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Before working with MVC, I would claim to be somewhat intimidated by JavaScript development.  Not that I did not know how to use it, however I found that is was much more bug prone and harder to develop against.  Having the .Net compiler was a nice safety net-I did not have to worry about variable name mismatch, typos, not to mention the .Net framework itself.  In a recent ASP.Net project we used the MS AJAX update panel to implement interface changes that could easily be implemented via client side JavaScript.  For example a ‘select all’ link to select multiple checkboxes was implemented as a button click event in the code behind with an update panel.  Certainly not the best way to do this, but the thought was to let the Code-behind do the heavy lifting. 

With the advent of AJAX(Web 2.0), MVC, and JQuery, it is no longer a viable option to attempt implement all interface functionality on the server.  I believe the expectation of users has changed with relation to page life-cycle and page post backs.  Consider Facebook, Google or most of the prominent websites. 

Fortunately in MVC and other prevalent technologies, I no longer fear JavaScript as much as I used to.  Certain changes make JavaScript development much more of a pleasant experience:

  1. JQuery just makes JavaScript development x10.  For example with JQuery you can do many thing in one line of code: display a dialog, replace the contents of a div tag from a server side method
  2. JQuery greatly simplifies JavaScript in several ways, including cross browser compatibility.  There is no longer any need to write customizations for different browsers.
  3. Better debugging support in browsers including IE7+, as well as Visual Studio.  (I usually use IE’s debugging, it is easier to use.
  4. Utilizing MVC allows easier querying of DOM elements.  Ids like ‘ctl00_pagebody_ucLocalDashboard_tcTabby_tpSetups_ddlPageSize’ are no longer used.
Posted on Thursday, October 21, 2010 1:17 AM | Back to top

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