- the reasons to use Ajax
- how to introduce Ajax at your company
- the resistance you'll encounter when you do
- the tools and libraries to use in Ajax development
- the architectural decisions you'll need to make
- how Ajax isn't a panacea for all applications
Jesse James Garrett
The reason to use Ajax in your web applications is to create a better experience for your users. Ajax allows your web page to communicate to the server in order to update the page "behind the user's back," making the application more responsive to the user's actions without having to reload the page.
Consider the Firefox browser (with its extensions that follow) your development platform and Internet Explorer as your deployment platform, Stuart said.
a Firefox add-on that logs all web navigation. It not only allows you to see what requests and responses are traveling between the Ajax components and the server, but it allows you to modify them or completely stop the request and see how the application reacts.
A survey at an Ajaxian conference showed that more than half of the Ajax developers were using Prototype, Stuart said. Most of the rest were using Scriptaculous (next). Prototype allows you to register multiple event handlers to events (
Ajax.Requestfunction that works as a factory to return the appropriate function that works with the user's browser version.
A library built on Prototype to provide page effects (highlight, fade), drag and drop, auto-complete and other features.
This is a heavy-weight "kitchen sink" library, Stuart said, that provides almost everything you need for an Ajax application.
Google Web Toolkit
Direct Web Remoting
- What to send on the wire?
What library to use?
Use Scriptaculous if you need to adds page effects and you'd like to use its widgets.
Dojo is the library beloved by Java programmers, Stuart said. It's bigger than all the other libraries, but it does more. Its API provides fixes for Back-button issues, client-side data storage, and other features.
Stuart dislikes Google Web Toolkit. "I think it's architecturally wrong," he said, but I think I zoned out when he described the reasons for his dislike.