Rich Internet Applications, Adobe Flex 2.0, Microsoft Silverlight, Sun Micro systems JavaFX... This is what I was reading about during this weekend.
RIA technologies are something that want to give the web clients the functionality of desktop applications making the end user experience the WOW effect.
Adobe Flex 2.0 is the best possible RIA technology available.It is essentially because It depends on the Flash and also it does support multiple server side technologies like J2EE,Coldfusion, PHP etc. Flash Player 9.0 has all the client side stuff that is required. Its proven, every one of us has experienced Flash. its true.
Microsoft is betting on its Flash Killer Formulation and it calls it Silverlight. At the outset it looks fine. Its essentially depends on Java script for all the event handling and XAML (MS specific XML format) is used for asynchronous communication,it depends on microsoft existing technologies to get its share from the market.
Sun is bit late to enter into RIA technology stream. It want to levegate on the JRE1.5+. It want to add Java Swing stuff into its newly found script JavaFXS script which is a declarative language and can use the JRE feature to the max extent.
What is missing is a common thought in this process. Why cant there be a common mechanism all this companies can depend upon. By inventing multiple different technologies that are trying to achieve the same purpose but with altogether different approach will make it costly to the world. The result: Incompatible solutions which cannot talk to each other. People will be forced to pay for the mistakes of not theirs.