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.Net / Ajax: What incorporates current knowledge best?

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  • User profile image
    jamie

    <non-programmer>

    I hear .Net is the be all end all.  aspx etc  

    I hear Ajax lets you still use what you know ( dhtml/jscript/html)

    to be honest - i dont understand either of the above - but would like to simply ask: What leverages current knowledge best?

    quick example: for many years i have done web design - graphics
    i have toyed with the ui aspects of dhtml / jscript

    this does not mean i actually KNOW what the code does...

    if dynamic drive says it works - and i can hack it (colours - borders..timing...position...direction) ill use it

    so the end question is: if you have done / learned even just html - over the last few years..  if you have made your own websites ( yes using tables and html)

    if you have played with CSS - but found it too programmer friendly (not user friendly) - and make web based UI's somewhat "blindly" - altering what was there before you..(code wise) and it WORKS..

    is .Net or Ajax better - and why would anyone need them?

    First off  - every - single - thing that has to do with .net - ive noticed its complexitiy is through the roof.  Is this really nessesary for regular "hey i learned html" authors to deal with? what are the rewards? ( if coding is involved - there are no rewards) to the casual dev? Half the net works on .asp - where is the page of " why to use aspx to help figure it out?

    as far as ajax goes - is it just a buzzword - for - what you know still will work? if it is GOOD! but i still dont know what the heck it is.

    and lastly - why is all of the above (dynamic content / rss / whatever you want to call it - render everything in the browser (user controls) useless? - mouse over a dynamic link (doesnt display in the IE url /status bar area... try to use right mouse - no options availalble..
    - font sizing larger doesnt work...there are many things these new "web standards" remove from the user?

    will ie7 fix all this? is it back to the drawing board for everyone whos ever toyed with html?  Do you really think explaining everything like everyone is a programmer - will help win you market share?

    in the rare cases when you DO describe stuff to regular Joe user - its dumbed down so much - that it is basically useless.

    is ms addressing this?  just like blogs / rss reach out - where is the reach out to the intermediate - the family computer fixer -
    or is it - start over

    PS - learning something new - like sparkle / png alphas / coded bgs and fills/motion is exciting... learning EVERYTHING new again is somewhat... worrisome?
    </non programmer>

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    The battle isn't .NET vs. AJAX.

    Microsoft is working on Atlas, an AJAX .NET library.  There are also third-party AJAX libraries already available for .NET so you can implement AJAX applications on ASP.NET.

    The battle is WPF/XAML vs. AJAX/DHTML.  This is another iteration of the battle between desktop applications and browser applications.  AJAX makes browser applications more responsive like desktop applications without requiring expensive Web server roundtrips and page refreshes.  WPF makes designing desktop applications like designing Web applications with XAML separating the look and feel of the desktop application from the code.

    Neither really makes application design and creation easier.  In fact, they do quite the opposite.  However, both have the capability of enabling richer, "sexier" user experiences, whether they be desktop- or Web-based.

  • User profile image
    jamie

     re: The battle is WPF/XAML vs. AJAX/DHTML.

    i think the battle is comprehension for the user - and that is an ongoing stream of knowledge ( hopefully un-interupted)

    i clicked the above MS link you provided about Atlas..

    shhvvooom - over head signal

    I really do understand alot of what code is and does - but to me - nothing helps like a working sample

    these seem harder and harder to come by - especially if you remember the IP&Tools years..

    if it runs under IIS and its asp - ive always been able to alter/hack into new things - and add dhtml/components build/alter scripts out of existing ones (sorry programmers)

    but .net - man...  holy errr huh wah?

    i guess im saying - if the battle is how you listed up top - i want XAML ASAP using FP DHTML JSCRIPT HTML
    haha
    Smiley

  • User profile image
    JChung2006

    I have never been impressed with MSDN code samples.  They run the gamut of overly simplistic and almost completely useless to overly complex and almost completely unreadable.

    At its heart, AJAX is two things:  (1) updating Web pages by manipulating Dynamic HTML elements via the DOM instead of navigating to a new page and rendering the new HTML and (2) getting data from the server by calling Web services instead of navigating to a new page and parsing new HTTP GET/POST data and cookies.

    Technically, you could serve up XAML via ASP.NET though I'm not sure if it's possible to serve up the code behind the XAML that way, let alone in a secure, malware-free way.

    Play around with start.com widgets some more.  If I recall correctly, this is Microsoft's attempt to simplify AJAX/DHTML Web application development.  Considering that Scott Isaacs (the father of DHTML as we know it on IE) is driving this project, I have high hopes for its success.

