AJAX, Revisited

posted on 2005-06-03 at 22:47:14 by Joel Ross

I've been thinking about a couple of things with regard to AJAX lately, and I'm starting to change my tune on the whole thing.

Remember, first I said I didn't think it was worth using, and even highlighted a couple of posts about the problems of using it. But after some reflection, I'm reconsidering that stance. Why? The two biggest downsides I see with AJAX are cross-browser/platform support and the inability to use standard browser functionality to navigate pages, such as the back button, bookmarks, etc.

First, the cross-browser/platform support. This can be alleviated by frameworks built by companies that have the resources to make sure the framework works across browsers and platforms and is flexible enough to adapt to the current configuration. Microsoft, Google, and Sun should have those resources. We just have to wait for the frameworks to mature.

Second, the ability to navigate pages using standard browser features and bookmarking. But is this an AJAX issue, or is this a lagging technology issue? Why aren't people saying that browsers are behind the times in supporting AJAX-type navigation? Should we limit our ability to develop interactive web applications because the browsers aren't up to speed? Yes, I know there's more to it than that (how do you "undo" a javascript call to a server), but shouldn't we let technological advances in web technology push browser development further?

Maybe I'm off base here, but I think we'll see more and more AJAX-type applications in the future (I'll even be working on one in a week or so). If I'm right, then the tools surrounding it will have to start advancing!

Categories: ASP.NET