A preview release of Laszlo Presentation Server version 2.0 is now available. Woo hoo!

  • New Component Framework: All the components you expect in a web app plus a few more. This framework is fully laszlo-rrific — with the details you know and love from an OS GUI with all the cinematic user experience you’ve come to expect from a Laszlo app. The components support simple declaration, data binding, full scripting APIs, and keyboard navigation — whew!
  • KRANK Optimizer: Every web engineer worries about performance. Here’s something for the Laszlo bag o’ tricks. This new “instant-on” technology allows developers to optimize an application so that it will start immediately once downloaded.
  • Live examples in the Documentation: I use this feature all the time. With a single click you can modify and recompile examples.
  • Better and cooler data binding: if you liked data binding and replication from v1, you’re gonna love the new $path expression.

The components were my main gig on this release, jamming with Bret Simister, Peter Andrea, and the gang. I think this may be the first component set created entirely in declarative XML. The complete source code for the components is included with the developer edition. You can check out a component example which you change the style to see the components in different colors. The components use a new “Ultra Pixel” font created especially for Laszlo by Truth in Design.

Download LPS 2.0 Developer Edition and try it yourself.

“A new generation of development tools is emerging for building dynamic, highly interactive Web applications with rich-client interfaces incorporating data, graphics, audio, and video. … Analysts at research firm IDC predict this segment will make up a big part of the $3.1 billion portal market by 2006, as the future of Web applications will likely be rich-client interfaces using Web services to connect to powerful Java and .Net applications running on back-end servers.” — Information Week

Today’s article by Rick Whiting highlights the Behr Paint web experience developed and deployed using the Laszlo Presentation Server. Rich internet applications are gaining momentum with analysts and press, as more great user experiences are enabled by this next generation technology. The article also mentions the wonderful Ben & Jerry’s cones to cows created with Macromedia tools and another Laszlo app, the Howard Dean events calendar.

My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. I found this effective mnemonic at the-solar-system.net. It helped me remember the order of the planets which I felt important to get right this weekend. Inspired by the Mars landing, I visited the Chabot Space & Science Center today and watched an interesting episode of Nova.

About half way through the television program, I wondered… are there any women who work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory? Of the dozens of engineers who appeared on screen, I spotted two — one on the parachute team and one software engineer. I suppose a few brief appearances are better than none. Perhaps my son didn’t notice, more excited by his toy replica of the Viking lander than the testimony of boring grown-ups, but I believe that such experiences have a subconscious effect. I had hoped that our generation would be offering more gendered balanced role models by 2004.

On a lighter note, something else I learned today: do you know why Mickey Mouse went to outer space? to see Pluto, of course.