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Monday, November 12, 2007

Which AJAX?

Here I am, sitting in my workspace, pondering the pros and cons of AJAX frameworks.

In the past, Microsoft's Atlas left a bad taste in my mouth. Then, I found Ajax.NET Professional, which I loved for its simplicity and integration with the .NET framework. The only downside is that it doesn't do anything for the user-interface. That's where jQuery (or another library) comes in.

A few months ago, I took a class on Microsoft's re-branded ASP.NET AJAX framework. Even though it is also very convoluted, they've cleaned up things quite a bit.

More recently, I upgraded my installation of Ajax.NET Professional to 7.7.31.1, and to my dismay, DataSet/DataTable serialization broke. I found an open ticket that talks about the problem I am having, plus a workaround, which involves me downloading the source code, making a small change, and re-compile and use the now unofficial assembly. The ticket was opened in June, but the most recent release was in July with no official fix available, and not a word from the developer on this that I can find since the July release. This troubles me, and a bad taste is forming in my mouth.

Furthermore, something the instructor from my ASP.NET AJAX class began echoing in my head: "If you want to do something fast, UpdatePanel is the way to go." Well, that is exactly what I've been asked to do.

Putting it all together, whereas I started out consciously wanting to avoid Microsoft's ASP.NET AJAX framework, I now find myself re-thinking...

I've already written a quick test page using Ajax.NET Professional and jQuery. Perhaps it's time to write another test page, but use ASP.NET AJAX instead.

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