Friday, April 30th, 2010
After receiving many emails and instant messages the last couple days over the whole Apple vs Flash tit-for-tat that’s been going on. I feel compelled to give my thoughts.
For starters Steve Job’s article, Thoughts on Flash, is full of truth and fiction. The biggest part that rubbed me the wrong way was his lack of distinguishing between Flash and the SWF file format that Flash produces; Jobs conveniently leaves this out. Of course the average person knows nothing about the distinction between Flash, the tool that is used to create a SWF file and the actual SWF file that is used on a website. The SWF file is ‘open’ and there are other products, not made by Adobe, that can create SWF files. So it is fair for Abobe to wave the ‘open’ flag.
As far as Apple being ‘open’. Not so fast there Jobs. I can’t even use the SDK on my Windows machine. You must own a Mac if you want to create applications for an iDevice.
Is there anyone that truly believes Apple could not get Flash to play on their devices if they wanted to? Just say it Jobs, I don’t want to support Flash. Period.
Now my final thought and it’s not a good one for you Flash developers is this: Flash is dying, but it’s not Apple that’s killing Flash. It’s three things: 1.) Ajax 2.) jQuery and 3.) HTML5. These technologies have been slowly killing Flash the last few years. Look around, sites that once used Flash have fazed it out: Yahoo, MSN, IGN and many many others. Because of these technologies, Flash’s strengths are no longer there. It’s been relegated to advertisements and entertainment sites.
Monday, April 26th, 2010
In this article we will be looking at a different type of architecture. One in which we utilize jQuery’s ability to easily transfer data (via Ajax and JSON) from the client to the server. We then use ASP.NET and LINQ to SQL to query the database and return a collection of data which gets (automatically) serialized to JSON and sent to the client. The benefits of combining these technologies include: more responsive applications, more processing on the client, less processing on the server and reduced network traffic. Everything runs faster and uses fewer resources.
Still not convinced? Here are some additional benefits of this architecture:
Benefits of the Architecture
- Unlike an ASP.NET UpdatePanel we only pass what we need; we only receive what we need. We donâ€™t pass ViewStates, in fact we donâ€™t even have a ViewState. We also donâ€™t pass entire HTML chunks and receive HTML chunks we donâ€™t use. For more on this; read: Why ASP.NET AJAX UpdatePanels are dangerous.
- Less dependencies â€“ because all our code is simply xHTML we could switch to a PHP or a Java backend and none of our code for the UI would have to change. That’s right, there are no server-controls; that means no GridViews, no Repeaters, no ListViews, nothing that uses runat server will be found on the page. Not even a ScriptManager.
- Usability â€“ We can create RIA interfaces AND maintain usability, giving us the best of both worlds.
- Cross-Browser friendly â€“ We use nothing but xHTML code and jQuery which works across browsers.
- The entire presentation for the UI is done via CSS. Change the CSS and the entire UI can look different.
- Switching architectures from Web Forms to MVC is a breeze.
Hopefully you are salivating at these benefits enough to decide to get your feet wet and follow along.
In this article will be leveraging these technologies to build a grid (or what looks like a table). Later on, in future articles, I will then show you how to implement sorting, paging and filtering on the grid. I have divided this article up into four sections: 1. Sever-side code (ASP.NET). 2. HTML 3. jQuery and lastly CSS.