Monday, November 21st, 2005

Microsoft Touts New Ajax Tools

Category: .NET

<p>Microsoft Masthead

Brian Goldfarb is a Microsoft Product Manager, and he answered questions on Microsoft’s plans for tools to make Ajax development easier by Infomation Week.

What will you see in this Q&A?

  • He has to put in “its roots in what Microsoft invented almost 8 years ago with IE4 (DHTML) and IE5 (XMLHttp).” :)
  • What is their approach to Ajax?

    Microsoft is distinctly focused on driving richer user experiences on the Web through to the client and devices for our customers. For the Web there are two challenges to this. The first is the limitation of application development within the browser, and the second is development complexity. When looking at the Ajax approach to Web development, we realized this was way more difficult than it needed to be. As a result, we created Atlas to help make Ajax-style development easier.

  • What do you see as the key business benefits to Ajax-powered Web sites?

    From a technical perspective, compared to traditional web apps, the primary advantages of Ajax-style Web applications include more interactive user interfaces by executing code on the client, automatic updates without requiring the user to refresh the page, and better performance from fewer round trips to the server

To some up:

  • “Ajax is hard”
  • “Microsoft invented Ajax”
  • “Microsoft will make it easier”

:)

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What the Christ are you smoking? Microsoft didn’t invent AJAX, and AJAX is a stupid buzzword for a technology that has been around for quite awhile. Goddamn Microsoft-loving fools.

Comment by Tristor — November 21, 2005

“Ajax is hard”.
Not so true, but can be tricky.

“Microsoft invented Ajax”
Not so true. But they implemented techniques in IE that were not present in other browsers for background HTTP calls.

“Microsoft will make it easier”.
Very, very true. Have taken a look at the Atlas platform, and it looks promising.

Comment by Ã?rni Gunnar — November 21, 2005

“Ajax is hard” FUD.

“Microsoft invented Ajax” Microsoft invented XMLHttpRequest, the foundation of modern Ajax. However they did not invent DHTML, they just won the war so they’re rewriting history.

“Microsoft will make it easier” Microsoft will try to sell you on ASP.Net.

Comment by Chris Griego — November 21, 2005

Hey boys. I hate Microsoft. But Microsoft INVENTED AJaX if AJaX is Remote Scripting (and it is). Ask Brent Ashley (one that worked some YEARS ago with that matter) or simply this page ( http://msdn.microsoft.com/archive/default.asp?url=/archive/en-us/rmscpt/Html/rmscpt.asp ) is far older than all that AJaX stuff. First find out, then talk. And talking to the server with frames is the oldest method used. Even older than Remote Scripting…

Comment by alsanan — November 21, 2005

Oh, I see

M$ discovers the already ancient power of remote server calls.

Then they bury the technology when they see it may jeopardize their cash cows if everybody realizes the potential of the web.

Now they try to regain all they lost tying their name back to what was supposed the greatest discovery in the web world.

Lame attempt M$, lame…

Btw, why don’t you fire the manager that gave the order to bury AJAX in the first place?

Comment by mslame — November 21, 2005

Bravo, alsanan.

Microsoft had this stuff in IE 5 and it was only people’s (rightful) insistence on things working cross-browser that makes MS seem late to the party.

Comment by Joe Grossberg — November 21, 2005

Microsoft ‘inventing’ XMLHttpRequest is not the same as inventing AJAX.

If you search back around you’ll find examples of remote scripting previous to the use of XMLHttpRequest.

Sure, XMLHttpRequest simplifies background calls to remote resources, but it’s not the only way of doing it.

For the remaining points…
AJAX is not hard, really. It may seem a bit confusing to some developers at first. But it’s not really hard to do.

MS will make AJAX easier… easier than what? Easier than using one of the existing frameworks,some of which are already very good and simple to use? Or only easier than having to access the MSXML ActiveX objects directly and all that?

Comment by Gonzalo — November 21, 2005

Gents, gents, gents… let’s get a few things straight here.

1) Microsoft invented AJAX? –
Incorrect. “AJAX” was in fact a term coined by Adaptive Path. Trust me I would prefer we used the another term than this buzzword, however it’s short and seems to have stuck.

1a) Did MS invent the xmlhttp request? –
Possibly. Certainly through ActiveX you could create and send documents post/get and receive data back in IE5 (4?) and FF/Moz/Saf/Op/etc didn’t start to implement it until recently. More a case of MS going ahead with proprietry stuff rather than following the W3C herd?

1b) Did MS invent remote scripting? –
Incorrect. Don’t think you can count this as being “invented”, more an example of how a flexible technology (javascript) could be used within it’s constrains.

2) AJAX is hard. –
Incorrect. I think most agree with me here. It is one of the simplest technologies out there. http://faq.ii.no/xmlhttp

3) Microsoft will make it easier. –
Probably the less clear cut of the three, that said I would also reply “incorrect” to this. What MS will do, and after looking at the Atlas Javascripts, is wrap a simple and short process up in multiple layers of bloated and superfluous code. Let’s be entirely clear here. I am no MS hater, but name me on technology/application that Big Bill has produced that could not be streamlined?

Comment by Ric — November 22, 2005

I have used AJAX way back in 2001 and it was then possible only in IE 5.0. Even though the word AJAX may be coined by some other team, MS should get the credit for inventing XMLHttpRequest. It was not that small invention. I had the client impressed by our web application working exactly similar to desktop application and this was because of IE alone.

So, there is nothing wrong in saying that MS invented AJAX.

Now, Firefox has adopted this technique. Well. Better late than never.

But, what other browser has it now ? I mean the feature of creating an XML , submitting it to a remote page, getting an XML back and parsing and changing contents of some portion of page. I don’t think, any other browser offers it currently.

Comment by Madhu Kampurath — November 24, 2005

Did you not just read the previous post? Microsoft did not invent AJAX. AJAX is a combination of several technologies, working together to create a very convenient platform for sending requests and receiving the responses from the server without reloading the page.

AJAX is not a thing.. there is no technology called AJAX, nor will there ever be. I’ll even quote the Adaptive Path article on AJAX:

“Defining Ajax

Ajax isn’t a technology. It’s really several technologies, each flourishing in its own right, coming together in powerful new ways. Ajax incorporates:

* standards-based presentation using XHTML and CSS;
* dynamic display and interaction using the Document Object Model;
* data interchange and manipulation using XML and XSLT;
* asynchronous data retrieval using XMLHttpRequest;
* and JavaScript binding everything together.” So there you have it. BTW: Microsoft don’t invent.. they buy

Comment by Peter Sweeney — November 28, 2005

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