When using someone else’s components for new technology we need to be concerned about stability and how consistent the APIs will remain over time. That said, this is all new technology so the same issues exist with all of the current solutions, free and for fee.
I’m really concerned about how long it will take to get productive with Ajax. I personally feel like I’m behind the curve on this one. I need to study up using as many resources as I can find, and start cranking out some demos to make sure I understand how this is implemented and all of the various options and gotchas. I’m faced with learning yet another new technology that this market has to throw at me, and doing it off-hours simply because it’s something that I’m expected to know.
Another problem is that my clients are expecting me to use my existing worldly knowledge to implement solid solutions. It’s a precarious position, and I believe it’s appropriate to advise my clients that this is new technology with alpha and beta components. We could be in for a rough ride and I can’t accept responsibility to fix technology issues off the clock. Until this is considered stable technology, my learning time will be off the clock, but any time I spend researching issues with the technology itself must be on the clock. That might cause them to rethink their requirements. It could cause them to rethink their software provider, but I’m confident that I’m only one of a multitude of developers who will need to spend the same time in the trenches to figure out and work around weird issues. My clients need to understand that part of my value-add is my ability and diligence to solve such issues as they arise – an ability that they may not find in other developers.
This blog category is an effort to document the process I go through for learning and addressing issues that come up with technology or client relations. I’ll tell you what I read and what I think about it. I’ll provide my sample code whether it works or not. I’ll tell you where I got stuck and what got me over the hurdles. I’m concerned about being too open about my ignorance on this topic and others, but I also see that there can be a lot of benefit for myself and others who read these accounts. It seems the gains are worth any near-term embarrassments.
I have a separate posting just for links on the topic and will update it as I find new links or find others to be invalid. These links will serve as a source for my information. Each of these sources leads to many others, and some of the links here are found in other referenced pages. And so bings the adventure, for yet another Ajax blog…[Edit 25 Feb 2007] Over a year after originally publishing this article I see that the internal format was corrupted, resulting in a bunch of weird question marks appearing in different places. I’ve cleaned these up. I lost interest in doing a blog category on Ajax because these days it’s as mainstream as hamburgers, and I don’t think we’ll find many blogs on hamburgers. I tend to write about what’s unusual and relatively unknown – I’ll leave it to others to document this particular phenomenon. –T