Atlas disappoints in cross-browser support

Matthew Magain

(via digg) An interesting discussion has begun on Leland Scott‘s blog following his testing of Microsoft’s Atlas AJAX framework in various (non-IE) browsers.

The gist of Scott’s tests is that the Atlas code doesn’t work across all browsers. Most of the UI controls get a tick in the box when tested in Firefox, but in Opera and Safari most of them either fail or don’t work as expected.

This is obviously disappointing, given the amount of hype Atlas has had, and considering there are so many other great open source toolkits out there already that work in all modern browsers. Obviously in the rush to get Atlas out, “cross-browser” was interpreted by the Atlas developers to mean “make it work in Firefox”, with the “Community Technology Preview” stamp being used as an excuse for why the rest of them fail.

Unfortunately it’s difficult to take a lot of Scott’s reportage seriously, considering the blatant anti-Microsoft bias that shows through. Still, it’s the screenshots that tell the story, and with the surge in popularity of ASP.NET and the marketing campaign behind Atlas, the toolkit is certainly going to be in wide-spread use. So unless some big efforts are put into getting Atlas to work in more than just Firefox and IE before its 1.0 release, Web 2.0 is about to get fragmented.

Did somebody say browser wars?

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  • bonefry

    Well, seriously … did somebody expect Microsoft to be a good company and actually care about what developers want ? Is anyone here still believing the hype that comes out of Microsoft’s gates periodically ?

    Of course they have an interest in fragmenting AJAX.
    Or else chairs start to fly ;)

    Anyways, some people will always be ignorant.
    As they say … in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king

  • bonefry
  • _theworks

    Well, seriously … did somebody expect Microsoft to be a good company and actually care about what developers want ? Is anyone here still believing the hype that comes out of Microsoft’s gates periodically ?

    well i dont think i could have said it better…

  • Small Paul

    @bonefry: I take it you’ve managed to miss the sterling work of the IE7 team. They’ve onsulted web developers and worked with the Web Standards Project, listened to our feature requests for IE7, actually implemented lots of them in IE7, with lots more promised for IE 7.5, all the while putting up with the kind of dismissive crap you just came out with.

    Isn’t it time to recognise that real people work at Microsoft?

    http://www.qbrundage.com/michaelb/pubs/essays/working_at_microsoft.html

    I’d suggest anyone unhappy with what they see it Atlas get on the Atlas forums, and start telling Microsoft what they want.

  • http://blog.heuristicdesign.co.uk Hal9k

    Why should I care that real people work at Microsoft?

    While I don’t agree with everything that Bonefry said, if the product sucks I’m not going to afford it any sympathy just because “real people” made it.

    Things should be better; they get free soft drinks!

  • ronhud

    I’ve recently gotten back into web development after a 3 year data-warehousing stint. In the past, I was always a pro-Microsoft developer (www.ronhudson.com, www.sqltrainer.net, www.sqlajax.com). However, since returning to web development this year, I’m finding CSS and XSLT to be far more “intelligent” and “intuitive” as web development tools.

    Although I’m experienced and knowledgeable about ASP.NET, I’ve found that the ASP.NET/server-side paradigm is dramatically contrary to the more-intelligent CSS, XSLT, and AJAX models that are evolving in the opensource community. It’s no wonder to me that MS is scrambling to make it all look like it works intelligently, but I think that there are lot of people like me who are seeing ASP.NET evolve into an almost-embarassing hack.

    I don’t see any way that MS can make the square peg of ASP.NET fit into the round hole where REAL web standards are developing freely and openly. I feel born-again now that I am leaving .NET behind and learning how to put all of my UI code in XML, XSLT, and CSS files. I have become .aspx-free, and use .aspx files only for DB connections now.

    I see the emergence of technologies like those discussed on this site and W3CSchools as being far more relevant to professional web development than what MS is giving us. I like having the VS.NET IDE to work in for my xml, xslt, javascript code, mostly because of the color-coding and short-cut keys. I would likely use a different editor if it were opensource (VS.NET express will only be free for another year or so). I realize now that I really don’t need the VS.NET hacks like ASP controls, User Controls, and Sessions.

