Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Serverside Javascript with Jaxer

Today Aptana (mostly known for their eclipse based Ajax IDE) launched Jaxer, an open source based Ajax server for using Javascript as server side scripting language. It is built on top of the Apache Web server and and the Spidermonkey Javascript engine and has an API which covers most developers needs: File and database access, logging, email and all kind of other utility functions.

So what are Jaxers major selling points ?
  • Write entire applications or presentation layers in Ajax.
  • Share code between browser and server.
  • Database and file access from JavaScript.
  • Integration with Aptana Studio (their Ajax IDE).
The most important question for me of course is how it compares to erlyjs, my Javascript-to-Erlang compiler project with main purpose of running Javascript at the serverside for Ajax web applications. Obviously Jaxer is available today and now and erlyjs is work-in-progress far from being ready to use yet. Both share the same vision and both use Spidermonkey. But while on Jaxr the Javascripts really run within the Spidermonkey engine, erlyjs uses Spidermonkey only for parsing the Javascript, then compiles the parsed Javascript to Erlang beam files, for running on the Erlang virtual machine. I believe my approach gives significant performance and scalability advantages (and integrates better with the rest, in those rare cases where the rest is written in Erlang as well ...)

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