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AJAX World 2008 West Round-Up: Both Comet and JavaScript Loomed Large

One of the best sessions was by Doug Crockford who told everyone to man up and learn JavaScript

Michael Galpin's Blog

AJAXWorld was this week, and it was interesting. I think the down economy is having an affect on everyone, but there were still a lot of interesting things to learn about. 1) Comet - There were a lot of talks about some form of data push from the server to the browser. 2) Don't make me learn JavaScript! There seemed to be a lot of folks advocating the "only know one language" approach to the web. In most cases that language was NOT JavaScript.

AJAXWorld was this week, and it was interesting. I think the down economy is having an affect on everyone, but there were still a lot of interesting things to learn about. On Monday, I did a talk on a favorite topic of mine, networked applications. The talk was a lot of fun, hopefully the audience would agree with that assessment. Overall though, I would say there were a couple of major themes at AjaxWorld this year.

1.) Comet. There were a lot of talks about some form of data push from the server to the browser. Kevin Nilson did a nice job of differentiating Ajax (infinite loop of XHR polls) vs. Comet (long poll.) The folks at ICEFaces have built some nice abstractions on top of Comet. There was also a lot of interest around WebSockets, especially the work by the folks at Kaazing. A duplexed socket connection to the server sounds great on paper. I think there will be some very interesting technologies that grow around that.

2.) Don't make me learn JavaScript! There seemed to be a lot of folks advocating the "only know one language" approach to the web. In most cases that language was NOT JavaScript (even though the Jaxer guys say it can be.) Vendors liked Oracle and ICEFaces preached abstractions that shielded the developer from JavaScript. Of course the GWT folks say do everything in Java. Microsoft says use Silverlight so you can do everything in C#. Of course one of the best sessions was by Doug Crockford who told everyone to man up and learn JavaScript. I tend to agree with Crockford, even though I prefer ActionScript...

More Stories By Michael Galpin

Michael Galpin is an architect at eBay, specializing in presentation technologies. He has been hacking on the web since the 90s, is a frequent writer for IBM developerWorks, and has a degree in mathematics from Caltech.

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