    That’s my .02 cents worth. Your mileage may vary.

    Ron Hudson MCSD, MCDBA
    MS Certified Developer and Database Engineer
    www.ronhudson.com

  • whyulil

    microsoft are just using the standard that they developed, its up to safari and opera to support the standards correctly in their browsers as well as MS to get it to work in other browsers. The blame is not just on MS!

  • ronhud

    Here is a great example of what I think is risky about using ATLAS and ASP.NET. I just tried Microsoft’s Visual Studio .NET Express product. When I tried to open a project I had created in VS.NET 2003 from work, it told me that I HAVE to upgrade the project from VS.NET 2003 to VS.NET 2005.

    In other words, the “opensource/free” version of VS.NET 2005 (Express) CANNOT share the same code base with a previously-paid-for version (2003 Standard, Professional, or Enterprise). I believe that Microsoft makes it this way INTENTIONALLY AND NEFARIOUSLY to FORCE its customers (victims?) to upgrade (pay their subscription fee?).

    Why is this a problem? Suppose that you are collaborating with a team of other developers around the world? What if one of them has VS.NET 2003? What if that person doesn’t want to pay another $200 for VS.NET 2005? For me, the “$200 bi-annual subscription price” of using ASP.NET makes it less-than-open and therefore less “universally usable.” For a web developer using W3C standards, VS.NET 2005 doesn’t offer anything worthwile over the previous version. Most importantly, how do I know that Microsoft isn’t going to jack up the price for the next version of VS.NET? Doesn’t that make it somewhat risky to be locked-in to ATLAS and ASP.NET?

    This, I think, is a good example of my concern about using ATLAS, and ASP.NET in general. It’s just not as open and reusable as W3C standard tools. I want stuff that works OPENLY, and that means it should work with NOTEPAD (as do all XML-related technologies). At a minimum, I want my vendors to make their own products backwards and forwards compatible. Am I missing something, or isn’t portability one of the most-import points about CSS and XSLT?

    Maybe some of the “real people” around here can educate me. I would go to a Microsoft forum, but somehow I don’t think the discussion would be “truly open.”

    Ron Hudson MCSD, MCDBA

  • NK

    @ronhud

    dude, vs 2003 works on .net framework 1.1 and vs 2005 on .net framework 2.0. both frameworks have little changes in a code base libraries to provide better arcitecture. so ofcourse an application based on .net framework 1.1 will not work with .net framework 2.0 and will ask if you want to convert it or not.its a common sense

  • Etnu

    Just thought I’d point out that not all of those “frameworks” (if they can be called that…) are “open source”.

    Take the Yahoo! libraries, for example — they’re free, well-documented, and work exceptionally well, but they’re most certainly not “open source”.

    Microsoft may be evil, but they’re not stupid. They’re going to make sure that it works the best in IE, and performs “correctly” (although probably not optimally) in other browsers with significant market share.

    They also realize that the companies using ASP.net fall into one of two categories:

    1. Large websites (rare, since most of the leading websites are powered by PHP, Python, Perl, or JSP, but obviously MSN.com is one such example). These sites won’t be using their toolkits anyway, and probably have had their own tools for these things for months / years.

    2. Websites of companies who’s main business is not “web centric”. These companies aren’t very technically savvy in the first place, which is why they continually over-spend on IT and make poor technological decisions. It’s not that they’re stupid or anything, it’s just that IT usually takes a back seat. Most of these companies (banks, auto manufacturers, etc.) don’t really care about users who aren’t running one of the most popular web browsers. A few exceptions exist, but that’s the norm. Microsoft, IBM, Sun, Oracle, etc. all cling to companies like this, knowing that they can push their crap on them with abandon, and charge ridiculous prices for consulting, software, and support. IT decisions are made based entirely on a basis of “safety”. As the saying goes, “nobody was ever fired for choosing windows”.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com Matthew Magain

    Can’t say I disagree with your analysis of Microsoft and their market Etnu. Of course they care more about the bottom line than making the Web browser-independent. It’s still disappointing though!

