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From Ross Dargahi <>
Subject AJAX Toolkit Proposal - Updated
Date Wed, 11 Jan 2006 07:07:00 GMT

To whom it may concern: 

Enclosed please find a revised contribution proposal for the Ajax Toolkit which takes into
account the principal feedback that we have received to date. We welcome a further dialog
on the merits of this submission. 

Thank you for your consideration. 



Ross Dargahi 
Co-founder, VP. Engineering 


AJAX Toolkit Proposal 

0. Rationale 

While the term AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) has only recently been coined, the underlying
web standards and technologies (JavaScript a.k.a. ECMAScript, DOM, XML, SOAP, and so on) have
been around for years. Although the term is used in a variety of ways, AJAX typically describes
techniques towards developing interactive applications on the web client including asynchronous
messaging, use of XML grammar in client-side applications, incremental page updates, and improved
user interface controls. AJAX applications combine the rich UI experience of programmed clients
with the low-cost lifecycle management of web-based applications. 

AJAX has raised awareness of the high potential of web applications, it has encouraged companies
to adopt rich web-based interfaces over traditional "fat" clients, and it has spawned development
activity to create toolkits and abstractions to make AJAX-style development easier and more
powerful. This is an important trend for open source. The client itself can be composed entirely
of open-source parts, such as Mozilla's Firefox or KDE's Konqueror, and does not require any
particular operating system, helping to make a more level playing field for all development.
More importantly, AJAX is back-end agnostic as transactions are done over HTTP. Keeping the
client open forces vendors to keep the communication channel open as well, and this can only
continue as long as the client technology keeps pace with proprietary alternatives. The open,
standards based communications channel is what drives many technologies inside Apache, so
success of the open client is vital to Apache. The mission of this project is to encourage
innovation around enterprise-strength client runtimes and tools and build a community which
can select and nurture a select set which will be most beneficial to the web. 

0.1 Criteria 


Apache was chosen for an incubator primarily because of the guidance the community can provide.


The contributed work was inspired by open source development but needs a strong and diverse
community to validate its mission and carry it forward. A primary objective of the project
is to build a vibrant community of users and active contributors. 

Core Developers: 

All of the initial committers are members of the Zimbra development team s . All developers
have worked on open source projects before and have experience and understanding of open source


The Zimbra AJAX Development Toolkit provides a rich client library, similar in style to traditional
object-oriented widget libraries like Eclipse's SWT. This toolkit hides implementation details
and browser quirks and makes web development more accessible to the enterprise developer.
It provides 

* User interface development 
* Network communications (both synchronous and asynchronous) 
* SOAP programming 
* XML document creation and manipulation 
* UI event handling and management 

For further information, please see the Zimbra AjaxTK whitepaper: 

0.2 Warning signs 

Orphaned products: 

The initial committers are users of this toolkit and have a long-term interest in use and
maintenance of the code. 

Inexperience with open source: 

Several of the commiters are very experienced in Open Source environment. All efforts will
be made to ensure that the work done and momentum will be in strict adherence to open source

Homogenous developers: 

The current list of committers includes developers who are experienced with working in a distributed
environment, and with resolving technical differences. 

Reliance on salaried developers: 

The initial set of committers are salaried developers. Through the incubation process, more
diversity will hopefully be achieved in many aspects, including reliance on salaried developers.

No ties to other Apache products: 

The initial codebase will be licensed under the Apache License 2.0. While there are no direct
build dependencies on other Apache projects, the development of AJAX clients will often be
driven by Apache middleware and will have a positive impact on the open source movement as
described in the "Rationale" section. 

A fascination with the Apache brand: 

The committers are intent on developing a strong open source community. We believe that the
Apache Software Foundation's emphasis on community development makes it the most suitable

1. Scope of the subprojects 

The Zimbra AjaxTK, as described in 0.1. 

2. Identify the initial source from which the subprojects are to be 

The Zimbra AjaxTK is available today in open source, and can be downloaded at (See Zimbra Ajax Toolkit Download). 
(A snapshot of the AJAX toolkit code is also available via

2.1 External Dependencies of the project 


3. Identify the ASF resources to be created 

3.1 mailing list(s) 

* ajaxtk-ppmc 
* ajaxtk-dev 
* ajaxtk-commits 
* ajaxtk-user 

3.2 Subversion repository 

* [WWW] 

3.3 Bugzilla 


4. Identify the initial set of committers: 

* Andrew Clark 
* Conrad Damon 
* Ross Dargahi 
* Roland Schemers 
* Parag Shah 
* Greg Solovyev 

5. Identify Apache sponsoring individual 

We request that the Apache Incubator PMC sponsor the AJAX Toolkit Framework as an 
incubating project, with the eventual goal of graduation as a TLP. The 
initial contributors feel the scope of the project doesn't clearly 
overlap with any existing TLP, and is broad enough to justify eventual 
TLP status. 

Champion: Sam Ruby 

Mentors: Andy Clark 

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