Developing Matt

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Building pure ajax applications by Stephen Walther

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Building pure ajax applications by Stephen Walther


I met Stephen Walther on the shuttle to the hotel.  He was trapped for 20 minutes and had nothing to do but converse with me and a cheerful lady from greece.  There was a good discussion over linq* and some of the new technologies.  I think there are some neat things coming down the pipeline.  I wasn’t able to attend any of his classes except for this one.  Below are my notes.   


A couple of recommended tools for benchmarking:


o   how does it work? interrupts response between app and server.  Getting it to work with vista is a pain.  It’s a proxy server, so it works with any browser.  And ie7 doesn’t make a normal request against a local server, so if youa re testing this from your machine put a dot after localhost

·         firebug for firefox browswer.  It is more integrated than fiddler.


Benchmark tests against controls:

·         Serverside allows browswer compatibility but is bad performance.  All content must be renedered for each interaction.  A simple serverside dropdown list was 2,884 bites.

·         Serverside Ajax hijacks postbacks to make it asynchronous, but still is about 1663 bites for a dropdown list. 

·         Clientside ajax the download dropped down to 776 bites. 


Bottom line use strictly javascript and custom paging with a ui control  “Anything else and you are just being lazy”


My take: Microsoft is getting deep into javascript and making it more usable.  So I think in  a year we are going to see more controls centered around javascript and client script.  As he mentioned the browser compatibility issues were really big in the 90’s, but not so much anymore. 


His blog:

His company website:


*My conversation with Stephen Walter about Linq:

Basically he really likes it because it’s rapid development.  He thinks it’s an excellent tool and very easy to implement…as well as streamlined.  He admitted he was much more an guy than a sql guy, but he was pretty excited about it and suggested I give it a try.

I told him of my concerns about overhead (the fact that it seems to pull the entire structure back) and his points were that maybe when you design it , but not when you run it.  It is up to the coder to pick exactly what they want.  He also said that it does some precomplication within the tool to streamline the pull/push of data which makes it faster, and he also said that it doesn’t execute the read of data until you actually pull the data (in other words, in the for loop, not before). 

Anyway, all interesting points.  He said that it wouldn’t be faster than a data reader…and the security implications of putting your sql in your app should be considered. 


Microsoft is in a pickle because they tout for so long to always put code in stored procs, and now they are really pushing this.  But overall it depends on what you want to do.  But for the sake of turning applications out quicker it’s a very big step of microsofts to lower development time.




Written by matt

May 7, 2008 at 10:26 am

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  1. […] attended ‘Taking Ajax to the next level’ by Steven Walther.  I met Steven last year at the conference where he was stuck for 30 minutes in a shuttle from the airport to the […]

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