Rich Internet Application Framework from Backbase

Rich apps changing the internet

Posted by Jobi George on Sunday, June 12, 2005

I just ran across Backbase a well-designed thin script-based U/I development framework. It uses an XML-based User Interface language and leverages XHTML, CSS, and DOM. It requires no install /plugin/java/Flash yet is very powerful. It also seems to work fine in IE and Firefox.

They use AJAX patterns heavily and leverage the browser XML namespace support. Some demos included -

  • Shoping - New way to shop
  • Portal - A new way to do responsive Portlets based U/I
  • Google : Totally new way to experience search using Google API and using drag & drop to bookmark

Backbase has introduced BXML, a declarative GUI language. BXML consists of about 85 B-tags and over 200 attributes that can freely be mixed with HTML. They give the developer access to best practices in user interface design while still augmenting existing web development skills. The Backbase Client transforms the B-tags into the proper HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code, ensuring compatibility with each browser. There are B-tags for many different purposes:

* Defining the layout (panels, windows, and decks)
* Styling the interface (themes and skins)
* Creating user interface controls (menus, tabs, trees, sliders, etc.)
* Adding behaviors (display, hide, loading data, animations, etc.)
* Including form functionality (conditional forms, input validation)

Extending the namespace support to clean up the page layout code seems in vogue. Another project Novell Xforms is a cute project leveraging that for Xform implementation.

Years ago, I was part of the team that did the Xform 1.0 implementation that we contributed to IBM Alphaworks site. It formed the basis for some of the IBM software products that are coming out with these updated implementations. Given a second chance, we would love to go back and redo it using namespaces and not IE Mime handler.

Originally posted at Blogspot on 2005-06-12 11:00:00 +0000 UTC