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Rich Internet Application Framework

I thought regular readers here might be interested in a framework I have just released as alpha. Titled the "QWAD Framework" it aims to provide the building blocks to assist the development of DHTML Rich Internet Applications. It uses little more than Javascript and CSS (with a little server-side PHP) to build applications using various widgets with dirct communication with the server.

Check out the example pages:
Of particular note is 'demoapp'.

The wiki is online at:

Chris Send private email
Sunday, December 19, 2004
It looks like a good start.  I've done something like this too, although mine works quite a bit differently and I put the emphasis on different qualities.
Kalani Send private email
Sunday, December 19, 2004
Well.. It doesn't work at all for me in Opera. In IE I'm seeing redrawing errors, sluggishness and awkward behavior. Text being selected when I'm trying to drag a window, the window itself disappearing, the menu bar following my mouse even after I let go of the mouse button (and jumping all over the place randomly), menus jumping up to the top left of the window, etc.

I don't want to be a party pooper, but I think we've got a long way to go before web apps with rich interfaces are truly usable. It won't happen with the current batch of browsers, that's for sure. It's a cute idea, but honestly I wouldn't spend any time on this until the browsers are much better.
Sunday, December 19, 2004
I actually found that I had good functionality with Firefox 1, except for one small problem: I have mouse gestures installed, so if I want to move some windows in certain patterns, it also does interesting things to the page.  Like if I move a window directly to the left, my browser will go back, taking me away from the page I was on.  I can avoid this by waiting for a second before I release the mouse button (cancelling the gesture), but this is another inconvenience for me. 

Chances are that I'm not going to turn off one of my most commonly used browser features just to use an app written in your framework if there's an alternative out there that I can just install on my machine easily - then I have the full functionality of *both* applications, and I probably use my browser more.
Chris Weisel Send private email
Monday, December 20, 2004
Don't want to be too negative here but I agree with the suggestion not to spend too much time on it. After all we had a rich user interface api for browsers about 8 years ago: Java applets.

I dont know why they never took off as I expected back then. but it's I beleive the reasons are more complicated than the size of the java plugin and compatibilty issues.
Monday, December 20, 2004
Other than Chris Weisel I had no problems with Firefox and Mouse Gestures. Chris, did you configure you gestures to be triggered by left or right mouse button?

It looks like a good start to me. Keep on, Chris (OP)!
Gerd Riesselmann
Monday, December 20, 2004
Like others I think that it's very cool and that it looks like a lot of fun to design and program, but it's got a tough row to hoe if it's ever going to get to commercial acceptance. 

For a long time there have been Java apps that have loaded through internet and provide very good UI's.  Thinkfree is one example that's been around at least 5 years, I think.  ( 

I just took a look right now and found the "Fly" suite.  You can look at a fairly full-fledged Java word processor that loads from browser over internet at .  On my cable modem I think it loads in just a couple of seconds.  Of course it's not as feature-rich as Word.  And I don't think it runs inside the browser either.  But I don't really care about that, so long as it loads over internet I don't really care whether it runs inside my browser or not.  Should I?  All I want is a rich desktop-type UI.

Given current broadband speeds it seems to me like an internet-enabled desktop app can be deployed and/or loaded very quickly over internet.  In addition, these applications aren't bound by restrictions of having to work within the browser.  Could it be that the future of app development might not be as browser-based as some people think?
Herbert Sitz Send private email
Monday, December 20, 2004

Thanks everyone for the feedback, much appreciated.
Yes, there are definately some usability problems - hence why the code is very early alpha. The majority of testing has occured with Firefox and IE - currently Opera is completetly unsupported (primarily due to its lack of XMLHttpRequest method)

The aim is to have RIA functionality through the browser's currently in use today. Sure there are much prettier solutions using Flex or Applets, but they all require on external plugins. The lowest common denominator is HTML+CSS+JS, which is all that I plan on using.

It is quite time consuming using the above restrictions to develop really solid GUI widgets. As such the framework (as it should) completely separates the roles of functionality, presentation and application logic. Unfortunately as I'm the only develeloper I haven't focussed too much on the presentation - but most of the current visual artifacts are fairly simple to fix. (Including proper support for most browsers)

Chris Send private email
Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Anyone have any thoughts on ?

I am considering developing an online test module using Open Laslzlo. Do you think it would be a good fit? Or are there any better technologies? Send private email
Wednesday, January 12, 2005

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