  • TheLunchBox

    It’s unfortunate that people are already attacking Atlas. It’s not even a released product yet! It’s still just a CTP.

    If you ever get a chance, try talking to some people at Microsoft. They’re currently working on IE and Firefox functionality then plan to move to Safari, Opera and others.

    It frustrates me to see Microsoft making a concerted effort to improve things and get constantly attacked. They made the decision to build a new browser with better standards support and people complained. They created a public bug database for IE7 to help avoid the problems from IE6 and people complain. They release a CTP of Atlas early because developers asked for it and people complain. They even made a free IDE, which even Zend hasn’t done.

    As a developer that works with .NET, PHP and ColdFusion, it always amazes me how much animosity their is between developers. The first betaof Atlas is probably about as good at the first beta of any other framework and if it was released by any company other then Microsoft, this wouldn’t even have been posted.

  • TheLunchBox

    I’m really confused as to who you are talking to at Microsoft that is only concerned about shareholders. I kind of like to know. I’ve personally met many of the IE7 team members, most of the evangelism team involved with .NET 2.0, and few other people working for Microsoft and standards support is quite high on the list.

    >>Nothing short of them making VS.NET free forever will satisfy me

    Zend Studio $99+
    Dreamweaver $400+
    VS.NET Express Free for ever

    >>Forcing .NET developers to upgrade VS.NET three times in 5 years is greedy and selfish, in my opinion.

    All of my PHP4 sites needed work to be upgraded to PHP5 and I will likely need to do more work for PHP6. I’ve also had similar issues with ColdFusion. This isn’t a Microsoft thing, this is an evolving lanugage thing.

    >>I will be amazed if ATLAS isn’t strongly-linked to purchasing VS.NET 2005.

    Well, be amazed because the entire AJAX client library is completely independent of .NET.

    I’m not trying to say that .NET is better than PHP. I still code about half of my projects in PHP despite being an MCSD. I just think it’s funny when people make up stuff to alienate Microsoft technology and then complain about Microsoft being close-minded.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com Matthew Magain

    The first betaof Atlas is probably about as good at the first beta of any other framework and if it was released by any company other then Microsoft, this wouldn’t even have been posted.

    Hi TheLunchBox. You’re absolutely correct here. Products developed by Microsoft will certainly face closer scrutiny than those produced by a small startup or individual. Just the same way that George Clooney buying an ice cream makes news but you or me doing the same does not. They are a high profile company, so if there are shortcomings, yes I think they are newsworthy.

    It is great that there are people like Chris Wilson in the IE team who “get” web standards and are committed to seeing them implemented in Microsoft products. I certainly hope some of that expertise and those priorities filter across to the Atlas team, because at the moment it looks like they need it.

  • http://www.revonx.com/ Galo

    @bonefry “Well, seriously … did somebody expect Microsoft to be a good company and actually care about what developers want ? Is anyone here still believing the hype that comes out of Microsoft’s gates periodically ?”

    Are you serious dude, MS is not to blaim for that, it’s al these stupid companies that can’t agree on shit it’s not ONLY mS, every story has 2 sides so stop blaiming MS, at least they document everything the right way and provide more then needed @resources and online docs & help.

    Damn, for years this is a problem we al have been walking into, deal with it…

    “I just wanna make one click and have it working in all my browsers”, yeah sure …

  • sciske

    1. Large websites (rare, since most of the leading websites are powered by PHP, Python, Perl, or JSP, but obviously MSN.com is one such example). These sites won’t be using their toolkits anyway, and probably have had their own tools for these things for months / years.

    Not so fast….
    http://weblogs.asp.net/scottgu/archive/2006/03/25/441074.aspx

    P.S. In case you were wondering, the top-6 domains in terms of page-views in February according to Media Metrix were: 1) Yahoo, 2) MySpace, 3) MSN, 4) Ebay, 5) Google, and 6) Hotmail.