  • User profile image
    will

    Jamie, of course Atlas would be way over your head Smiley

    Atlas is still very very raw. The documentation is quite minimal.

    And it only just got released during PDC.

    Ajax aides the user interaction with the actual web "app".

    Ajax is just a new name for bringing together of existing things. JavaScript, HTML and CSS. (So you can use Ajax with any server side technology which will render stuff into HTML... JSP, ASP.NET, PHP, ColdFusion etc...)

    Maybe this OK/Cancel comic explains things a bit more Tongue Out

    I think with Atlas you'll see more in coming weeks from the ASP.NET team.

    Actually, you can do things like drag and drop your "Atas" controls from the side panel and drop it onto your "Canvas".

    You can do this now. You just need to add the controls yourself to the side panel in Visual Studio 2005.

    Although the documentation is quite sketchy, you can wire up your Atlas controls with "XML Script". Yeah ok, this is probably getting over your head a little.

    Quartz Web Designer should allow you to do all the ASP.NET stuff Jamie.

  • User profile image
    irascian

    I see two different camps. For "microsites" that are mainly "look and feel" rather than dynamic database or business-driven content and "application running on the web" functionality HTML is the way to go with the more advanced designers who learn programming getting into JavaScript and DHTML to "sex up" their look and feel with animations etc.

    AJAX is a way of wiring that "sexed up" look and feel to server-side logic that avoids those irritating screen refreshes every time your HTML/DHTML page needs to talk to the server. So it's aimed at the more experienced front-end developer. It involves a lot of hacky and complex code in a language that wasn't really designed to do a lot of what's being asked of it right now (JavaScript). The reason it's so hacky? Because every damned browser has a slightly different model and view of what's valid and what isn't.

    Coding on the server is a whole different ball game that involves understanding programming, databases, object orientation etc. .NET and ASP.NET make that FAR easier to do on a web site than in the past, but of course it's still complex and a different mind set than doing front end stuff.

    The great thing about ATLAS (at least as I see it - I haven't had a play with it YET) is that if you already know the server-side framework (ASP.NET, object orientated type-safe programming) suddenly the world of AJAX Is opened to you and you can do some of that complex client-side stuff WITHOUT having to know JavaScript and all the various browser-hacks that are needed to work cross-browser. It gives you a programming framework for the browser that is intuitive if you're a server-side developer). We've needed a client-side framework for many years, so for me this is a very exciting development although I'm concerned at the number of blog entries I'm reading saying ATLAS is too complex and requires too much code.

    Getting started in ASP.NET etc is a nightmare for your traditional designer. Too many of the MSDN articles and books assume you've been around since the first days of ASP. They remind me of my time trying to learn mainframe systems - the pre-reqs for any subject send you round a recursive loop where it seems impossible to actually learn "the basics" at the beginning. All I can say is that if you persevere a light bulb will evantually come on and you'll be glad you made the effort.

  • User profile image
    MisterDonut

    Is it just me, does AJAX have the word FAD written all over it?

  • User profile image
    W3bbo

    MisterDonut wrote:
    Is it just me, does AJAX have the word FAD written all over it?


    Yep. Smiley

  • User profile image
    irascian

    MisterDonut wrote:

    Is it just me, does AJAX have the word FAD written all over it?



    I thought so initially, but it does enable a much "richer user experience". The problem is it takes way too much work to hack together the javascript and DHTML that works across different browsers to achieve that richer interface.

    That's where I'm hoping Atlas will come in use. Too early to say yet but it looks like it will be easier to implement and be honest, wouldn't you rather have a web interface that offered features like auto-fill, dynamic drop-down population without page refreshes etc than what we typically have today without AJAX. If Atlas really does deliver on its promise (a client-side framework that's browser agnostic and takes the hard work out of AJAX for different browser support) then I think it will prove to be far more than just a passing fad.

    This, together with LINQ were the two biggest suprises to me at PDC and I can see both having a great future IF Microsoft have implemented them correctly,

  • User profile image
    Lorin

    For those that haven't "taken the plunge" yet with AJAX, here's a video in which my friend Scott Cate shows you what it can do, and the Javascript and C# code in his cool website to put it all together:

    http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=121812

    What a great way to get near-WinForms functionality out of a web app!

    -Lorin

  • User profile image
    bastawhiz

    I hear .Net is the be all end all.  aspx etc

    .Net is ASPX.

    I hear Ajax lets you still use what you know

    If you are asking that question, you probably don't know what AJAX is. It is Asynchronous Javascript and XML. You need a back-end to work with AJAX, and you appear to only work on the client side.

    to be honest - i dont understand either of the above - but would like to simply ask: What leverages current knowledge best?

