Thursday, 14 February 2008

AMF and BlazeDS

Action Message Format (AMF) is a serializing format like XML and JSON. Where the latter two sends formatted text, AMF sends binary data. This allows one to transfer your own domain objects instead of creating a data transfer scheme for XML or JSON. BlazeDS, an open source project from Adobe, is the 'enabler' for AMF.

This site compares the data loading performance between AMF, XML, JSON and a few others. The screenshot shows that AMF took the least time and bandwidth to load the data.

Sites of Interest:
BlazeDS and what it means for the developer community
BlazeBench: Why you want AMF and BlazeDS
Ajax and Flex Data Loading Benchmarks

Wednesday, 13 February 2008


Flex is a presentation layer in a SWF package using Flash, residing in the client and interacting with the server to obtain data. It is very similar to Wicket, in that you would lay out UI components in a design and add business logic behind the scenes. While Wicket does it with HTML and Java, Flex does it with MXML and ActionScript. Flex is more towards application development than AJAX, but both can use each other.

A Flex interface requires a server API to talk to. This site shows four ways (ColdFusion, PHP, Java and ASP.NET) to go about it. The data returned by the API would be in XML for ease of use.

Sites of Interest:
What is Flex?
Flex and Ajax: So Happy Together
From Tags to Riches: Going from Web 1.0 to Flex

Monday, 11 February 2008

Food for thought: Endless learning

The Mythical 5% by Bruce Eckel started the brain juices flowing on how to be a better software engineer, following on one of the things the article mentions - listening to podcasts. It should definitely bring in new ideas, though the question is where to start? Followed some links and trying out The Java Posse and Software Engineering Radio. Now I need to get my MP3 player working again...

One of the things I would like to experience would be the pair-programming and working in a team. Being the sole developer has a lot of advantages, such as being able to do with the source code as you will, but it leads to an entrenched viewpoint and blindspots abound.

There is always plenty to learn, expanding on my Java knowledge would be a good thing. And I would like to delve deep in some other language as a counterweight, exposing me to different coding techniques and styles.