    P.P.S. 4 of the top 6 sites (MySpace, MSN, Ebay and Hotmail) run on IIS and Windows. J

  • sciske

    I would also like to point out that you don’t need atlas to implement ajax for asp.net.

    Just thought I’d point that out….

  • Anonymous

    Eh, whatever. I’m not trying to say that Microsoft is the best company ever. My initial post was just pointing out that this whole thing is complaining about bugs in a CTP, which is kind of dumb.

    I apologize for fogetting that Microsoft is the root of evil and everything they do is just an attempt to destroy everything. Won’t happen again.

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  • bonefry

    Seems may people are giving advices to “Talk to Microsoft about it” …

    I have a better ideea … why shouldn’t I contribute to an open-source project instead of *telling* Microsoft what to do and *hoping* for the best ?

  • mx2k

    wow, maybe you should take down the sitepoint logo and put up ‘slashdot web 2.0 for open source people’ only instead.

    i work with these tools daily, and at least i know about the xml script inside of atlas or the fact its geared more toward developers, hence the bloated syntax with things like types and such. personally i do not care for it, but i expect more from a blog at sitepoint than this less than professional piece.

    @ronhud everyone knows you have to upgrade vs when a new version of the framework out, 1) cause microsoft makes money, they are a business and business are out to make money. (see how profound that is?) 2) vs is heavily tied to the framework it is built upon, its clr and etc. this is nothing new.

    i don’t see you guys writing articles that specifically point at the problems with php and its backwards compatibility breaks or the fact the the ruby rage ‘ruby on rails’ has sparked zend to get its butt into high gear, if anything you kiss up to zend.

    nor do i see you guys contributing (even open source things) to dot net, like the fact that there is super secret alpha version of NDOC being made or presenting things like how to test with NUnit or even other alternatives to atlas like Ajax.net or controls made by third parties like telerik.

    nor do i find topics like covering generics, declaritive programming with asp.net, 2-way databinding, and so forth on sitepoint.

    sigh. i bet the author doesn’t even know what a mutex has to do with a singleton in dot net.

    I expect flame wars in the forums, I expect professionalism from sitepoint blogs and articles.

    If you have an issue, point out the issue, then at least offer a solution. otherwise you’re no better than microsoft.

    @bonefry, good idea.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com Matthew Magain

    i expect more from a blog at sitepoint than this less than professional piece … If you have an issue, point out the issue, then at least offer a solution. otherwise you’re no better than microsoft.

    Hi mx2k. I did offer one. I offered five in fact.

    I expect flame wars in the forums, I expect professionalism from sitepoint blogs and articles.

    Personally I’ve tried to keep this thread about the topic at hand rather than engage in the general Microsoft vs. open source banter. Are you suggesting I should delete everyone else’s comments though?

    sigh. i bet the author doesn’t even know what a mutex has to do with a singleton in dot net.

    And you would be correct, as I have not programmed with dot net before and make no claim at being an expert. But this blog is about DHTML and CSS, and with Atlas being an AJAX toolkit that can be used independently of ASP.NET, what does your spruiking of this knowledge have to do with the topic at hand? If you expect professionalism, I might suggest leading by example rather than trolling.

  • mx2k

    5 tool kits, none of which include dot net controls. and at least one of them is heavily dependant on prototype (not that its a bad thing).

    i expect if you are going to knock atlas to at least look at other control tool kits as well like
    http://ajax.schwarz-interactive.de/csharpsample/default.aspx
    or
    http://www.telerik.com/

    And you would be correct, as I have not programmed with dot net before and make no claim at being an expert. But this blog is about DHTML and CSS, and with Atlas being an AJAX toolkit that can be used independently of ASP.NET, what does your spruiking of this knowledge have to do with the topic at hand? If you expect professionalism, I might suggest leading by example rather than trolling.

    i don’t know of anyone who would use atlas independently of dot net. its not marketed to be used independently and since the javascript is located inside clr dll and uses the framework to insert the script into the page, i don’t know how you would get it work outside of using iis that has the framework installed.

    alot of the javascript is written to handle the xml-script that is injected from server into the page in conjuction with javascript or update the asp.net page specific items like view state, start up blocks, and various controls that are placed inside the update panel.

    again, atlas is marketed to making asp.net websites and controls ajax enabled and its not something that can just be placed into a php or ruby website, unless you have both of those languages installed along side the framework on IIS.
    and its marketed to those developers who are used to strongly typed languages.

