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Sun's jMaki Project Enters the Ajax Fray


Monday, May 15, 2006; 08:15 AM

Sun announced the release of a new Ajax development framework named jMaki.  The open source project aims to formalize and simplify working with AJAX, and allows the use of JavaScript in Java based applications.  The jMaki website with more info, downloads, and extensive documentation is available at https://ajax.dev.java.net/ .

According to project leader Greg Murray "j is for 'JavaScript' and 'Maki' means 'wrapper' in Japanese. Therefore, jMaki means 'JavaScript wrapper'." (Editor's note: Maki is also a type of sushi, a lemur, and a Finnish male name. Cool name, though.)

Here is an excerpt from an interview with the jMaki team, published at http://blogs.sun.com/roller/page/geertjan?entry=interview: "In jMaki, the developer has a specific number of subcomponents: a JSP tag, which is what the developer sees and works with most of the time, a small JavaScript file that 99% of developers will never need to change, a CSS cascading stylesheet, for the look and feel, and a small HTML fragment file. By formalizing the use of AJAX in this way, one can make AJAX far more widely used among web developers."

The framework is extensible, so programmers will be able to add their own components. Maki will be available to users of Sun's NetBeans Java software development framework.  It has only been tested on Glassfish (Sun Java System Application Server 9), although project leaders say that it shouldn't be possible to deploy to other servers as well.

The jMaki web application is available for free download ( https://ajax.dev.java.net/files/documents/3115/34827/jmaki-ea-1.zip ). It contains all the latest components (updated 05/13/2006). The web application has been tested against the latest builds of Glassfish. jMaki is written as a JSP 2.0/JSF 1.1 tag library and should run on earlier containers that support JSP 2.0 and/or JSF 1.1 specfications.



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