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COSE/COB project a cool ride on the cutting edge

April 6, 2007

The XML11 logoA new collaboration between faculty in the College of Science and Engineering and College of Business promises to have a significant impact on the worlds of shared software development and e-business. Arno Puder, assistant professor of computer science, is developing a code migration framework, dubbed "XML11," which allows users to easily access and use AJAX, a sophisticated program that facilitates advanced interactive Web sites. Leigh Jin, assistant professor of information systems in the College of Business, is documenting the process and creating a business model for how an open source product is developed and marketed.

XML11 is being developed online through open source software. Puder is collaborating with other computer scientists as close as Berkeley and as far away as Germany.

"The goal of XML11 is to help programmers write AJAX applications without requiring any JavaScript knowledge," Puder said. XML11 allows developers to write an application in Java which is then translated to JavaScript so that it can run inside any browser. "Users will be able to gain access to AJAX from their desktop," Puder said.

"AJAX is difficult to use if you haven't got the resources," Jin said. "Right now, only the biggest retailers and other large, corporate entities who can afford the technicians and the most powerful technology can easily use AJAX." She said that XML11 will help online businesses to be more competitive in their fields by streamlining the number of steps it takes their customers to complete online transactions.

Photo of Leigh Jin and Arno PuderThough Puder and Jin began their collaboration only 18 months ago, the project has garnered distinguished respect. After College of Business Dean Nancy Hayes arranged for Jin and Puder to give a presentation of their project at IBM's renowned Almaden Research Center, it led to an invitation to join the OpenAJAX Alliance, a group of industry experts who define standards for AJAX. To date, SF State remains the only university in the alliance. Jin has also presented the project to Palo Alto entrepreneurs. Puder has become a regular on Google's in-house, online "TechTalk" series. AJAX is used for Google online services such as Google Maps.

"We're off to an excellent start," Jin said. "And I know we will benefit from our corporate colleagues' expertise in evaluating and developing market opportunities."

Puder and Jin said that their cross-college work complements and benefits each others' strengths and professional goals.

"I am perfectly happy hacking code all day," Puder said. "But without Leigh's knowledge and dedication I don't think I would have been able to stir up the excitement we have so far about XML11."

"I have been very interested in the development of products in an open source arena for a long time," Jin said. "But Arno's work has provided a unique opportunity to document a particularly exciting project from start to finish and to share this with SF State business students."

Two of Puder's students have been directly involved with the project. Grad student Christopher Kriese designed the XML11 logo and Sascha Haeberling, an international student from University of Fulda in Germany, designed the XML11 Web site.

-- Denize Springer


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Last modified April 6, 2007 by University Communications