  • Leland Scott

    mx2k says…

    I don’t know of anyone who would use atlas independently of dot net. its not marketed to be used independently and since the javascript is located inside clr dll and uses the framework to insert the script into the page, i don’t know how you would get it work outside of using iis that has the framework installed.

    The gall of Microsoft apologists always amazes me. This statement has two such amazing egocentric claims: First, does mx2k really think he knows everyone who is developing with Atlas? Now, that’s a truly amazing claim. Or is he just saying that because no one he knows does it, no one is doing it? Pretty amazing, too. It’s the same philosophy that asks whether a tree falling in the forest makes any noise if no one hears it. If you’re still puzzled by that one, you should probably refrain from posting for awhile and just think a little more.

    The second claim is that Microsoft isn’t pitching Atlas for non-ASP.Net frameworks. That’s pretty ridiculous, too. All you have to do is read the first paragraph on the Atlas home page to see otherwise. Remember, I’m not making this up. These are MICROSOFT’S OWN WORDS:

    However, “Atlas” isn’t just for ASP.NET. You can take advantage of the rich client framework to easily build client-centric Web applications that integrate with any backend data provider.

    What Microsoft means by “backend data provider” is arguably vague. But “Atlas isn’t just for ASP.NET” is not vague at all.

  • mx2k

    omg ignorance embodied, i’m not apologist for any corporation and if anyone has a right complain about microsoft and it’s tools is any developer who uses their tools on a regular basis to development work like myself.

    ok so some person who didn’t know better placed that tag on their website. whats not news worthy or article worthy. since when does microsoft always deliver on its promises? please. Longhorn was supposed to run on a new version of SQL in place of the registry, now its the same old registry like previous versions of windows. thats not news worthy.

    but the point is still moot, you CAN NOT USE ATLAS outside of having a WINDOWS MACHINE with IIS and the 2.0 FRAMEWORK installed. Have you installed you used the march or april ctp? or are you just arguing points from someone else’s blog? the ATLAS JAVASCRIPT IS INSIDE THE CLR DLL

    so unless you know of reflection or have a nice lutz roeder’s reflector, you can not get at those scripts. RESEARCH the product before you write up articles on HEARSAY.

    the reason i said ‘I don’t know of anyone who would use atlas independently of dot net’ is because ATLAS would require you to have those things as I forementioned, installed.

  • newbie

    I would really appreciate seeing this discussion continue. It seems to me that there is a lot more to the incompatibility issue of ATLAS than MS wants us to know. It seems to me that everyone’s going to be as confused as mx2k unless forums like this allow people to explain the finer technical points.

    I just hope that the moderators of this forum won’t cave in if Microsoft starts complaining about the revelations that are being made here. I know that Microsoft has a powerful advertising division. They can make forums like this cave-in to censorship any time they want to. Perhaps the moderator here would make a statement about his policy to censor comments that criticize MS.

    Thank you very much to those who have explained the problems related to collaboration with .NET products. I’m going to think twice before embedding .NET controls into my UI from now on. CSS and XSLT rock!

  • mx2k

    “It enables developers to easily enrich existing or new ASP.NET 2.0 applications with AJAX functionality ……”

    http://msdn.microsoft.com/asp.net/

    “And because ‘Atlas’ is an extension of ASP.NET,” ….

    http://atlas.asp.net/default.aspx?tabid=47

    i’ll come back to sitepoint when people get back to writing within their expertise and write about new things going rather the statusquo or slashdot style blog postings with half quotes, taking things out if its full context. If i wanted that, i would watch the nightly news.

  • Adam Toth

    …the ATLAS JAVASCRIPT IS INSIDE THE CLR DLL

    Actually, the atlas scripts on installation are stored in a scripts folder accessible on the hard drive in the Program Files directory. You can grab these script files and use them outside of asp.net.

