the UI layout would require changing the code, recompiling the program, and redeploying the program. The cost and complexity of this process are high.

XML is an ideal candidate to solve this challenge. UI description can be written as XML documents and UI logic can be written in any programming language. Such separation decouples them and creates tremendous flexibility. XML documents can be created and manipulated by many tools and are human-readable. Additionally, designers with HTML skills will have no problem dealing with XML documents. UI designers can create and edit such documents without touching the UI logic. UI developers are free to code UI logic without getting bogged down in UI design. Such clear separation would significantly lower development and maintenance costs.

Additionally, using XML for UI description would enable better development tools. The best development tools enable visual design of user interfaces in a drag-and-drop fashion. However, these tools are merely "UI code generators" for developers and preclude the participation of people other than developers. For example, Visual Studio .NET generates UI description as C# code and only C# developers have the skill sets to use such code. Furthermore, when developers modify such C# UI code, it is a daunting task for the development tool to parse the C# code, figure out what has been changed, and determine how the change should be reflected in the visual design. With XML for UI description, it would be easier to create tools that enable two-way editing of UI design for nonprogrammers and allow programmers to concentrate on business logic.

The second challenge is how to decouple the UI layer from the underlying platform or device. Companies will always have different computing platforms. If applications can run on any browser, operating system, and hardware device, the cost for development, deployment, maintenance, and support will be dramatically lower.

It's easy to see how business logic can be made platform independent, but it is much harder for UI. Even Java did not adequately solve this challenge. As a result, most client-side programming models are tied to the client-side platform, such as Win32, MFC, Java Swing, and DHTML.

XML is inherently cross-platform. UI designers can use XML to describe their design and the cross-platform nature of XML will enable such information to be communicated accurately to different platforms. Different platforms can choose to present such UIs in a platform-optimized way without requiring UIs to be hard coded into this platform. UI logic can be easily compiled or coded to run cross-platform using available technologies today, such as Java or JavaScript. Even if there are incompatibility issues, they can be resolved by leveraging the flexibility of XML (e.g., XSLT).

Client-side XML is beginning to draw attention. There have been efforts and successes from standards bodies, and startups are beginning to deliver real commercial implementations. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an XML standard for 2D graphics over the Web, is a W3C standard and has gained a lot of support in the industry. XUL, an XML language for describing rich user interfaces, developed by Mozilla, significantly increased awareness of client-side XML. On the commercial implementation side, there have been quite a few successful examples. For example, Starwood Hotels developed a customer response system across its hotel chain (www.nwfusion.com/ee/2003/eecrm.html). The user interface of the application is written using XML and the UI logic is written as client-side beans. It runs inside any 4.0+ browser on major platforms and deploys like a normal Web application with zero client install, but delivers native desktop application performance and functionality. The application has been running nonstop for 14 months, supporting thousands of users distributed across the country. The results were significant: shorter development cycle, huge deployment and maintenance savings, and higher user satisfaction and productivity. It was cited as one of InfoWorld's "Top 100 Innovations" in 2002.

What started as a great success on the server side is just now beginning to show its strengths in client-side programming. We have yet to see the full potential of client-side XML, but can expect to see much more as it drives a client-side revolution.

More Stories By Coach Wei

Coach Wei is founder and CEO of Yottaa, a web performance optimization company. He is also founder and Chairman of Nexaweb, an enterprise application modernization software company. Coding, running, magic, robot, big data, speed...are among his favorite list of things (not necessarily in that order. His coding capability is really at PowerPoint level right now). Caffeine, doing something entrepreneurial and getting out of sleeping are three reasons that he gets up in the morning and gets really excited.

Comments (11) 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
XML Journal News Desk 09/14/06 01:22:28 PM EDT

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

n d 08/22/06 10:42:07 AM EDT

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

n d 08/21/06 08:15:09 PM EDT

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

n d 08/21/06 08:05:19 PM EDT

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

n d 08/21/06 07:47:37 PM EDT

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

SYS-CON Australia News Desk 04/05/06 07:49:07 PM EDT

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

SYS-CON Italy News Desk 02/22/06 02:02:42 PM EST

XML is a simple, flexible text format initially designed for large-scale electronic publishing. It is flexible, open, and human-readable, and can be learned easily. XML can also be generated, parsed, analyzed, and transformed easily. It's no wonder that XML has been widely used for server-side computing: J2EE, .NET, and Web services.

Jim Cutillo 09/25/04 08:16:02 PM EDT

If your interested in a true application XML environment, check out ObjectBuilders patented tools. We have been doing application XML for the past ten years. This isn't new, people are finally beginning to realize the benefits.

Pierre Morel 05/06/04 12:05:10 AM EDT

This is exactly what we are proposing as a solution at our site (www.ultrid.com) We have example of complete separation of UI and code. The coding can be done with 10 scripting languages or in Java. The UI language is extendable, so new tags can be created for wrapping Java API that can be use and re-use by all. Tags like Preference, Help System can be integrated whithout writing a single line of code by a person who is not a programmer. Application can be fully localized. Yes, UI can be writing by non-programmer and the code can be separated from it and create by programmers. And this can be zero deploy as an application when the engine is installed on the client computer. Take a look at our SwingSet2 clone all writing in XML, Javascript and some Java class.

Scott Diezen 03/23/04 09:26:18 AM EST

Next generation Windows from Microsoft, Longhorn, will include support for XAML. It is squarely along the lines talked in this article.

jack swany 03/17/04 03:17:42 PM EST

right on!

@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a client-oriented software development company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex softw...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, will discuss the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information,