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Ajax: The Definitive Guide by Anthony T. Holdener III

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Frameworks and Languages

Frameworks have been getting a lot of press lately, as those such as Ruby on Rails have gained the notice of more and more professionals in the industry. The truth is, however, that frameworks have been around for a while—longer with some languages than others. But what exactly is a framework? In the simplest terms, a framework is a set of components (interfaces and objects) that are put together to solve a particular problem.

Frameworks are built to ease the burden of writing all of the low-level coding details that go along with programming an application. An important feature of frameworks is that they should work on a generic level so that they are suited for a multitude of applications. On the Web and the desktop, frameworks allow developers to concentrate on the application's requirements and on meeting deadlines, instead of on the mundane but necessary components that make applications run.

With our focus on Ajax web development, it is important to understand the differences among the various frameworks on the Web, not just within a given language, but among languages as well. Earlier in the chapter, we focused on ASP/ASP.NET, PHP, Python, Ruby, and Java, so the frameworks we discuss here will correspond with these languages. Some of these frameworks follow the Model-View-Controller (MVC) design pattern discussed in Chapter 2, and others are just a whole lot of functionality bundled together. Your choice of framework will depend on how structured you ...

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