    I think many of the commenters here do not actually understand atlas very well. Atlas consists primarily of two parts 1. An ajax/javascript library (set of .js files), and 2. A set of asp.net server controls that nicely wrap up #1 for developers that use asp.net pages.

    If you aren’t using asp.net, you can still use the script files, you just have to manually include the libraries in your pages, and add the xml-script tags yourself. At that point you have to decide, is it easier to figure out the Atlas library and implementation, or use a different ajax library?.

    If you are using asp.net, then you can use the server controls at design-time in the IDE, and never have to worry about including .js files or writing any of the necessary xml-script tags. Therefore, I primarily see the Atlas ajax/javascript library being used outside of asp.net for the purpose of creating new ajax functionality that will eventually be wrapped in an asp.net server control.

    As for the quality of #1 (the ajax/javascript library itself), sure there are other implementations that do things better, and some that do things worse. Maybe Atlas doesn’t have cross-browser compatibility as good as others (at least right now according to the original post), but they might in the future, and they also have other nice features about their approach, such as JSON and an object-oriented approach to writing javascript.

    I don’t see any reason to complain, if anything web devs have yet another option to choose from in their toolkits. In my company, I already see many benefits to Atlas for easily upgrading bits and pieces of my asp.net projects to be ajax enabled, in a fraction of the time it would take to convert my old apps over to some other ajax library.

  • mx2k

    i stand corrected, after unistalling and reinstalling the april ctp i stand corrected, it does install the scripts. (however this was not the case with the april ctp install that i was using).

    but why would anyone would want to use these scripts outside of asp.net i’ll never know. and why would you bust on a ctp that isn’t even offically 1.0 i’ll never know.

  • http://ian.sundermedia.com TheLunchBox

    I don’t see any reason to complain, if anything web devs have yet another option to choose from in their toolkits. In my company, I already see many benefits to Atlas for easily upgrading bits and pieces of my asp.net projects to be ajax enabled, in a fraction of the time it would take to convert my old apps over to some other ajax library.

    Adam, please understand that Atlas is not just another option it is a blatant attempt by Microsoft to permenently elimate all other browsers and disband the W3C. (BTW: That was sarcasm)

    I’d have to agree with you. Atlas is a great option for us .NET developers. I’ve been using it and I’m personally quite happy and I’m sure that the release will be cross browser compatible. The reason I’m confident that it will be cross-browser is because Microsoft won’t make their shareholders any money if it’s not.

  • http://www.sitepoint.com Matthew Magain

    The reason I’m confident that it will be cross-browser is because Microsoft won’t make their shareholders any money if it’s not.

    It hasn’t been enough of a reason in the past for them, but let’s hope you’re right!

  • bonefry

    The reason I’m confident that it will be cross-browser is because Microsoft won’t make their shareholders any money if it’s not.

    Yeah … right. Just as it happend with .NET, Microsoft Office and ASP.NET 1.1

    Cross-browser and cross-platform are big concerns at Microsoft … right

  • http://ian.sundermedia.com TheLunchBox

    Keep in mind that when Microsoft created .NET 1.1 and Office, IE was much more dominant than it is now. Now that IE is only 80-85% of the market, web developers can’t afford to not be cross-browser.

    As far as cross-platform goes, Microsoft is primarily an OS company so they are hardly going to create software to help increase usage of other platforms.

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  • steve

    Microsoft Atlas still in beta. the release version will be better

  • newbie

    It’s really this simple guys:

    XSLT/CSS is a different paradigm than ATLAS. They are simply not compatible or designed to be used together. I respect the rights of MS employees and other pro-Microsoft people to come here and pretend that ATLAS is open-source, but I just don’t think anyone who has really done a lot of web development with XSLT and CSS could say that. XSLT is based on XML files to reduce code. ATLAS, like most of ASP.NET is based on using proprietary hacks to reduce code. I sincerely wish you ATLAS people the best, but I think that the large majority of experienced high-end web developers are going to go the XSLT/CSS route.

