> From: David Gibbs
> Looking for a reason?  I don't think so.  There are plenty of instances
> that ajax technology can be used to enhance the users experience.  I
> think it can be applied in a large number of applications to great effect.

I suppose you're right in that it's not the technology looking for a reason.
It's just that some programmers will be looking really hard for places to
use it where it doesn't really belong.

As to application in a "large number" of situations, I'm taking a wait and
see approach on that.  There are definitely a few classes of use (my
favorite is "history lists", like on Mapquest clicking a button to bring up
your list of recent addresses, and replacing information stored in cookies).
But I think that there is a lot of danger in over-AJAXing something.  Having
the screen change every time I hit a key or exit a field can be overkill.
There's a reason that the block-mode 5250 interface has been so successful.

> The old adage of using "The right tool for the right job"
> tends to get overlooked.  But this tends to happen with just about all
> new technology, doesn't it?

Yup.  AJAX is no different.

> > Unfortunately what AJAX does is move server logic to the client by
> > pushing it into JavaScript.
> I don't think that's necessarily true ... AFAICT, ajax justs let you put
> more interactivity into applications that previously didn't have it.
> The 'server work' _should_ still be on the server.  Ajax should just be
> used to present the work the server just did.

I think from a purely semantic standpoint you're correct, David.  If your
only two options are "client" and "server", then the bulk of the work done
by AJAX routines will be client.  These days, though, I break applications
up into at least three tiers: UI, application controller and business logic.
The application controller logic which is traditionally the bailiwick of the
server in block-mode applications is moved more into the browser with AJAX.
Especially when people are talking about rearranging the screen in response
to keyboard events, you run the risk of losing control of your application;
you could conceivably go to a completely different application without ever
returning to the controlling application.  That to me would be a bad thing.

> I don't think ajax turns the browser into a think client ... a thicker
> client (less thin), than it used to be, possibly.

And for some things that's good, and for some it's not needed.

> Oh man ... but using cool stuff is so FUN! <grin>.

Especially when you're not paying for it <g>.


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