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So, I'm seriously considering axing ASP.NET AJAX from my future projects as I honestly feel it's too bloated, and at times convoluted. I'm also starting to feel it is a dying library in the .NET framework as I hardly see any quality components from the open-source community. All the kick-ass components are usually equally bloated commercial components... It was cool at first, but now I tend to get annoyed with it more than anything else.

I'm planning on switching over to the jQuery library as just about everything in ASP.NET AJAX is often easily achievable with jQuery, and, more often than not, more graceful of a solution that ASP.NET AJAX and it has a much stronger open-source community.

Perhaps, it's just me, but do you feel the same way about ASP.NET AJAX? How was/is your experience working with ASP.NET AJAX?

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Oh. I thought this was going to have something to do with guitars. –  TMN Jan 3 '11 at 18:02
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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I gotta assume you're talking about WebForms. When first announced, I thought this framework sounded sorta cool... Then I actually got to use it, and immediately hated it. The superficial resemblance to WinForms provides a leaky abstraction that resembles - but utterly fails to match - traditional Windows desktop APIs, while adding endless pitfalls, mountains of tedious boilerplate, and very little else. Early promises of painless cross-browser/cross-device development quickly amounted to nothing, and viewstate brain-damage made it all too easy for new developers to create insanely large, slow pages.

The underlying framework isn't all that bad though.

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Yes, I was referring to ASP.NET WinForms and you pretty much hit it on the head. My pages started to be ridiculously large because of the obese ViewState. –  Marlon Jan 3 '11 at 6:30
    
I awarded you the accepted answer purely from a random draw ;) Thanks everyone, you all confirmed my misgivings about asp.net ajax. –  Marlon Jan 4 '11 at 14:56
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Same as yours actually. No, seriously, now I prefer ASP.NET MVC over regular ASP.NET, and as AJAX lib I always use jQuery, whether it is .NET project, JSP project, or any other.

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That's pretty much the direction I'm leaning in... It too, has largely to do with ASP.NET MVC. I'm particularly excited about the new Razor syntax. –  Marlon Jan 3 '11 at 6:27
    
+1 That's where MS is going, and really is the more common approach in other languages like you said. MS AJAX was great in the time of web forms, but if you can, now is a good time to make the switch. –  Ryan Hayes Jan 3 '11 at 16:49
    
@Merlon I can't wait for VS to get more syntax highlighting and intellisense in Razor! –  Ryan Hayes Jan 3 '11 at 16:50
    
Razor will take another leap forward when ReSharper starts to support it fully. –  LiamB Jan 3 '11 at 19:02
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Yes, I feel the same way about ASP.NET AJAX. My experience with ASP.NET AJAX was frustrating at best -- the components were bloated and sometimes a challenge to debug. I have almost completely made the move over to jQuery and am finding it much more to my liking.

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Oh, try troubleshooting a Javascript problem with ASP.NET AJAX. That is some dirty dirty code you have to fish through to work out what on earth is going on and why.

Not to mention the way it insists on jamming a dirty great GUID into the name of every flippin' control on the page.

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Try mootools, jquery is really something that tries to make Javascript act like PHP. Easier, but when you know MT you'll miss the features traded for simplicity.

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I've heard plenty about MooTools but I haven't really tried it out. I think I'll have to give it a shot before I settle on one. Thanks. I like your insight regarding about jquery making javascript act like PHP and I agree with you! –  Marlon Jan 3 '11 at 6:34
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