Vortex is an OpenLaszlo application built by Real Time Matrix. It’s essentially a customizable media browser – Real Time Matrix built a highly-configurable skeleton of the application, and brands it for various content providers. End-users can then embed the application into their own web pages, or into personal start pages (e.g. igoogle). The end-user gets fed various forms of content – streaming audio, video, images, news feeds, etc. – depending on the configuration of that particular Vortex. In exchange, they see discreet ads at the bottom of the Vortex application. You can see a variety of skinned Vortices at www.vortexme.com.
What’s interesting to OpenLaszlo developers is:
- The Vortex application is completely dynamically-skinned. The components in the Vortex can be enabled, disabled and re-ordered without recompiling the SWF. All resources in the application get loaded over HTTP when the application initializes. This performs surprisingly well.
- You can plug an OpenLaszlo application into Webtop relatively easily. Webtop provides the notion of applications, as well as windowing/docking/undocking behavior. And, Webtop includes some applicaitons that people use the most (Mail, Contacts, Calendar).
Although Webtop does offer a service that proxies and optimizes data transactions between the client and data stores, you don’t have to use it; you can just compile an OpenLaszlo application that uses datasets in the normal way into Webtop, and run it alongside the existing applications.