Developer/Designer Notes

Changing Perspective at Web and GUI

Posted by Kiran Mova on March 3, 2007

The latest buzz word if you are associated with GUI development is Web 2.0 and Ajax.

I was a Java Swing developer by accident. I got into a team full of core C++ developers and being a 1999 graduate with a Java academic project I was looked upon as the GUI guy for the team. Well I hated it when people would remark saying ‘oh GUI!!’. I hadn’t liked anything better than GUI. There was something about the widgets in Tk, Qt or Swings. They looked beautiful and fun to work with.

But back in 2000 with the boom, GUI development wasn’t really the choice of career. I wish I had read what Chris MacGregor had to say, about this topic in his article Web Designer and Proud of It.

I made it through the next four years trying to put my heart and soul in C++, which was very exciting to learn with the whole memory and object model. Almost got myself a place in the server programming and I had put behind the urge of a GUI programmer.

Then came the choice of working on a small GUI project for which I had to travel to US. Now travelling to new places is another thing that excites me and even though I din’t care much for GUI programming, I was on the next flight to US.

I was to work on Java Swings, though I was aware that Struts, JSP .. J2EE was making big in the whole Java market. After all I did go back and work on C++.. 2005 was an year of getting back to GUI programming. Then it happened. My first chance to change the Java Swings application into an Web based application. I started looking around for options, though I was trying to focus on gathering information about Java Web Service.

There it was Ajax. Web 2.0; I just felt like an antique developer. In the course of next few months, I tried to gather and read as much as I could about this new Wave of Web. JavaScript was no longer a scripting language. Never before I had felt so proud to have known JavaScript, CSS and HTML.

These days when I tell my friends that I am working in JavaScript, I wait to see if they react with that snarky remark.. ‘oh scripting language..’.

And I tell them.. you just don’t know how exciting it could get to program in JavaScript!!


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