Best AJAX toolkit?

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Best AJAX toolkit?

Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:15 pm

I want to do my CS capstone using AJAX. I've tried out google's web toolkit. It was pretty nice except for the abysmal documentation/how-tos and overly complicated RPCs, which I never did get working. I should mention that I am familiar with C++, Java, C#, and VB .NET. I also know a little perl and php. I am not opposed to learning a new language, but I'd rather not learn JS and 'reinvent the wheel' when I know there are a ton of toolkits out there already.

What toolkits have you guys used? What have your experiences been? What is the best, in your opinions?
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:20 pm

What do you want to accomplish with AJAX, I guess is my first question.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:24 pm

Project scope is undecided at this time. I will be doing it over the summer semester. At this point, I need to learn the tools. It will definitely be some type of SQL-driven web app. One possibilities was a web portal for the CS dept.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:32 pm

Most of the things I use ajax for with regards to database work are writing and returning records without leaving a page. For that, all you need it the simple xmlHTTP.responseText of the page you requested. TBH I've never used an ajax toolset, just dreamweaver and coded what I needed by hand.

The only one I could think of was google's, sorry!
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:49 pm

I'm always amused when people are picking technologies and class libraries before they even have a clear idea on what they want to do.

The decision of when and how to use "AJAX" should come much later, as its a minor implementation detail.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:54 pm

DancesWithLysol wrote:I'm always amused when people are picking technologies and class libraries before they even have a clear idea on what they want to do.

The decision of when and how to use "AJAX" should come much later, as its a minor implementation detail.
That might be true for cases where the output is the goal, but when part of the goal is to learn/apply a certain technology it makes perfect sense to pick it first.

If you're taking a php class, for example, what matters? Does it matter that you make something with the correct functionality or does it matter that you make something with php?

In an academic or other learning envirnment, "minor details" like what technology to use are important. It's not like you learn "AJAX" by writing perl, is it? The project is secondary to learning the tools.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 1:59 pm

Have you looked into jQuery? (http://www.jquery.com)

I've been developing with it for a while now--very easy to learn (I picked it up in a day), fast to develop with and cross-browser reliable. Here are some other links with sample uses:

Interface Elements
http://interface.eyecon.ro/demos

API Reference (lists other AJAX frameworks as well)
http://gotapi.com/
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 2:10 pm

DancesWithLysol, this is a capstone course. Like mattsteg said, the purpose is to learn, not to complete a project. In fact, a student can ace the capstone course without having completed the entire project. The course is actually designed such that you decide on a technology, do a feasibility analysis of sorts (in my case, is it feasible to learn and implement a project with AJAX in an 8 week semester). I have decided I want to learn AJAX since the job I have lined up will consist of a lot of web programming to store/retrieve info from databases.

JdL, thanks for the info. I'll definitely look into jQuery!

Keep the posts coming!
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 6:25 pm

If your willing to do .NET stuff then. I recommend Obout (see if you can find their old postback control as well, its was good for simple messaging) and Infragistics.

But these will not teach you AJAX, they abstract most of it for you.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:16 pm

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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:20 pm

not that it's the best, but here it is...
http://ajax.asp.net/

it is supported on Visual Web Developer Express Edition, so you could get going on a standard platform for free.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 7:37 pm

By the way, if anyone knows a good way to pass formatted data from server requests in a way that doesn't involve god-awful XSLT, I'd love to know. Some toolkits, I bet, already have that covered, but I'm not into details.

More specifically, let's say that you retrieve a list of names from the server, but of course, you want to format them with, say, CSS classes, as such:
Code: Select all
<ul>
   <li_class_something>John</li>
   <li_class_selected_something>Jane</li>
   <li_class_disabled>Joe</li>
</ul>

Note: the "li" tags should be in the form 'li class="something"' but the phpBB editor ate those, sorry.


Passing the data around using JSON is very straightforward (I'd even describe it as "stupidly simple", but formatting the stuff is a problem, because if you do it server-side, you're going to end up with maybe a dozen templates for the same page, one for each dynamic bit, so I'm looking of better ways to do it on the client side.
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Postposted on Fri Apr 13, 2007 8:41 pm

A lot of people seem to be very happy with Rub on Rails for doing AJAX sorts of things. No personal experience with it myself, though.
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Postposted on Sun Apr 15, 2007 12:54 am

UberGerbil wrote:A lot of people seem to be very happy with Rub on Rails for doing AJAX sorts of things. No personal experience with it myself, though.

LOL!
And I rarely lol.

Ruby. ;)
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