Thursday, June 1st, 2006

Ajax Visio Proof-of-Concept

Category: Examples

Long-time Ajax developer Brent Ashley told us about James MacFarlane’s Ajaxio project:

The purpose of this experiment is to see if a Visio-type of tool could be developed in a web browser. Using Prototype, and Water Zorn’s SVG library I managed to hack together a simple demo. It’s not perfect, but it demonstrates that it can be done. There is no Ajax writeback to the server in this demo, but it could be easily added as a call in prototype.

While James refers to Walter Zorn’s “SVG” library, it’s actually an old-school <div>-based vector graphics framework. It would be interesting to see something like Ajaxio created using SVG, VML, or Canvas.

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 11:43 am

4.2 rating from 39 votes


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quite nice work but still pretty alpha. i was working with wa ->L

Comment by .mario — June 1, 2006

ummmmm. great escaping, guys :)

i just wanted to tell, that wa ->L<- ter zorn’s library is both awesome and terrible. but i guess there are no alterbatives available right now!?


Comment by .mario — June 1, 2006

Cute, but gModeler ( went up years ago and allows importing and exporting of XML for the diagrams to boot.

Comment by Shawn — June 1, 2006

I’ve been working on this for a while, too. The last prototype (SVG/Firefox 1.5 only for now) is at:

I’m working on incorporating a cross-browser (SVG/VML/Canvas/Direct Animation) version into the dojo toolkit. There’s some early prototype work here:

Which works in IE, Safari (canvas only) and Firefox.

Comment by Gavin Doughtie — June 1, 2006

Don’t forget about Google’s open-sourced cross-browser Canvas implementation.

Comment by namelessmike — June 1, 2006

Without the AJAX write-back, I’m not sure why this is news. People have been doing draggable, resizable, connectable Divs for years. I worked on a project that did this very thing back in 2002 for a company called Terraspring, where users dragged network infrastructure items (servers, firewalls, load balancers) off a palette and connected them up ala Visio to define their network configurations.

Comment by Josh Johnson — June 1, 2006

It’s news because it demonstrates the evolution of Ajax libraries and how these things can be done without having to build them from scratch. Because it is built on top of Prototype Ajax functionality is only a few liones of code away.

Comment by Diodeus — June 2, 2006

It’s news because it demonstrates the evolution of Ajax libraries

Oh wait, no AJAX is actually used. I realize that the article states as much, but the damn project has AJAX in the title. And people comment defending the usuage. This is my problem with the current web 2.0 push. This post is Javascript. That is all. Javascript is not new. How about we leave the word AJAX out of all application that don’t use it for anything. These posts get more ridiculous every day. I know you guys have to keep things fresh, but I’d rather not see any news posted for a week than read about the next ground-breaking AJAX driven alert box.
What if I sold “Dan’s pasteurized 1% milk”, but in fact it wasn’t pasteurized. I’m pretty sure I’d end up in jail.

Stop diluting and corrupting the meaning of AJAX!

Comment by Dan — June 2, 2006


worth a look: OpenJacob Draw2D



Comment by Andreas Herz — September 16, 2007

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