Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Look at AJAX and Greasemonkey

So I’ve been teaching a course on ASP.NET.  And it’s a funny thing that after all my time spent learning about code behind forms, server side controls and Microsofts’ view of the MVC pattern I can no longer see the benefit of ASP.NET. Just to note I was a huge ASP fan! And certified in four MS certifications.  I’m a believer in XML / XSLT and feeding these via business tier (or façade tier) components.  All this pushes me into AJAX and Greasemonkey.  AJAX is Asynchronous JavaScript And Xml. gMail uses it and so do other popular sites. Its essentially JavaScript acting upon the browser DOM with provided XML data to render the UI. It allows the browser to do things against the server without hitting the submit button. Cool and very, very powerful when you wrap your head around it.  Next is Greasemonkey, this is a huge innovation which could render business models ineffective, or so some think.  Greasemonkey is best explained by plagerizing the mozzila site, “Greasemonkey is a Firefox extension which lets you to add bits of DHTML (”user scripts”) to any web page to change its behavior. In much the same way that user CSS lets you take control of a web page’s style, user scripts let you easily control any aspect of a web page’s design or interaction.” Either way, the UI is going through another iteration. In my mind, its one of the technologies which changes most frequently. Enjoy the added user experience this iteration is providing.