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Do you AJAX?

http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php

Anyone using these techniques in your apps?

Google is really pushing the envelope of what a web app can be.  I am especially impressed with Google Maps.  It really pushes the boundary of what can be done in a browser versus requiring a "desktop" application.

So what barriers are left to building web apps that are just as capable as desktop apps?  Do you think those barriers can be overcome using current browser technologies?
Jim Rankin Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
I never bothered to learn JavaScript, but I'm reconsidering it based on all this AJAX stuff. I am very interested in a generic framework to do this. I don not want to build all kinds of javascript logic into my page. I want my page to broadcast it's 'gui' events to my server side.

It might as well be possible already, I'd have to figure taht out. it looks promising to say the least!
Guyon Morée Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Absolutely. A much better way to build webapps and suprisingly easy-to-use for non-techies.
Richard Rodger Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
It's not an incredibly hard concept and some of us have been doing it for a while the cheating way by using 0x0 iframes with creative javascript...
KC Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Man. I was doing this half a decade ago. Of course this was on IE using msxml to do the HTTP requests from Javascript, but the architecture is exactly the same. I should have invented some lame acronym and stuck a page up with a giant picture of myself.
Dennis Forbes Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Or, um, written something that would garner attention...
Brendon Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Yeah it's a really tour de force writing down what Google did and applying one's own invented acronym to it.
Dennis Forbes Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Great idea, Dennis! Why don't you do the same thing and just call it 'Comet' instead?
Wisea**
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
No I'm writing a short paper about a method of centrally storing information and serving it via a web interface. I call it CHIPS (C)Dennis Forbes.
Dennis Forbes Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
>> So what barriers are left to building web apps that are just as capable as desktop apps?

As always, it depends on the requirements:
- speed (PhotoShop in a browser? Mmm..)
- location of data (some customers require their data to be located on their desktop, not on a server. How to do this in JavaScript?)
- interface (I need enhanced widgets like a grid and a solid word processor. DHTML is currently unable to offer this)

Seems to me like a better solution is simply to make desktop apps lighter, network-centric, with simple install and update capability, instead of using the web for something it was not made for originally.
Fred
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
acronym cynics et al: Not getting our coffee today lads? :)
Richard Rodger Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Indeed I am being a cynic.

I've seen this acronym used a couple of times, and each time it's been met with resistance. The reason is that it's clear that someone is trying to "stake a claim" to this implementation pattern, trying to build some namespace and reputation on the backs of Google's publicity (and I have a good feeling that the parties behind it are astroturfing several discussion boards with it, trying to give it some traction). It's one thing for Google to put out a "this is how we did what got all the attention. Even though developers have been doing stuff like this for years, we like to call our implementation technique XYZ". It's quite another for some third party to do it.

Worse still the acronym is lame.
Dennis Forbes Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
"Even though developers have been doing stuff like this for years, we like to call our implementation technique XYZ."

Other developers have been developing fully scrollable, zoomable maps of the United States for years?

Other than that, I agree with you.
Jim Rankin Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
I mean the technological foundations. Google has done some amazing stuff.
Dennis Forbes Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
"(I need enhanced widgets like a grid and a solid word processor. DHTML is currently unable to offer this)"

I can see the need for more word processor functionality, something that should probably be enhanced in future browsers (aka the read/write, two way web).

But as for needing a grid, perhaps your brain is stuck in a desktop app mindset?  Perhaps you can meet user needs just as adequately with XML/HTML/PNG and clever use of style sheets.
Jim Rankin Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
I agree with the cynicism. AJAX is marketing-speak, pure and simple. Google takes a well established technique and does something useful with it, and the Information Architecture (mind the capitalization) brigade finds a new bandwagon to jump on, now that "Standards Driven Development" has lost some of its buzz value.
Matt V Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
"No I'm writing a short paper about a method of centrally storing information and serving it via a web interface. I call it CHIPS (C)Dennis Forbes."

Don't forget to patent it!
Jim Rankin Send private email
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Jim Rankin >> But as for needing a grid, perhaps your brain is stuck in a desktop app mindset?  Perhaps you can meet user needs just as adequately with XML/HTML/PNG and clever use of style sheets.

I gave it a try, but for business apps, a real grid is a must to let users read/edit data. The discrepancy in response time and features is just too big between even the low-end desktop widgets and whateve can be mustered using web technologies.
Fred
Friday, March 04, 2005
 
 
Fully integrated javascript rich-texteditor you say?
http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/
Anonymous Hero
Saturday, March 05, 2005
 
 
"(I need enhanced widgets like a grid and a solid word processor. DHTML is currently unable to offer this"

WHat exactly are yuo looking for in a grid? There are plenty of implementations (this one even uses "asynchronous data loading through XMLHTTP", isn't there a buzzword for that?):

http://www.activewidgets.com/grid/
Anony Coward
Saturday, March 05, 2005
 
 
If anyone wants to get started I found a nice tutorial.

http://www.webpasties.com/xmlHttpRequest/

And there are a few WizzyWig editors out there like FreeTextBox and RichTextBox.
Kent
Saturday, March 05, 2005
 
 
Guyon Moree, you may find this site helpful for keeping javascript logic out of your webpage:

http://www.onlinetools.org/articles/unobtrusivejavascript/
Jordan Lev Send private email
Monday, March 07, 2005
 
 
I think a lot of people have been doing this for a number of years.  I am in full support of this type of development, but I don't think it is particularly new.  It's just been more noticeable.

In the middle of grousing about the AJAX acronym, I made an example of having an ASPX make some of its requests over XmlHTTP.  Might be of some interest (download link at the bottom):
http://www.whitefrost.com/blog.jsp?record_id=49
Stephen W. Cote Send private email
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
 
 
Sure, this stuff now being labelled "AJAX" has been around for a long time. A government department I did some contract work for made a pretty awesome intranet in 1999/2000 that leaves gmail looking stone-age.

My biggest concern however, is that "AJAX" products feel like they are held together with rubber bands and chewing gum. This was the case in 1999 and it is still the case now.
Herr Herr Send private email
Thursday, March 17, 2005
 
 

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