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Saturday, December 17, 2005

Rico: Javascript For Rich Internet Applications

The goal of Rico is to provide a rich experience for web sites using Ajax technology.
Rico originated as work done in Sabre Airline Solutions to create a suite of rich internet components, behaviors and effects for the web application space
The library is a fully object-oriented JavaScript and extends on the excellent prototype.js effort from the Ruby on Rails folks.

Rico is provide free and open-source (Apache 2.0 License) for either your personal or commercial use.
Sabre Airline Solutions retains the copyright on the Rico code produced at Sabre.

Rico has been tested on IE 5.5, IE 6, Firefox 1.0x/Win, Camino/Mac, Firefox 1.0x/Mac. Currently there is no Safari or Mac IE 5.2 support. Support will be provided in a future release for Safari.

Ajax is the term that describes a set of web development techniques for creating interactive web applications. One of the key ingredients is the JavaScript object XmlHttpRequest. Rico provides a very simple interface for registering Ajax request handlers as well as HTML elements or JavaScript objects as Ajax response objects. Multiple elements and/or objects may be updated as the result of one Ajax request.

Desktop applications have long used drag and drop in their interfaces to simplify user interaction. Rico provides one of the simplest interfaces for enabling your web application to support drag and drop. Just register any HTML element or JavaScript object as a draggable and any other HTML element or JavaScript object as a drop zone and Rico handles the rest.

When actions are no longer occurring just at the page level but within the page itself, more clues are required to clue the user on what has transpired. Cinematic effects such as scaling and smooth sliding transitions can communicate change in richer ways than traditional web applications have explored before. Rico provides several cinematic effects as well as some simple visual style effects in a very simple interface.

Take some raw HTML and sprinkle in some behaviors and what do you get? Well in Rico you can get an Accordion component like those found in Macromedia Flex and Laszlo. Just nest some DIVs and with one line of JavaScript turn your div panels into an accordion. And the latest behavior is the LiveGrid. LiveGrid allows you to connect an Html table up to a stream of Ajax responses. Ajax requests are automatically called during table scrolling. The result is now Html tables can hold an unlimited amount of data scrolled into view on the fly as needed! More behaviors are planned!

Download Rico here or go to the main page

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