OpenLaszlo goes DHTML


There has been some crazy, crazy work going on here in the last month or two and the result is amazing. Today at etech, we're demoing an early alpha of OpenLaszlo's new DHTML backend. Truth! Press Release!

Here's a new demo showing off the goods:

That's a live OpenLaszlo server, running both apps from the same source code.

Also, new shiny page, with links to the DHTML demo.

39 Responses to “OpenLaszlo goes DHTML”

  1. necrodome Says:

    congrats to the team! this is great news…

  2. Tiago Cardoso Says:

    Just one simple and important question (for me at least):

    Is included in DHTML ?

    If you see my website you’ll probably understand.

    (flash is a bit slow.. although I haven’t optimized it yet. but I’d love to try it in DHTML)

    Congrats anyway.. great job :D

  3. Tiago Cardoso Says:

    Hmm.. copy paste has this things..
    The question was:

    Is included for DHTML ?

    thks ;)

  4. Sarah Says:

    I would guess you need to escape angle brackets. Sometimes weblog comments swallow up tags.

  5. Alex Says:

    Is it me or is the DHTML version loading *very* fast … considering the complexity of the visual effects (at least).

    The Flash version is a little slow … but at least the fonts look OK.

    BTW … That’s great news guys.
    I will surely try out OpenLaszlo now ;)

    Question: other formats could be possible in the future ? I was thinking like XAML from the upcoming Microsoft WPF. Or maybe XUL or Java Applets ?
    That would be great :)

  6. OpenLaszlo goes DHTML. Says:

    [...] OpenLaszlo announced their first alternative runtime: DHTML, all effects included. Pretty cool if you ask me. Check out the demo, you hardly see any difference between the flash and dhtml version. Nifty. [...]

  7. Koen Says:

    I looks great, indeed very few differences between flash and dhtml

    I just started testing openlaszlo and was trying to devellop a test application.
    A memory game using flickr. Can I use the flickr libraries?

    Impressive !!!

  8. Ajaxian » Laszlo example of Ajax targetting Says:

    [...] Now we have proof. The OpenLaszlo team has released an example photo application that uses the same source code, and generated a view in both Flash and Ajax. [...]

  9. vimal Says:

    What binary shoild I download to experiment with DHTML backend?

  10. Tiago Cardoso Says:

    Ok.. back to my question! eheh..

    the tag swallowed was { drawview }

    Is { drawview } included for DHTML ?

    Thks ;)

  11. jgrandy Says:

    Tiago - we do plan to include as a component for DHTML, for browsers that support the tag or a functional equivalent.

    Alex - we’re considering our options for further runtimes. WPF is certainly high on our list. Please note we’re opensource, so if you’d like to work with us to write a backend for your favorite runtimes, please get in touch!

    koen - the demo source will be included in our first preview release, but in the mean time we’re working on releasing the flickr API as a separate library. If you’d like to help us do that, email me at

    vimal - the only public release right now is the demo. We are already hard at work putting together our first preview release. Stay tuned!

  12. jgrandy Says:

    Er, same problem :-)

    Tiago - we do plan to include drawview as a component for DHTML, for browsers that support the canvas tag or a functional equivalent.

  13. Michael Jouravlev Says:

    Impressive! Though DHTML version of LZPIX demo has some issues with dragging to bottom “container” box, cannot drop image and cannot cancel dragging (FX 1.5 on Windows). Scaling is slower too, but this Flash turf. Overall, great stuff!

  14. » Blog Archive » OpenLaszlo Says:

    [...] Third, OpenLaszlo is Flash-based…no wait, it was Flash-based. A recent press release announced upcoming support for DHTML. They even provided a sample application called LZpiX that they rendered as both Flash and DHTML. The OpenLaszlo Project Blog posted some information here, along with links to the Flash version, DHTML version, and source code. Very cool! [...]

  15. richardb Says:

    Do you think a JVM version would be possible? Something like thinlets? Is anyone working on such a thing?

  16. benco Says:

    Will the DHTML version be completely cross-browser compatible ?

