IBM announced plans this week to contribute what it calls “key intellectual assets” to the open source community, in an effort to help companies and software developers adopt and share best practices for Ajax software development.
With its software contributions the firm aims to foster an industry collaboration and adoption of Ajax, a technology that improves Web application responsiveness, and do so at a lower cost point and with less complexity. The technology contributions will extend the code already available in the Dojo Toolkit, which will enable internationalization of applications as well as make them fully accessible to persons with disabilities through a variety of assistive technologies, including DHTML and Accessible widgets.
IBM’s donation will also extend the Dojo Toolkit’s existing data model and provide a foundation architecture and Web-based tools for the industry to engineer, collaborate on, share and reuse software development best practices, IBM said.
Additionally, developers can allow users to drag and drop objects inside a Web browser similar to the capabilities available on computer desktops to move folders and documents around. Ajax provides the ability to develop rich buttons sets, icons, scroll bars, menus and widgets that can ease and speed navigation, as well as simplify information retrieval.
IBM will also provide expertise to integrate Dynamic Web Accessibility into the Dojo Toolkit widget set. The Dynamic Web Accessibility specification is being developed within the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative. It provides a mechanism for creating rich user interface components on the Web which are fully accessible via the keyboard and when using assistive technologies such as screen readers and screen magnifiers.
This enhanced accessibility, which mimics the behavior of client side user interface controls, supports the rich internet applications built using Ajax and Dojo.
Open Standards for Ajax
The new open source Ajax technology is designed to improve software development practices within organizations and throughout the industry.
“IBM is doing for the Ajax software development process what Eclipse has done for the integration of software tools, what Apache did for Web application servers and what Linux did for operating systems,” said Boloker. “This technology contribution enables the greater community and our customers.”