Ajaxing the Rails

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David Heinemeier Hansson:

"Rails 0.11.0 is out on the street and I’m especially proud of the Ajax support we’ve been able to include. Instead of trying to soften the blow of doing client-side Javascript libraries as many others are doing, we’ve gone ahead and more or less removed the need for hand-written client-side javascript entirely.
This is done by off-loading the creation of DOM elements to the server side, which returns complete constructs that are then injected live through innerHTML. While this method is slightly more verbose than just peddling data across the wire, it’s immensely easier to develop."

Is ASP.NET 2.0 going to provide similar server-side generation of client cross-platform Javascript, or are Microsoft web developers going to be stuck with ugly web controls finetuned to IE? Here’s how to currently use JavaScript along with ASP.NET (see also Enhancing ASP.NET Pages with JavaScript). No mention whatsoever of Javascript in this article on the ASP.NET 2.0 Web Parts Framework, not much in Creating Custom Web Controls with ASP.NET 2.0 either. Microsoft seems more focused on enterprise intranets (felt that way since Visual Interdev) than public, genuine web applications. Still, apparently ASP.NET 2.0 is going to suck less in that regard but still rely on browser-sniffing by default (at the templating level too). And yes, support from dev tools is important.
See also Sajax, Simple Ajax Toolkit (did that buzzword catch quickly – there’s even a dedicated blog!).
04/12/05 update: AJAX .NET Wrapper.
06/28/05 update: Microsoft to debut Atlas development framework at PDC, Atlas Project.

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