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RIA & Ajax: Article

Watching Java presentations with AJAX, Flex, AIR and JavaFX

An interview with Stephan Janssen, creator of Parleys.com

Parleys.com is a great Web site with lots of recoded videos of technical presentations on a wide variety of  Java-related topics.  While the original version of Parleys.com has been created in AJAX, more advanced Flex and AIR versions are now available too. I had a chance to chat with Stephan Janssen, a man behind this project.

Y. Stephan, please introduce yourself.

S. I'm founder and chairman of the Belgian Java User Group since 1996 and founder of JavaPolis in 2002 and Parleys.com in 2006. I've been using Java since its early releases in 1995 with experience of developing and implementing real world Java solutions in the finance and manufacturing industries. I'm also founder and managing director of JCS Int. a Sun authorized Java Center with an exclusive focus on J2ME, J2SE and J2EE since 1997. BEA Systems selected me as the first European (independent) BEA Technical Director. I've also been recognized by the Server Side as one of the 54 “Who’s Who” in Enterprise Java 2004.  Sun has recognized in 2005 my efforts for the Java Community and has engaged me in the Java Champion project.

Y. JavaPolis is one of the most popular Java  conferences. It features great speakers, but not everyone can afford to attend it in person. I can certainly appreciate the opportunity to watch the presentations online at Parleys and do this often while commuting to work.  Please tell me about the history of Parleys. When did you decide to work on it, how long did it take you to create its first version  and what technologies did you use back then?

S. The initial idea for developing Parleys.com was actually a technical reason, I wanted to get some hands on experience with some Ajax frameworks and so my hobby project got started.  I used a wiki for the server platform, which uses Velocity, Webwork and Spring for building server side plugins and on the client I experimented with Dojo v0.4.   After 8 long weekends version 1 of Parleys was more or less finished.  Unfortunately it took another few long weekends, and some external help, to get everything working on IE 5, 6 and 7.

Later I did move away from Dojo, because 0.9 broke backwards compatibility with 0.4, and introduced Prototype and Script.aculo.us.  Very lightweight frameworks which do their work very well!

More Stories By Yakov Fain

Yakov Fain is a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and the product company SuranceBay. He wrote a thousand blogs (http://yakovfain.com) and several books about software development. Yakov authored and co-authored such books as "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript", "Java 24-Hour Trainer", and "Enterprise Web Development". His Twitter tag is @yfain

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