Just recently a friend (Lars Grunewaldt) made me aware of the OpenLaszlo environment. It’s an open (and free) XML-to-DHTML / XML-to-Flash environment that comes prepackaged with a tutorial, example apps and a simple IDE. (At least) on the Mac, there’s an installer package that contains everything to be up and running in a minute.
It’s fascinating to see things in the browser coming to life. Life resizing, smooth animation, drag’n’drop, sound effects – you name it. And it’s fairly easy to create new little apps or modify the exisiting ones.
So: Looks like real interactive prototyping has just come one step closer. Still need to evaluate these tools’ utility on a day-by-day basis.
I remember (just one and a half years ago) getting looked at suspiciously in a meeting with front-end developers when I requested drag-and-drop for our front-end technology (I had quite a number of reasonable use cases to strenghten my request). I wouldn’t be laughted at anymore, I guess. Finally things are getting moving.