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Practical tips for developing OpenLaszlo applications

Here I’m going to try and summarise how OpenLaszlo applications work, which should help those looking to develop and deploy them:

  • OpenLaszlo apps are written in the LZX programming language, which is XML based
  • They run on the Laszlo Presentation Server (LPS) which is a web application itself that will run on servlet containers such as Apache Tomcat as well as other application servers.
  • You can develop programs live on your development machine by running the OpenLaszlo Server and surfing to the localhost

All LZX programs have a <canvas> element and generally built of one or more <view> elements:

    <view><text>Hello, world!</text></view>

It is an object oriented language so you can develop new types of components using the <class> tag and this allows for inheritance e.g. <class extends=”view>

This should get a few people started with it, once you have the server up and running I fully recommend you take a look at the OpenLaszlo Explorer which opens when the server is started. It has a huge number of sample applications and makes it so easy you needn’t have any programming experience whatsoever to develop simple apps. That’s pretty exciting if you ask me! Of course, the more advanced features require a good understanding of web software. But the simplicity of learning the language might bring a more diverse range of developers to the table.

That’s all for now, later I will document deployment of OpenLaszlo applications as it isn’t hugely evident in the guides and I’ll also touch on integration with Java applications.

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