OpenLaszlo community members around the world - Hungary

As I announced in my previous blog posts we plan to feature community members from around the world using OpenLaszlo technology. The name Laszlo is of Hungarian origin. Peter Andrea, a graphic designer who was a co-founder of Laszlo Systems, had a cat named Laszlo, in honor of the Hungarian artist and Bauhaus professor László Moholy-Nagy. Given the fact that Laszlo Systems carries a Hungarian name it's only appropriate to start with a community member from Hungary. Well, his name is not László, let him introduce himself:

Marcell Kiss-Toth, Hungarian OpenLaszlo addict
Marcell Kiss-Toth, Hungarian OpenLaszlo addictI’m 18 years old and I live in Tiszaújváros, Hungary. I started my career in the field of information technology in 2000 when I was in the junior classes of primary school. In august I had a chance to meet a really innovate company and their great leaders - the SandMark Solutions. Their main tool in developing Web 2.0 applications is the open-source OpenLaszlo. I was amazed at its flexibility and powerfulness. Currently I’m the community manager of SandMark Solutions. You'll find more info about me on my website www.kiss-toth.hu.

How did you get in contact with OpenLaszlo technology?
I was working with Adobe Flex when people from SandMark Solutions brought OpenLaszlo to my attention.

What was your first impression when you saw OpenLaszlo and OpenLaszlo applications?
I believed those were the next generation of web applications. They give you an unforgettable breakthrough user experience.

OpenLaszlo applications are programmed in the LZX language, a mixture of JavaScript, XML and xPath. What are the advantages of using LZX and tags compared to directly scripting in JavaScript?
Generally tags are used to create JavaScript objects, while directly scripting is used to manipulate objects created by tags. Theoretically anything that can be done with a tag can be done by directly scripting too, and vice versa. Usually you use tags to make the layout and JavaScript to do the programming.

Do you have a favourite OpenLaszlo application which shows bests the features of the technology?
My favourite one is the LaszloMail. It’s fascinating to see that it gives you all the same features as a desktop mail client. It’s fun and easy to use. ?

Did you build and any applications which are online right now? Or maybe applications running on intranets, which are not accessible to the public?
The only application that is currently available to the public was made for a French competition at school. I had a Sunday afternoon for it, you may check it out on www.mactheguy.com/Les_Clochards. I’m working on a new project now however it’s not public yet.

How does OpenLaszlo compare with other technologies, like Flex or AJAX toolkits?
OpenLaszlo has the advantage that you don’t need anything to run an OpenLaszlo application but a Flash player. Because of this you surely won’t have any platform compatibility problems. It’s hard to compare OpenLaszlo with Flex as OpenLaszlo is not just about compiling LZX code into Flash but it also makes possible to compile your code into DHTML or other runtimes which will be available in the future.

By the end of the Q1/2007 the OpenLaszlo team will release the 4.0 version of OpenLaszlo. With the 4.0 version developers can chose between two different runtimes for OpenLaszlo applications: Flash and DHTML! Have you tried the beta release of 4.0 and what is your experience with the 4.0 version?
Yes, it rocks! It’s so good to see that it’s enough to write your applications using one technology (OpenLaszlo) and then you can choose whether to use this or that runtime according to your needs.

As an open source project we need an active and supportive community. Are you involved in any community efforts around OpenLaszlo or do you plan to start a user group?

2 weeks ago we started an OpenLaszlo User Group (HOPLAA – Hungarian OpenLaszlo Addicts) with the help of SandMark Solutions, one of the leading Hungarian RIA developer companies. We have already had our first community meeting in Budapest. We are planning to organise more and looking forward to having a great community with OpenLaszlo fans. Our website will be online soon.

Where would you personally like to see OpenLaszlo in a year from now? Which parts of the technology should be improved, which runtimes should be added to the platform (Flash Lite, Java Micro Edition, Windows Presentation Foundation)? Do you any suggestions?

For me it’s going to be an interesting time when I could see OpenLaszlo applications running on all the cell phones around me and on the television in the living room. And you could turn your OpenLaszlo application into a Windows Sidebar gadget with the help of Windows Presentation Foundation.

There’s a great team of developers working hard to make the OpenLaszlo platform such a cool technology, answering questions for free in the mailing lists and forums. And there are people working hard every day at Laszlo Systems making money, part of which is invested into the OpenLaszlo technology. Is there anything you would like tell those people here?

I appreciate their work and I would say thank you for their generous help. OpenLaszlo has a fascinating future, keep doing well!

Marcell, thank you for the interview. I wish you good luck in building up an active Hungarian OpenLaszlo community. I'm looking forward ot meeting you at the Hungarian Web Conference 2007 in Budapest on March 31st. And to all you OpenLaszlo developers in Hungary: let's have an all Hungarian OpenLaszlo user group meeting at the end of March in Budapest. Please contact Marcell for more information. You'll find his contact information in his weblog.

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