Monday, April 19, 2010

The state of the client-side ASP.NET Ajax 4.0 framework

The people who follow my blog might remember the ASP.NET Ajax 4.0 series. In these series I showed some of the core features of the ASP.NET Ajax 4.0 beta javascript library.

In January Microsoft told us that they would ship the ASP.NET Ajax 4.0 library as a part of the Microsoft Ajax framework, together with the release of ASP.NET 4.0. A few days ago I was ready to dig in the library a little deeper, but I found out that most of the documentation and resources I used to consult, had moved or had disappeared.

If you follow me on Twitter you might have seen me ranting about this. Lee Dumond and Stijn Volders told me that the ASP.NET Ajax 4.0 library now is a part of the Ajax Controltoolkit and that it's deprecated.

I contacted Dave Reed (InfinitiesLoop) for some more clarity on this subject and he told me this:
The scripts aren't going away, but we aren't investing in them anymore, instead we are looking at how we can extend jQuery to meet the same needs. We are folding those scripts into the AjaxControlToolkit (on ajaxcontroltoolkit.codeplex.com -- ajax.codeplex.com is no longer), so you can still get them from there, and even contribute to them if you would like.

Dave also pointed me to a post on Stephen Walther's blog, where this part is interesting:
We are moving the ASP.NET Ajax Library into the Ajax Control Toolkit. If you currently use ASP.NET Ajax Library client templates, client data-binding, or the client script loader then you can continue to use these features by downloading the Ajax Control Toolkit.

Be aware that our focus with the Ajax Control Toolkit is server-side Ajax. For client-side Ajax, we are shifting our focus to jQuery. For example, if you have been using ASP.NET Ajax Library client templates then we recommend that you shift to using jQuery instead.

Conclusion

It's like the client-side ASP.NET Ajax framework is jinxed. Same as with the previous releases of the client-side ASP.NET Ajax framework, this release is dead before it got a chance to live. I definitely have sympathy for Microsoft on this one though, jQuery really is that good. I only hope that they will be able to push some of the best features of the ASP.NET Ajax 4.0 library into jQuery.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Trip Report Czech Republic

Last week my girlfriend and I went on a short holiday to the city of Plzeň in the Czech Republic. In this post you can find a small trip report.

Roadtrippin'

Minutes after leaving home we discovered an unpleasant surprise; my Tom Tom has no map of the Czech Republic. Good thing that people used to print this stuff on paper. After consulting a paper map of Europe we did have an idea which direction to follow.



The route was easy enough though; straight ahead for 800km. Driving through Germany was a blast. For those not from Europe; the biggest part of the German autobahn has no speedlimit.

Prague

The highlight of our holiday was Prague. A lot of the historic architecture is still intact, making Prague an impressive city and deservingly one of the most-visited cities in Europe.

Some of the sights we visited were..

The Charles Bridge. This bridge is one of the most popular sights in Prague and has a very rich history. It's over 600 (!) years old.


The Petřínská rozhledna on top of the Petřín hill is a miniature version of the Eiffel Tower. On top of the Petřínská rozhledna you have a great view of the Prague skyline.


The Prague Castle is one of the biggest castles in the world. Today it still houses the Czech government.


The Saint Vitus's Cathedral next to the Prague Castle is the biggest and most important church of the Czech Republic.


Plzeň

Plzeň is known worldwide for it's Pilsener beer and it's Skoda factories. Although industry made Plzeň one of the biggest cities of the Chzech Republic, the number of tourist attractions is rather limited..

We had some good laughs at the Dinopark.


We also visited the famous Pilsner Urquell museum and got a bonus show! That evening the soccer match Viktoria Plzen vs Sparta Prague took place. While we were standing in front of the Pilsner Urquell museum 80 fully equipped cops stormed a restaurant on the other side of the street to arrest some hooligans. Sweet action!


Final thoughts

Although the Czech Republic does not have a good reputation, I think all the problems this country used to have belong to the past. The people were nice, the culture was rich and everything was pretty cheap compared to most European countries. Definitely worth visiting!

Monday, April 5, 2010

The first Belgian nerddiner is a fact!

After Techdays 2010 in Antwerp, the first Belgian Nerddinner took place. Although I didn't make it to Techdays, I did make it to the Nerddinner.

In this post I want to give a shoutout to Visug (especially Gill Cleeren) for making the first Belgian Nerddinner possible. I also want to share some of my personal highlights which made this event awesome..


Seeing a Windows 7 phone in action for the first time. Never thought it would be Microsoft to convince me to get my first smartphone!


Meeting Scott Hanselman. I had the opportunity of sitting on the same table as Scott. Chatting with this guy is a blast.


Meeting Bart De Smet. Although me and Bart know each other for some time now, this was the first time I met him in person. Ten minutes of socializing with this genius was inspiring.

Thanks to Stijn Volders for digitizing the first Belgian Nerddinner. You can find the full Nerddinner album on Flickr.

Did you enjoy the first Belgian Nerddinner?