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Four RIAs that can be used on the desktop

Which one should you choose

Rich internet applications not only make web pages more responsive to surfers, but they can also be used as more responsive desktop apps too. We've looked at the four biggest cross-platform RIAs that were launched last year to find out just how good they are.

Rich internet applications (RIAs) are enhanced web apps that are more responsive to web users than standard HTML pages. This in turn, means they can also be used as more responsive desktop applications as well.

RIA technologies include AJAX, which is a combination of JavaScript, dynamic HTML and an asynchronous server request interface; Flash - a widely available plug-in technology from Adobe often used by designers; Flex, which is a variation on Flash more suited to programmers; Silverlight, a relatively new plug-in technology from Microsoft that includes a subset of the .Net Framework ; and Curl - an object-oriented language with embedded HTML markup.

In the past year or so, a number of cross-platform RIA technologies have been released that can double as desktop application technologies. We've looked at that accomplish this trick: Adobe Air, Curl Nitro, Google Gears and Microsoft Silverlight. I installed them all, explored them and used them for several months in the course of my work.

Adobe AIR 1.5 review

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NEXT PAGE: Adobe Air

  1. Which one should you choose
  2. Adobe Air
  3. Curl Nitro
  4. Google Gears
  5. Microsoft Silverlight
  6. Our conclusion


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