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22 Dec 2005

by Noel

Printf in AJAX? Sorry, that’s not debugging.

This post is one in a continuing series where we internally debate the merits of the over-hyped promise of AJAX…

Debugging Ajax Requests in Prototype:

How do we debug our Ajax applications? The Rails Weenie has taken the Ajax Responder feature in Prototype…

I’d like to remind Noel that the distance of the Atlantic and business of the Christmas holidays are not going to keep me from pointing out that AJAX is an immature and dangerous platform to build a business on. Yes, I’m glad that GMail is there… and I suppose the Yahoo! Mail beta. However, these are fragile technologies to build upon.

How do we debug things written using the Prototype framework?printf. I mean, I’m glad that with AJAX and Rails I can whip something up quickly that “just works.” However, it doesn’t “just have test cases,” or “just get internationalized”, or “just stand up under load.” They’re rapid-prototyping tools, certainly nothing more. AJAX breaks usability standards, pushes data and computation to an unreliable substrate (the client’s web browser), and as the post above provides some evidence for, there are no good debugging or tracing tools available for developers working in heterogeneous browser environments in Javascript.

So, Noel, riddle me this: why should developers be willing to take eight steps backwards and be shafted with printf as their primary debugging tool when working with AJAX?

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