Friday, July 07, 2006

OpenLaszlo Announces “Legals” Project

Laszlo continues to move out from under the Flex shadow with their new "Legals" project. Legals is an application environment that is designed to support multiple runtimes.

Initially Laszlo just published to swf but there were a lot of limits in what kinds of swfs you could load into the Laszlo generated swf. You also couldn't load Lazlo swfs into another swf so it was difficult to build certain kinds of things. When Flex came out it was much better about integrating with Flash created swfs. Laszlo had always talked about the isolation as being there to allow Laszlo to publish to other runtimes but that was just a theoretical advantage. A few months ago they showed a new version that could publish to DHTML/Ajax or swf.

I still see a lot of value to Flex's approach that lets you embed a lot more flash specific features but as Laszlo adds more runtimes I think it's value will increase too. I've said before that a J2ME target would be a good fit I still believe that. Especially the fact that there are so many variences among different phones abilities, I could see Laszlo adusting the output on the fly to optimize for different handsets. Perhaps the new Windows Flash-like runtime could be another target.