FREE Ajax Programming Online Course

Sang Shin is offering a free ten-week course on Ajax, starting on the 4th of August, 2006.

It will cover fundamental technologies and some of the popular libraries and frameworks out there. Looking at the curriculum, there's a Java focus on the server-side -- DWR, Wicket, JMaki, JSF, and GWT...

Below is an abstract of what it involves:

o The Web is going through the second wave of its evolution and some people call it Web 2.0. Whether Web 2.0 is considered a hype or not, there are indeed a set of concrete technologies such as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript + XML) that make the Web of today a lot more interactive, responsive, exciting and useful than it used to be.

o This workshop starts with a lecture and a hands-on lab in which the basic concept of AJAX and the core technologies - JavaScript, CSS, DOM, and XMLHttpRequest - that make up the AJAX are discussed and exercised. The workflow of AJAX operation is also discussed in detail using an example code.

o In production environment, it is likely that you would use one or combination of various AJAX toolkits and frameworks. The majority part of the workshop is dedicated to discussing key frameworks and toolkits that are available today for building AJAX applications. These include

+ Client-side JavaScript toolkit such as Dojo toolkit, which hides the low-level processing of XMLHttpRequest
+ DWR (Direct Web Remoting), which enables RMI-like invocation from the JavaScript client code to backend Java class
+ AJAX-enabled JSF components which allows you to build AJAX applications by drag-and-dropping UI components
+ Wrapper technology such as jMaki that lets you use AJAX widgets from different sources using common interface
+ Java to JavaScript translator technology such as Google Web Toolkit (GWT)
+ Existing Web application frameworks with AJAX extensions such as Wicket, Echo2 or Shale

o Finally, the AJAX development tools such as JavaScript debugger (especially FireBug), DOM inspector, logging tool are discussed. Each lecture is followed by a hands-on lab session. The hands-on labs use NetBeans IDE 5.0 or 5.5 beta.

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Rapid AJAX web development with jMaki...

I was interested in rapidly creating web applications using AJAX and found the best tool to use was the jMaki project which is possible with NetBeans 5.5 jMaki plugin that allows drag and drop of jMaki components directly in JSP pages.

I noticed there was no online demo for jMaki mentioned in the labwork but only a flash demo.. If you are interested in viewing live sample applications, check this link. But, if you are like me and want a hands-on, I would rather suggest you download and install the NetBeans 5.5 jMaki plugin and follow the jMaki intro tutorial by Sang Shin himself.

With jMaki, I was able to implement and customize the widgets in the same amount of time it would have taken to go over the demos as it provides a common interface to components from Dojo, Script.aculo.us, Yahoo UI Widgets, Spry, DHTML Goodies, and Google... with a focus on Web 2.0 . Best, of all you don't have to mess around and be trouble-shooting javascript!!

... and if you are curious as to what jMaki actually means:

The name, jMaki, was derived from "j," for Java, and "maki," a Japanese word for “wrap

AJAX Forum Topic

The Ajax Course has a ton of unrelated discussion happeing in the list which I think should be discussed in a forum or outside the list.

If you feel the same, please use the AJAX Forum Topic to discuss.

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