6 Places to use Ajax

So I get a kick out of the fact that now four months later that Alex Bosworth’s article on 6 Places to use AJAX is coming up on digg.com. Maybe there’s hope for me afterall?

Nonetheless, I find it interesting that there is such an outcry for using Ajax anywhere and everywhere. On the discussion boards that I read on a regular basis, I hear people talk about how it would be great to start programming all of their applications with Ajax mixed in. It’s interesting to see this idea put forth mostly because it’s completely useless to think that way.
I remember writing a simple form program a year ago for a friend and doing it all in Javascript so that it would have form validation, embedding it in code that would then be displayed on the page. My friend came back and said, “But why not write it entirely in PHP?” Sure, PHP was what the server was using for its backend application server, but JavaScript worked perfectly fine for what the need was.
I see this occurring more and more with regard to Ajax. There’s a need for it here and there such as Alex mentions, but there are times where it’s basically pointless to have such code included when it adds a level of complexity that some coders aren’t ready for and in some instances becomes so much of a hindrance to the end user that it drives people to other sites in search of the information for which they seek.

[Listening to: MLB.com – Houston Astros at Cincinnati Reds, bottom of the 4th inning]
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2 thoughts on “6 Places to use Ajax

  1. If you keep writing RIA for the web the old way with multipage forms-and-reports, yeah, it’s going to be painful. That’s the same reason people no longer hand code graphical UI’s but leverage component GUI frameworks. The right design makes everything simpler. See http://blogs.pathf.com/agileajax/2006/05/how_cool_an_app.html for an example of what you can do with AJAX in 300 lines of Java where all the XHTML, CSS and Javascript is generated for you.

  2. Unfortunately, though, if you’re doing any processing/storing of the data on the server, you need to validate it on the server.

    I found this little Javascript shell bookmarklet for IE a while back…with it I can easily disable client-side validation and submit whatever I want. It’s handy.

    BTW, if you’re using Java on the server, I’d strongly recommend checking out DWR.

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