  • steve

    is it Microsoft Atlas in cross browsing? Yes, for right now, it might be improved in the future

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  • jendy

    why are people comparing Atlas and XSLT + CSS?

    They are different tools for different jobs.

    The essence of Atlas is that you can call server-side code from the client without a postback. aka AJAX

    XSLT + CSS deal with the styling and transformation of data.

    I sincerely wish you ATLAS people the best, but I think that the large majority of experienced high-end web developers are going to go the XSLT/CSS route.

    …not to add a new record to a DB and send a email they aren’t (ie. a common server side operation)

  • billgates

    Anyone who has used ASP.NET extensively knows that it does not play well with XSLT + CSS. In fact, one of the “big selling points” for .NET 2.0 is “Master Pages.” Experienced web developers create “master pages” usign CSS and XSLT, not .NET. Using any of these kinds of .NET tools will lock you into an architecture that will be expensive and painful to remove when you figure out that CSS and XSLT are better. When you put it all together, the problems with ATLAS become clear. You will find the same when you get some more experience building ASP.NET apps. Enjoy the ride.

  • sciske

    Anyone who has used ASP.NET extensively knows that it does not play well with XSLT + CSS.

    What? Clearly you have not used asp.net extensively.

    Experienced web developers create “master pages” using CSS and XSLT, not .NET.

    An experience web developer also knows that .NET is a platform and has nothing to do with the use of CSS and XSLT.

    Just thought I’d point out these over sights :>)

  • billgates

    >>What? Clearly you have not used asp.net extensively.

    Clearly you have not tried to use it with XSLT and CSS…and you probably haven’t done much AJAX or Javascript with it either. You probably also like to use data grids and do your table sorting by making a call back to the server. The rest of us us javascript for that.

    I see that I’ve touched a nerve. Didn’t mean to burst anyone’s .NET fantasy bubble .

  • jendy

    this is far from an educated discussion.

    I’ll leave you kids to it.

  • sciske

    I see that I’ve touched a nerve. Didn’t mean to burst anyone’s .NET fantasy bubble .

    Woooo. I was just pointing out some flaws in your conclusion. No flame intended.

  • dotnetguru

    A guy came from Maui and spoke at our .net user group the other night. He gave a 3 hour presentation on ATLAS and I feel that I understand it completely now. There was a guy at the meeting who kept heckling him as to why anyone would use ATLAS to do AJAX. The speaker was apparently at a loss to give any good reasons why any experienced javascript developer would want to bother with all of the complexity and heavy extra code involved in ATLAS. It also became clear that ATLAS offers little or no additional value to the AJAX equation…UNLESS you are using ASP.NET. It was the speaker’s opinion that ATLAS is basically for ASP.NET developers who don’t want to write their own AJAX code using javascript. He was asked by an experienced javascript programmer whether or not he would use ATLAS if he already knew javascript, and he said he would not.

    I’ve been doing web development with .NET, javascript, and AJAX for many years. After having seen most of what ATLAS is about now, I can’t see any reason that an experienced javascript developer would want to use ATLAS. There is a HUGE learning curve, and personally I think even the best ASP.NET developers would get far-more bang for their buck by learning javascript instead. It’s clear that you don’t need ATLAS if you already know and are comfortable with javascript.

    Now that I know what ATLAS is all about, I have to agree with the negative comments about it that have been made here. It seems to me that it’s just another high-level tool for non-programmers like Masterpages, Frontpage, or Microsoft Access. I can’t see how any “programmer” would find any value in it. On the other hand, if you don’t like javascript, or feel intimidated by it, then ATLAS would be a great way for you to do AJAX. Anyone who’s a C# developer would obviously not have a problem learning javascript, so maybe ATLAS is mostly for VB and non-programmer types.

  • James

    Has anyone tested Atlas .NET framework on the Mac? I have a project that I think Ajax would be pretty sweet for, can you e-mail me please if you had success in the Mac browser? Thanks, jsemple@hotmail.com