  17. richardb Says:

    why not build the DHTML version on top of something like prototype,dojo or rico that we know to be crossbrowser compatiable. The following resource is helpfull for showing how crossbrowser compatiable some of the existing dhtml/ajax libraries really are

  18. richardb Says:

    How will the new DHTML backend work? Will there be a byte code generated that will be interpreted by a DHTML “plugin” or engine. Will you then have to declare the Laszlo DHTML “plugin” to be a certain size etc on the page like you do with applets or flash movies. Or will Laszlo generate straight DHTML that can then be altered by hand etc? The reason I ask is that currently flash movies can interact with the rest of the real estate on the rest of the page.

  19. jgrandy Says:

    Richardb: A JVM version would possible, but I don’t know of any active projects toward that end.

    benco: We’ll support the “modern majors” — Firefox and Win IE 6+ for sure, and we’re reasonably confident about Safari and Opera. Others will come as time and external contributions allow.

    Richardb: Re: building on top of a toolkit — we’re definitely aware of the benefits of leveraging other peoples’ work here. Stay tuned!

    Richardb: The OpenLaszlo plugin is generating pure browser Javascript, which is then loaded as a .js file by the browser. The demo is embedded as an iframe, but we hope to be self-contained on the div level so that embedding and communication across the page is as simple as possible.

  20. jstretch Says:

    Approximatly (ballpark it) when will we have a ’stable’ release? 3mo? 6mo?…

    How difficult will it be to convert our current applications to use the DHTML runtime?

    I work for a defense contractor. Considering security issues the government has with Flash (activex), will this runtime have any security issues itself?

  21. jgrandy Says:

    jstretch - We’re planning a series of increasingly stable releases between now and the end of the year. No promises, but our current plans call for a stable “developer release” in Q3. So more like 6 months than 3 months. Of course, that date can be improved somewhat by more community involvement. To that end we’re working hard right now to put together first source availability, and will invite participation at that time.

    As for compatibility, we’re trying to keep things as compatible as possible.

    And for security, at worst we will share all the security problems of DHTML. Since we’re a layer up above DHTML it’s theoretically possible we can be more secure in some ways, but to be honest I haven’t really thought how that might happen.

  22. bestjamie Says:

    how to install the IDE?
    It’s too hard!!!:(
    What should I input int the LPS Web Root text bar????!!!
    Please do me a favor
    Thanks all!!

  23. Don Dwoske Says:

    there was some talk on the laszlo dev list awhile back about developing a java version, but at the time, i was against it.

    i felt it was much more important to stress that building for web clients was much more important - whether that be a DHTML client, or improving the SOLO compiler to deploy a flash application without needing the Laszlo server running.

    i’m not sure if the DHTML client is standalone, or if it needs the Laszlo server components, but if i’d hope that building standalone (SOLO) DHTML apps is a priority at OpenLaszlo… just as building a SOLO flash version was. needing server-side baggage is a big drawback. compile + deploy should be as easy and non-restrictive as possible.

    the benefits (and importance) of a java client are still questionable to me. it really would be a lot of work, and i think the web is a more important space to carve into. with XAML coming, that space will get smaller, so having a presence there before that wave is crucial from a business perspective, i think. i mentioned then that i thought flex might be in big trouble because of the current ajax and forthcoming XAML wave.

    given where things were at six or eight months ago, i’m acutally shocked to see this much progress on the DHTML front so quickly. major kudos to the OpenLaszlo team. if the delivered product is high quality, i can’t help but think the market mind-share would increase quite a bit.

  24. jstretch Says:

    I’m still trying to get me hands on a pre-release of Vista and/or IE7 to test for any compatibility issues. I wonder if anyone has tested the DHTML demo with IE7 yet?

  25. jstretch Says:

    Followup Q: Can you recommend any books on DHTML/Javascript/AJAX, XAML that may blend well with LPS development?

