Matt RaibleMatt Raible is a Java Champion and Developer Advocate at Okta. developer.okta.com

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10+ YEARS


Over 10 years ago, I wrote my first blog post. Since then, I've authored books, had kids, traveled the world, found Trish and blogged about it all.

RE: Is Ajax gonna kill the web frameworks?

James is asking "Is Ajax gonna kill the web frameworks?" From my personal experience, I can definitely say that Ajax is going to give web frameworks a run for their money. However, I doubt it's going to completely replace web frameworks. There's many companies out there that aren't willing to commit to developing a JavaScript-only UI - not even Google. GMail has a non-javascript version that's used when you disable JavaScript in your browser.

That being said, I'd much rather work on a project that embraces and uses Ajax over a web framework. However, even if you decide to use Ajax, doesn't the same framework proliferation problem still exist? DWR, Scriptaculous, Prototype, AjaxTags, AjaxAnywhere, Rico, Dojo, JSON-RPC - which Ajax frameworks are the best ones to use? If one of these projects joins Apache, will it become the de-facto Ajax framework like Struts did? ;-)

Posted in Java at Nov 16 2005, 11:16:57 AM MST 8 Comments
Comments:

For what I've read and experimeted with AJAX, it has its stronghold and focus on the 'View'. In my opinions web frameworks are more than just fancy ways to deal with views and passing messages asynchronously. A web framework does much more hence I think the question is way too overated.

Posted by Ernesto Marquina on November 16, 2005 at 01:39 PM MST #

I don't see them replacing web frameworks, because they work hand-in-hand. Ajax doesn't do much good in a larger project if it doesn't follow MVC principles that the web framework provides in order to give it some sort of structure. This is especially true because of how sloppy Ajax code is. Rails and Scriptaculous are a match made in heaven.

Posted by PJ Hyett on November 16, 2005 at 02:36 PM MST #

Now AJAX is the silver bullet. Before it was FLASH. I don't think that AJAX is going to kill any framework, it just adds some fresh air to them. Like Tapestry with Tacos. You still use the framework, but do some changes to take advantage of the AJAX power. All kind of rich interner client are a must for future projects.

Posted by Orlando on November 16, 2005 at 06:31 PM MST #

I did something similar many years back - a website using excessive JavaScript/DHTML/layer elements and a hidden frame to transmit JavaScript commands and data via HTTP between browser and server. More or less the same, just instead of transmitting commands and data in JavaScript, AJAX now wraps it in XML. It was a HUUUUGE pain to deal with all the browser incompatibilities. Another issue was blocking users from clicking something, while the page is still waiting for the hidden frame to load and process the result for the click before - making sure nothing important was skipped in between. I guess browser incompatibilities are not as bad as they used to be, although they certainly still exist. But hearing about AJAX brought back lots of dark painful memories ;) Besides all this, many frameworks do much more than just the presentation logic that AJAX focuses on, like Ernesto said. Look at appfuse, just as an example: DAO, persistence, testing, service layer, business logic, etc.

Posted by Mark Arnold on November 17, 2005 at 02:17 AM MST #

Excessive javascript/dhtml? Have you seen this: http://www.masswerk.at/jsuix/

Posted by John Fereira on November 18, 2005 at 02:25 PM MST #

There is already a project at Apache that provides a framework for AJAX. The latest release of Cocoon (2.1.8 released a few days ago) includes it. See http://cocoon.apache.org/2.1/userdocs/ajax.html

Posted by Bruce Atherton on November 22, 2005 at 09:42 PM MST #

Did it ever occur to you, guys, that AJAX is client side, while web frameworks deal with server side?! Plus it's nothing more than a "simple" asinchroneus XML Http Request. WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL?!?! Btw: I have already programmed a couple of sites using AJAX and the ONLY thing that is really good about it is the FEEL of the application (no more whole page reloading...) I am serious about removing any page that publishes this kind of AJAX stuff on it, since (I appologise for my rudeness, but it p*** me off!) it's a lot of crap. Here is a goood document that describes the very essence of AJAX: http://developer.apple.com/internet/webcontent/xmlhttpreq.html Please investigate and stop fooling around.

Posted by Kristjan Cocev on November 23, 2005 at 06:20 AM MST #

[Trackback] If the application's nature is more kind of a presentation and requires only limited input, then implementing it as a webapp is a suitable way. For all other purposes a regular desktop application provides a better look and feel and better responsivene...

Posted by Stephan Schwab on November 27, 2005 at 12:51 PM MST #

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