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AJaX: Two steps forward... Two steps back?

Posted by johnreynolds on March 4, 2005 at 7:52 AM PST

Day one of TSSJS has been a mix of wow! and doh!

Like Ed, I've been intrigued by the promise of AJaX, but when I consider it in a wider context I'm a bit concerned.

The basic message of AJaX is that modern browsers, through a combination of JavaScript and XmlHttpRequest, provide an advanced client that allows you to write rich client interfaces without the need to deploy a plugin.

So far so good, but when you look at the mechanisms that are currently available to take advantage of AJaX, a boatload of JavaScript embedded in an HTML file, you will probably experience a sickening feeling of deja vu all over again.

AJaX totally blows the idea of seperating presentation markup and code snippets. The result brings back memories of pre-custom tag JSP pages... a little puddle of HTML markup embedded in an ocean of Java code (only this time it's JavaScript).

The promise of AJaX is exciting, but until tools and frameworks automate the generating of "AJaX" we're back to some pretty ugly and potentially buggy UI code.

I'm still excited, but It's going to be awhile before we really develop "best practices" for using XmlHTTPRequest properly.


Echo2 has added support for AJaX enabled components.


Microsoft adds AJAX development tools.