  26. jstretch Says:

    I got my hands on a preview of IE7 and tested the dhtml pix app. It actually ran, somewhat. It was slow and eventually got stuck. But its too early to start griping about this =P Anyhow I feel dirty now, I need to wash my hands and get back on my FireFox =|~

  27. [^BgTA^] BLog » Archivo del Blog » Vuelve OpenLaszlo más fuerte que nunca Says:

    [...] OpenLaszlo Project Blog » OpenLaszlo goes DHTML [...]

  28. Jeff Schiller Says:

    Is there any work on a SVG backend for OpenLaszlo?

    Keep up the great work!

  29. Jason Says:

    VERY cool!!

    Any chance one can get the source as single download package?


  30. Frans Thamura Says:

    Which version will be DHTML ready? 4.0?

  31. Jeff Schiller Says:

    I’m still learning about LZX, but it seems that {drawview} uses a subset of the Canvas tag. Therefore, it should be very possible in DHTML since all the majors now support the Canvas tag (including Internet Explorer: As for making the drawviews interactive, you might have to use SVG (see

  32. jgrandy Says:

    Jason - we’ll make the whole source tree available soon, including the sample app.

    Frans - Roadmap is here: Short answer: we’re expecting to be final by the end of the year, and that release is likely to be called 4.0.

    Jeff - yes, emulating in DHTML is straightforward on browsers that support the Canvas tag. Elsewhere, there are workarounds (for Win IE, via VML). There are some semantic differences to contend with (I’ve read that the entire bounds of a canvas tag capture mouse clicks), but it’s pretty close. SVG, as you point out, is another option, but with narrower browser support.

  33. The Source( classes/favorites.lzx) Problem Says:

    I tried to download the source cold and find some compliled errors.
    Then i corrected one by one,at last,the program run with 8 compilation warnings.
    there they are:
    Compilation Warnings
    classes/favorites.lzx:11:87: text not allowed hereclasses/favorites.lzx:161:92: attribute “spacing” not allowed at this point; ignoredclasses/favorites.lzx:161:92: attribute “inset” not allowed at this point; ignoredclasses/favorites.lzx:161:92: attribute “mymask” not allowed at this point; ignoredclasses/favorites.lzx:161:92: found an unknown attribute named “spacing” on element favoriteslayout, check the spelling of this attribute nameclasses/favorites.lzx:161:92: found an unknown attribute named “inset” on element favoriteslayout, check the spelling of this attribute nameclasses/favorites.lzx:161:92: found an unknown attribute named “mymask” on element favoriteslayout, check the spelling of this attribute name

    Moreover,i noticed that there are two strange cold fragments which are neither in the nor …

    anybody helps me??thank u.

  34. jgrandy Says:

    Please note that the LZPIX demo application was developed with an experimental version of OpenLaszlo, and has not been tested against any released versions. We hope to have a preview release of the new multi-runtime version of OpenLaszlo available within the next month or two, and at that time you’ll be able to run LZPIX against an official OpenLaszlo build.

  35. » Now that’s a Demo worth showing off Says:

    [...] As their post says: [...]

  36. neil murphy Says:

    Looked at the |DHTML demo of flickr in Mozilla 1.5. Its a little slow to respond to a mouse click, but the biggest problem nothing responds as one would expect in say a windows application.

    - E.g. the cursor doesn’t change when its over fields, and the page itself gives no feedback that an event has occurred - e.g., click on the serarch button, eventually the search goes ahead, but the button doesn’t depress. Hyperlinks don’t change display, or the mouse cursor when hovered over.

    That kind of feedback is vital to a good UI, and ideally it should respond largely as a windows app does, given that the vast majority of people use windows..

  37. jgrandy Says:

    Hi Neil,

    OpenLaszlo does have cursor management, we just hadn’t ported that code to DHTML at the time the demo was built. Rest assured that cursors will change as you expect in the final version!

  38. OpenLaszlo DHTML with SOLO deployment Says:

    [...] OpenLaszlo 4.0 has decent DHTML generation. If you are using the command-line compiler for making SOLO deployed material, however, it is not completely obvious what to do. [...]

  39. hemşire Says:

    how to install the IDE?
    It’s too hard!!!:(

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