Creating Rich Internet Applications on Open Source

Should you build your RIA application in Flash or Ajax? On an open source technology or with a proprietary vendor?

At AjaxWorld this week, I was amazed at the number of solutions for creating Rich Internet Applications. On the Open Source front, the usual suspects (libraries, frameworks, languages and tools) were mentioned:

This is by no means a complete list of open source Ajax frameworks and applications – just those I heard mentioned or presented on at AjaxWorld. (Did no one mention JQuery?)

There were also a few “professional open source” solutions with companies behind them that were new to me:

But there were also a number of proprietary solutions:

And a lot of people raised as either a concern or a hope (depending on how you see things) the increasing presence of especially Adobe and Microsoft in terms of rich, web-based applications with increased drawing/animation/media handling capabilities.

A couple recent ruminations on the subject:

And recent releases of note:

My take: we need to preserve as much as possible the open-ness that has made the web successful. That said, there may be some cases where a bit of proprietary-company-driven innovation helps raise the bar – after all, XMLHttpRequest was originally a non-standard Microsoft invention.

If those proprietary companies can find ways to make their innovations available to all (available in the sense of API level access and open standards, not just free like the Flash player is free) they will be welcome additions.

If they try to lock developers and consumers into a closed model, they will ultimately fail.

Just my $0.02.