Monday, January 14, 2008

Ajax and BASIC

Ajax (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) style techniques for building interactive web applications are the rage today. They are somewhat overhyped, but there is some value there.

Run BASIC already provides an exceptionally easy web programming system, but it does so with minimal special effects. There is a tiny bit of Javascript being used but almost everything is done with XHTML on the browser, and a very smart web application server.

In release v1.0 of Run BASIC the widgets (and indeed the page itself) are all objects. They are created by very simple statements. Any sort of Ajax inspired widgets for a future release of Run BASIC must not be any more complicated to use than the simple to use widgets that are already there.

Additionally, one of the most important aspects of Ajax is partial page reloading. This is important and we are eagerly planning to add this. What this will allow you the Run BASIC program to do is to reload a small part of your web app in the browser so that each user action does cause the whole page to be refreshed from the browser. This provides for smoother feeling user experience, and it also can improve performance.

So, Ajax must not complicate Run BASIC. Our design philosophy is to respect the simplicity of BASIC as much as possible. There are too many complicated programming systems out there, and the world doesn't need another one.