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From "Johannes Textor" <>
Subject Re: AJAX and Cocoon - Design Patterns
Date Tue, 04 Oct 2005 10:34:36 GMT
> Doesn't this mean writing a full-blown App in Javascript? 
Yes, an AJAX-Client (as I see it) is esentially a full-blown App in 
JavaScript. Think about the classic examples, Google Mail and Google Maps. 
They provide a stunning user experience - but they are written in 
Cross-Browser JavaScript. This may sound worse than it actually is, but 
it's still no way an "easy-and-fun" task.  
But given that AJAX is more than just a hype, we'll have to adapt to it. 
There are already AJAX capabilities in Cocoon like the new "ajax=true" 
thingy in CForms, but as I see it this does not go far enough. Cocoon is a 
server-side framework. IMHO, a forms framework like CForms is obsolete in 
an AJAX setting - AJAX forces us to *rethink the way we think about web 
applications*. Does this sound familiar ? There is a popular web framework 
which used that slogan some time ago ...  
> No more re-use of actions, transformations, pipelines, ...? 
> No more Lego bricks to build an App? 
As Derek said, actions, transformations and pipelines, the basic 
components of cocoon, would still play the same role in an AJAX setting. 
But some parts, like CForms and Flowscript, will probably not, at least in 
my opinion. If page flow control is moved to the client, why use 
flowscript? If a "form", aka single HTML page with a "<form>"-tag in it, 
is no longer the predominant way to receive info from the client, because 
it happens by background HTTP requests pre-processed by the client, why 
use CForms?  
> Are there tools and libraries to support this task? 
Yes there are - but they are out of Cocoon's scope, since Cocoon, as I see 
it, is a *server side* framework, and AJAX is a *client side* technique. 
There are initiatives popping out to make AJAX programming more 
comfortable, like the drag & drop - libarary at, or the OpenRico library at but I'm getting OT.  
For us as deveolopers, there is a downside about the AJAX thing - until 
now, "Web application" basically meant "set of interacting HTML forms with 
a client-server trip at each step". Now things have become much more 
complicated - and fun - so it will be hard to come up with *the* framework 
for building AJAX apps, like there isn't *the* framework for building X11 
My impression is that Cocoon fits in well, just maybe we will no longer be 
doing *everything* with it (like page flow control), but put more weight 
to the client in the client-server setting.  

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