Part 1: Ajax Experience Tutorial Sessions Part 2: Ajax Experience Roundup
The final part of my coverage on The Ajax Experience in Boston .
Ted explained how to use Ajax on Struts 2 by showing code examples - which ment for a very dry presentation. Most developers still use an old version of Struts (1.2) to which the code examples don’t apply. Struts 2 looks like another framework that tries to do to much at once and fails to be widely accepted. It renders components with Dojo, which ties the application to a specific framework. It isn’t a backend developer’s responsibility to render front-end controls. I want the backend developers to give me the data rather than rendering components.
In order for a backend framework to be useful to me it must leave the presentation layer alone and be appealing to backend developers. Since most Java developers are not moving to Struts 2, it looks like the framework fails on both of those key points. Ted’s Slides
These panels were the highlight of The Ajax Experience for me. It really was hilarious to see such conflicting opinions come through on both sides. It kind of felt like a spectator sport as you root for the person that you identify most with. When I look back at it two memorable moments stand out to me.
The first moment was when John Resig made the point that paid licenses provided by frameworks - simply for the sake of having a license (no support included) - have no tangible benefit. Providing that type of licensing is an out-dated practice and they are, “appealing to companies who are boring and dull” [croud laughed loudly].
Kris pulled off some crazy things with JSON, but I have to admit that most of it went over my head. He showed a demo of live editing an dynamic object tree, which was cool but didn’t seem to me like anything you couldn’t pull off with MySQL/Ajax.
One of the biggest things I got from the Yslow session was the 80/20 rule. That is, that 80 percent of the performance of the website depends on the front end weight of the page. That article was eye-opening to me. That my job as a front end developer heavily matters to the overall speed of the web applications.
Yslow gives your website a grade in order to motivate you to increase the speed of your page. My website receives an “A” in almost all categories except for using aCDNand setting an expires header - pretty good I think. Thank you Yahoo for building such a great tool.
You may download the Yslow firebug plugin here and analyize your own website.
The registration cost was hefty ($1200), but the company I work for, RMG Connect paid for my registration fee. The overall experience was pretty amazing. I met some great people - especially the jQuery guys. Talking directly to the framework authors was an invaluble experience. Knowing the person’s motivations behind creating their library really clues you into the longevity and energy behind a project.
This is the first time that I have covered something like this in so much detail so it is important to me to have your feedback.