3/02/2006

Are we over-emphasizing Ajax Frameworks?

I have been an ardent supporter for Ajax technology. It can be very useful for websites where data loaded at a time is quite huge and we can break it up into smaller groups which can interact with Server independently and asynchronously. One of the prime example for this could be Enterprise Portals.

But now a days we have so many Ajax Frameworks being developed, some of them wants to totally eliminate javascript usage. I don’t know how far these frameworks will really ease the implementation of Ajax. I have implemented Ajax in few of our projects, and thankfully there were not many Frameworks available at the time. If there had been so many framework available, I would have never understood that how easily I can achieve the task I wanted by just using Asynchronous requests through Javascript. The framework adds to the learning curve, and unless some standardization is achieved one should thing twice before using these Frameworks.

Some frameworks have very good functionalities relating to higher user experience or good GUI like Drag and Drop, move around components etc. Using some library functions and Api’s provided by such frameworks can ease the developer task, but it should be seen as a supplement to javascript rather then completely replacing javascripts. Plus I don’t thing Ajax should be seen as tool for developing Flashy websites (this can be seen as added advantage). I guess the soul of Ajax is its high user interactivity with the Server and should be used for the same. For Flashy stuff there are other things like Flash (and ya, macromedia is coming up with its own version of Ajax though, have to wait and watch for its reponse-;)).

The other issue is how well these Frameworks are adapted for new technologies? Can they be used in Enterprise Portals where each portlet window can have same Ajax implementation frameworks and hence clashes of names, actionURL etc could be possible. Plus in portals the response is not send to the portlet at all. Can the framework adapt to such changes?

In my view if someone just wants to use Ajax for faster user interactivity, one should directly use Javascript and follow some good structure instead trying to modify and learn new Ajax frameworks.

3 comments:

Guy Peled said...

I totaly agree with you and in the same sentence I would like to show you an alternative in my opinion that is full server side WinFroms API for creating rich internet AJAX enabled application with out javascript. The good thing with this framework is that you do not have to use javascript and you do not have to learn a new framework as it 99% WinForms. see it here http://www.visualwebgui.com.

Archimedes Trajano said...

The nice part about frameworks is they "should" be able to do a lot of the glue code for you. I haven't tried any of the Ajax frameworks myself though, but I was using AJAX before AJAX was called AJAX on and off.

I took a stab at writing one, though never finished the implementation, I wrote up the design of an AJAX queue to provide an easy migration path for people to embed ajax into their applications.

vikramark said...

The AJAX frameworks are fine to work with and to incorporate them in normal web applications. But now when it comes to Portals the things becomes a bit different. I am not sure if all these Framework can adapt to Portals. Other then that, some of portal server vendors are themselves providing some AJAX support, so one needs to be careful about choosing one framework.

But yes i do agree that a GOOD, STANDARDIZED and MATURE framework will always help in Reducing development time.