23 June 2006

Redeeming Flash with Fjax

I hate Flash. But just suppose it were possible to use it for something else, other than mindless, TV-style animations.

Enter Fjax. Ignore the buzzword overload - "Fjax is the lightweight, cross-browser, rapid-development methodology for Ajax-style web 2.0 development" - and you find its real purpose is to redeem Flash:

Fjax, short for Flash/JavaScript/and Asynchronous XML, is about using Flash as an invisible parsing engine to seamlessly deliver XML-based pure (x)HTML content interactively to browsers, all on the client-side. The kicker is that Fjax typically weighs in at a tenth of the size of normal Ajax solutions.

Keeping it simple (the http://www.fjax.net website runs on less than 65 lines of Fjax code - weighing only 4 total kilobytes!) means quick, light-weight code that is easily editable. Since the XML parsing happens in Flash, 90% of the redundant browser-specific code in a typical Ajax application completely disappears! And unlike the other Flash and Ajax integration projects out there, the outcome of Fjax is not Flash and (x)HTML, but a pure (x)HTML experience (which could contain an integrated visual Flash experience, but that isn’t required).

Using Flash to produce ordinary, non-Flash Web content more efficiently: utterly brilliant. God knows what their business model is, though. (Via eHub.)

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