.NET and AJAX

So, I’ve been wondering a lot about Atlas, the new .NET javascript library. What’s different from say dojo/rico etc? For one thing, it looks and works like ASP and that means that all the javascript is going under the hood. At first that sounds great, but that, as with most things, has a catch. And that catch is that all the scripting is going on under the hood. As is pointed out in this post: http://forums.asp.net/thread.aspx Atlas runs around doing stuff it shouldn’t be sometimes. Atlas tags look quite a bit like ASP tags, for example:

<atlas:ScriptManager runat=”server” ID=”ScriptManager1″ />

creates a script manager
<script type=”text/xml-script”>
<page xmlns:script=”http://schemas.microsoft.com/xml-script/2005″>
<components>
<control id=”panel” cssClass=”start” />
<control id=”TextBox” />
<button id=”hideButton”>
<click>
<setProperty target=”panel” property=”visible” value=”false” />
</click>
</button>
<button id=”showButton”>
<click>
<setProperty target=”panel” property=”visible” value=”true” />
</click>
</button>
<button id=”disableButton”>
<click>
<setProperty target=”TextBox” property=”enabled” value=”false” />
</click>
</button>
<button id=”enableButton”>
<click>
<setProperty target=”TextBox” property=”enabled” value=”true” />
</click>
</button>
<button id=”largeButton”>
<click>
<invokeMethod target=”panel” method=”removeCssClass”>
<parameters className=”small”/>
</invokeMethod>
<invokeMethod target=”panel” method=”addCssClass”>
<parameters className=”large”/>
</invokeMethod>
</click>
</button>
<button id=”smallButton”>
<click>
<invokeMethod target=”panel” method=”removeCssClass”>
<parameters className=”large”/>
</invokeMethod>
<invokeMethod target=”panel” method=”addCssClass”>
<parameters className=”small”/>
</invokeMethod>
</click>
</button>
</components>
</page>
</script>

creates a component tag that allows the script manager to carry out the instructions. There’s a more full explanation than I’m interested in typing out here: http://www.nikhilk.net/AtlasScriptManager.aspx. I’ll put in more on this later since as a .NET dev getting a little sick of working in Flex, I’m interested in the possibilities of really fully integrating Atlas into some .NET projects that are coming up soon. However, were someone to ask me to add real client side functionality to a .NET app tomorrow, I’d still be inclined to use dojo or rico, depending on what they wanted.

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