32.6. Rich Client-Side Development

In the last couple of years the software industry has seen a fundamental shift toward emphasizing the importance of the end-user experience in application development. Nowhere has that been more apparent than in the development of web applications. Fueled by technologies such as AJAX and an increased appreciation of JavaScript, we are now expected to provide web applications that approach the richness of their desktop equivalents.

Microsoft has certainly recognized this and has released a range of tools and enhancements in Visual Studio 2008 that support the creation of rich client-side interactions. There is now integrated debugging and IntelliSense support for JavaScript. ASP.NET AJAX, previously available only as a separate download, is shipped with Visual Studio 2008, and there is support in the IDE for AJAX Control Extenders. These tools make it much easier for you to design, build, and debug client-side code that provides a much richer user experience.

32.6.1. Developing with JavaScript

Writing JavaScript client code has long had a reputation for being difficult, even though the language itself is quite simple. Because JavaScript is a dynamic, loosely-typed programming language — very different from the strong typing enforced by Visual Basic and C# — JavaScript's reputation is even worse in some .NET developer circles.

Thus, one of the most anticipated new features of Visual Studio 2008 is IntelliSense support for JavaScript. You will ...

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