Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta.

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Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

Is Laszlo a waste of time?

According to Rife founder Geert Bevin, Laszlo ain't all it's cracked up to be:

It's a shame, I really had huge expectations about Laszlo and even tried to sell it to a customer. I'm glad that project was cancelled or I would be in deep trouble.

Under normal circumstances, I'd dismiss this as FUD, but Geert sounds like he did his homework on this one.

Posted in Java at Mar 08 2005, 10:44:02 AM MST 9 Comments

Yes. Laszlo is a waste of time. Any Flash or other proprietary plug-ins based solutions not comming from a standard org. are a waste of time.
I think the big buzz around was only a good marketing strategy. Just because they made something open, doesn't mean it's good - but everybody jumped at those nice demos.
Even the name it's funny: Open Laszlo. Laszlo is a hungarian male name. Near the name substantive, "open" sounds like a verb, not an adjective, so the expression "open Laszlo" sound like a call from a horror film :), to open with something the poor Laszlo (sorry couldn't help myself) everytime I hear it, that picture comes into my mind :), and I'm not the only one.

Posted by Jake Robwood on March 08, 2005 at 01:58 PM MST #

[Trackback] Geert Bevin: "It's a shame, I really had huge expectations about Laszlo and even tried to sell it to a customer. I'm glad that project was cancelled or I would be in deep trouble." I too had a brief experience with Laszlo a few months ago. I walked...

Posted by Agylen on March 08, 2005 at 03:22 PM MST #

Agreed. After spending a lot of time with Laszlo, I'd rather revisit it next year. Matt, just use Laszlo and create something out of it. I'd be interested to see if you're happy or ending up FUDing . ;)

Posted by Jason Barker on March 08, 2005 at 05:18 PM MST #

Check out this Laszlo based flash web email app. Looks pretty neat.,1759,1772373,00.asp I've seen other flash based sites that serve dynamic content and think they rock. I hope to find time to build a sample app using Laszlo. Until then I will not write them off..

Posted by Sanjiv Jivan on March 08, 2005 at 06:56 PM MST #

Laszlo experiments with a good concept. The impl. may be poor but the concept shouldn't be discarded. I wonder if anyone has done a perf. profiling on Laszlo. I am still looking forward to play with it. BTW: Matt your numeric CAPTCHA can be easily circumvented :)

Posted by Angsuman Chakraborty on March 08, 2005 at 07:39 PM MST #

I developed a lot of applications that required flash, and even flash games. I worked with JFlex, and I checked out Laszlo too. They are all bad, and the root of evil are not the frameworks but the technology: FLASH . I used flash just because the customers wanted so, not me, an that was mostly for general sites/users, not for the restricted public like a company intranet or a b2b platform.
I do not think flash sites/applications rock (I made a lot of them). The eye candy might appear cool when you encounter a site for the first time (and if it doesn't takes ages to load), but not as a day by day use application. After a while the eye candy is just disturbing - we had this with all the users after a few weeks of use. One of the biggest problems is that flash plug-ins must be installed, and once installed they pose a security risk since they load without distinction all the flash files a user encounter while surfing on the web. This is why on a lot of "production" computers they are not allowed.
Since to access flash, the admin needs to install the plug-ins, he can install as well a JRE, thus having JavaWebStart. With JavaWebStart and Swing, one can get a very good rich client, with all it's advantages. It's much more appropriate for applications - rich clients, not candy banners.
The development costs play another important role. To make a very pleasant and usable GUI, Swing is very good, and has low costs(AFAIK the lowest in the industry till yet). Flash on the other hand, (independent of the used framework) is expensive, hard to test, error prone, and with bad tools. Javascript is even more expensive than flash, because of the browser behaviour, but at least it doesn't require an installation. Even more, for javascript new frameworks, components seems to appear (for rich clients) : bindows, blueshoes, domapi, etc.

Posted by Jake Robwood on March 08, 2005 at 08:02 PM MST #

I have personnally used appfuse to build an application using hibernate , struts ,eclipse and laszlo. You will find details at the following url: Its way better to work with laszlo as you dont have to pay the exhorbiting prices that come with flex , its easy to understand and am just using a plain xml editor to edit my laszlo files so no need of any flex builder type tool.

Posted by Javed Mandary on March 16, 2005 at 10:45 PM MST #

Returning to the original subject here, Geert Bevin's "Laszlo is a waste of time" blog post, I thought I'd refer readers to some of his more recent postings: Resizable Bla-bla List interface thanks to Laszlo 3.0b1 -- PhotoBlox: the typical application where Laszlo excels -- Laszlo 3.0b2 released, a step in the right direction -- thanks for listening, David Temkin, CTO, Laszlo Systems

Posted by David Temkin on March 29, 2005 at 06:08 PM MST #

Geert has updated his views on Laszlo again:

Posted by on April 28, 2005 at 10:18 AM MDT #

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