    Neither. They are both equally technical. If you don't understand one, you won't get the other.

    is .Net or Ajax better - and why would anyone need them?

    AJAX uses .Net (or PHP for that matter) and it allows parts of a page to reload wthout refreshing the entire page. For example, a stock ticker that does not need to update the page to get new information.

    if you have played with CSS - but found it too programmer friendly (not user friendly)

    CSS is designed to be used only by developers/designers. The end user was meant never to know it was there. Any true designer is proficient in CSS. If you need a lesson in CSS, there is a real easy and good one over on W3Schools.

    and lastly - why is all of the above (dynamic content / rss / whatever you want to call it - render everything in the browser (user controls) useless? - mouse over a dynamic link (doesnt display in the IE url /status bar area... try to use right mouse - no options availalble..
    - font sizing larger doesnt work...there are many things these new "web standards" remove from the user?


    Ummm... what are you using? This problem seems to be with whatever you have written your page with, not .Net or AJAX. RSS is a completely different ballpark and rarely integrates with browsers in the ways you are describing. Lets stay on topic.

    First off  - every - single - thing that has to do with .net - ive noticed its complexitiy is through the roof.  Is this really nessesary for regular "hey i learned html" authors to deal with? what are the rewards? ( if coding is involved - there are no rewards) to the casual dev? Half the net works on .asp - where is the page of " why to use aspx to help figure it out?

    .Net is extremely simple, when you know what you are doing (I'm 15, and coding with VB.Net right now). It is much more complicated than HTML, simply because it is a PROGRAMMING LANGUAGE. HTML is not a programming language. It is a layout and design markup language.

    With .Net, not only is content dynamic with .Net (meaning it can change depending on how the programmer codes it, can be used for membership system, etc.) but it is also more secure. Password protection using Javascript can be cracked in seconds. Password protection with .Net can either be in-crackable or take days to weeks to months to crack.

    as far as ajax goes - is it just a buzzword - for - what you know still will work? if it is GOOD! but i still dont know what the heck it is.

    It absolutely is a buzz word. But it also delivers. Look at the My MSN homepage. Look at Google Suggest. Look at MSN Video. Look at Google Maps. All of these things use AJAX to make them work. And they work well.

    will ie7 fix all this? is it back to the drawing board for everyone whos ever toyed with html?  Do you really think explaining everything like everyone is a programmer - will help win you market share?

    Whoa... slow down, buckaroo. IE7 is just an update to IE and will feature better support of web standards. All of your sites today will work in it then (unless you have seriously malformed code).

    Market share has nothing to do with this. You are assuming that developers are these smart-o guys up their with good old Albert Einstein. In reality, we're just normal guys (and sometimes ladies) with the initiative to learn a programming language. You can take this stuff in high school, dont-ya-know.

    is ms addressing this?  just like blogs / rss reach out - where is the reach out to the intermediate - the family computer fixer -
    or is it - start over


    Ummm... well the average family computer fixer really isn't the one they target. They target the professionals for this stuff. If you don't understand it, don't mess with it. Try to learn VB6 for now. Its not for websites, but regular computer programs. That will give you a good idea of the workings of a programming language. You can find a bunch of info on planetsourcecode.com for that.

    PS - learning something new - like sparkle / png alphas / coded bgs and fills/motion is exciting... learning EVERYTHING new again is somewhat... worrisome?

    Everything Microsoft is doing is stuff that is possible today, but easier x100. Avalon could have been achieved with like a bazillion lines of code in an application, but MS is simplifieng it to like 10.

    As with everything that we have today, nothing is going anywhere. Like Playstation (srry!) version 1. All the disks on PS1 are backward compatible on PS2. Same with IE6 and IE7. Don't get your boxers in a bunch, now.

    Half the net works on .asp - where is the page of " why to use aspx to help figure it out?

    http://ASP.net



    Hope I have given you some insight. Remember, Wikipedia is your friend. You can find information on anything programming or web-design related you could possibly dream of on there.




  • User profile image
    bastawhiz

    Oops... I suppose I'm a little late on this one.

    Good for the MSN Search though, eh?

  • User profile image
    jamie

    re: reply by bastawhiz above

    thank you for going through all that and answering so thoroughly

    it helped me sort out what i need to ask (properly) next time Wink

    *seriously thanks - nuthin like du faxs!

  • User profile image
    Steve411

    .NET ALL THE WAY!

    AJAX < .NET Where .NET  > AJAX

    - Steve

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