Why AJAX is painful?

For those who have spent any time with me you will know that I’m fairly passionate about two subjects – VB.NET and building Occasionally Connected applications (ie applications for desktop or mobile devices that don’t require a connetion 100% of the time).  I was catching up on a few of the older ARCast shows and came across an interview with Israel Kehat that talks about streaming/editting video using AJAX (show is entitled “ARCast – The Adventures of Israel Kehat and Friends in the Strange Land of Streaming Video and AJAX clients”). In this interview they talk about how AJAX has been used to provide a rich user experience coupled with the zero cost of deployment. 

While I agree with a lot of the discussion the point I want to focus on is about debugging.  Ron asks the question about whether debugging Javascript has got any better.  The short answer was No, but Israel then goes on to claim that modern debuggers haven’t really improved when it comes to debugging distributed, multi-threaded applications.  This to me sounds like Israel has falled under the web developers delusion that building web applications using a mix of javascript and .NET is easy???  Debugging multi-threaded, distributed windows applications is now infinitely easier using VS2005 than it was with earlier versions of Visual Studio.  For example you can access all the currently running threads, pause threads and even continue to debug your system across network and application bounds – All without leaving VS!

What kind of a sadistic world are we living in that we have to write sophisticated applications in javascript anyway.  It reminds me of all those people who claim that VB.NET is for “soft” programmers who don’t understand OO and don’t want a strongly-typed programming language.  And what is worse, the dependency on javascript is getting worse.

Ok, to finish on a positive note.  I must admit when Tatham Oddie delivered his Atlas session to the Wellington .NET User Group I was pretty impressed with the level of integration with ASP.NET. 

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