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Busy times with AJAX, Javascript and Effects

Lately I’ve not been able to blog much. I’ve been very busy working on ePortal that is improving very much. Thanks to the help of some nice libraries I’ve found I’ve been able to replace some of compatibility code I’ve done in the past. The biggest problem is, of course, Internet Explorer. I’ve even found that running ePortal on Opera 8 and 9 runs 98% well, the 2% are style/layer problems but what matters here is really the Javascript and AJAX code.

The library I’ve found using more lately is YUI, that is, a pretty cool collection of hacks and utilities from YAHOO. I believe almost all of it was already in ePortal, the difference is that it is much more difficult to one person alone to implement, test and debug. This way I can rely on their updates. Both the DOM and Event libraries have some very useful utilities.

Another cool library I’m still testing and adding to ePortal is the Prototype JavaScript Framework that, just like YUI, has a nice collection of hacks and utilities. Yet, Prototype is much more than that, it is very well designed and integrated well with its own AJAX engine. Prototype is integrated into Ruby on Rails, and that means a lot. But, I like, and really need, total control in the designer javascripts, so using their objects is not really an option, that is why I picked YUI that provided “raw” functions. But, as I just told, I’m using Prototype too – the point is, when I don’t need all the control this library proves useful because it makes usual tasks easier and because there are some (very very) nice libraries that use it. From those libraries I was impressed with Rico controls and effects, and by Prototype Window Class that allows you to easily add themable windows to your pages.

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4 Responses to “Busy times with AJAX, Javascript and Effects”

  1. How much time did it take you to study AJAX? I don’t quite understand what it is
    but i’d like to learn it :)

  2. alexmipego says:

    Hi,

    Short Anwser: Depends
    on what you already know. Simply search some samples and you’ll see thats pretty easy.

    Long one: As almost everything related to computer programming you don’t really learn AJAX because
    there is no “material” thing in AJAX. AJAX is just a concept that you’ll learn in about 5 minutes if you already know Javascript, XML (optional) and a programming language with Web
    components.

    The point is, if you already know how to program in one language it will be a matter of studing another language’s syntax and then comes the real thing – learning the APIs that
    should be used with that language. Something like – when you learn how to ride a bike, you’ll never forget :)

    So, if you know something like C# (ASP.Net) , VB.Net (ASP.Net), ASP3, PHP or even
    CGI you’ll probably know a bit (enough) of Javascript and HTML to start AJAXing, because AJAX is nothing more than a communication layer between the client (the browser) and the server.

    Of
    course, there are cases where you don’t really need your own server/application, lets say you want to do a blog aggregator page, you just need to do your page and a bit of javascript that will
    consume someone else’s XML.

    Yet, AJAX, as almost everything, have envolved, while its main concept is using XML (because you or the AJAX library you’ll be using, will be using the browser’s
    XML components) there are some libraries that encapsulate the data you need in easier ways. What this means is that if you are using something like AJAX.Net or Atlas, what you really want is to
    access XML engine from you exposing really simple objects in javascript.

  3. Thanks for the detailed answer! I already can AJAX a little
    :)

  4. I found your post here very informative. I\’m gonna look around your site a
    bit and see if I can find more info on Javascript Programming. If anybody else here knows of a good site to find info on Javascript Programming please let me know. thanks.

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