AFLAX and Aptana IDE

Paul Colton and team at Aptana are a wild bunch. They wrote AFLAX, an open source javascript library that opens new doors for AJAX webapps by leveraging Flash. Just take a look at this AFLAX.Canvas preview demo. Who in their right mind would implement DIV-based Canvas for smooth user experience degrading? It sounds easy in theory but not in practice because you have to implement the Canvas drawing API in pure JavaScript. Crazy! I love that kind of crazyness. šŸ˜‰

They are smart too because, instead of trying to compete with other popular AJAX libraries, they integrated with them (Dojo, MochiKit, and Prototype with Rico so far).

Under the hood, AFLAX requires Flash 8 or later because it uses the ExternalInterface feature which allows a Flash movie to expose an API accessible from JavaScript. The downside is that I don't think Flash 8/9 penetration is anywhere near ubiquity yet. But recent popularity of podcasting and ready-to-serve media services like YouTube and MySpace need the new features provided by Flash 8 and 9 for best UX so I am optimistic about AFLAX.

Last but not least, Aptana is building an Eclipse-based IDE for AJAX webapps in general and AFLAX in particular. Checkout some Aptana IDE screencasts. Cool.

My thumbs are UP for AFLAX and Aptana IDE. I sure hope they have enough energy left to get to the finishing line cuz I can see how far they dragged the mountain already.

A Question for the AFLAX team: what's with stack overflows in demos? They seem to occur during page transition.