As I was exposed to more fellow Ajax developers, and also some server-side frameworks such as Rails and CakePHP, I realized everyone was using it in order to pull partial page renders from the server itself, instead of handling XML in the client side. Although it all started with that Apple Developer Connection article for me, and that already pointed me to the “right way”, I must admit that I fell in love instantly on all of a sudden being able to treat my server as a “business service server” and have the user interface on the client side.
I started looking for a way around the browser quirks and repeated JS code, and by then the most used framework was Prototype. But Prototype was all too simple and didn’t have any UI components, so it made things only a bit easier. I looked into dojo, and found something new to love.
So I grew older, and as I got older I also got lazier, and I ended up finally allowing myself to get interested in Rails and CakePHP and other agile frameworks, all of which used Prototype as their underlying JS library of choice. I started using the built-in Ajax capabilities of those frameworks, and tried my best not to cringe at the idea of pulling partial HTML from the server-side. Turns out it makes things quite simple for people used to server-side development, but still I wouldn’t use that if it wasn’t a part of the frameworks.
His blog article got me interested again on jQuery and I will definetly look into it for the next rich interface webapp I build. Great work there Simon, I’m just sorry to only have found it only a couple years later than when you posted it.