Monday, May 9th, 2005

Ajax Summit: David Heinemeier Hansson, Ruby on Rails

Category: Ajax

David HH is presenting on how he built Backpack using Rails.

Rails isn’t all about creating Ajax components so to speak. It works at a lower level of abstraction, and makes it easy to do Ajaxian things.

innerHTML vs. createNode

createNode and its ilk is what made programmers hate JavaScript in the first place.

E.g. in IE you have to address the hidden thead node in a table. Erg. DOM.

For DHH the saviour was innerHTML, that lets you ignore the DOM. Now, a lot of the work would be done back on the serverside (in this case in Ruby).

This means that:

  • You can recycle templates
  • Less browser differences
  • Less JavaScript required

Google is the science fair of Ajax. Going forward, our apps will be less Google Maps, and more putting in the odd Ajaxian piece here and there.

Backpack examples

  • Adding Content: Tadalist style.. quickly adding to a list. Shows a form_remote_tag(..) in Rails.
  • Removing Content: Wraps the nice fading techniques
  • Rails Features: update this div every X seconds. Observers. Effects (Highlight, Fade, Appear, …). Google Suggest. Upload Process Indicator.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 5:06 pm
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