Dougal Campbell's geek ramblings

WordPress, web development, and world domination.

Ajaxing the Rails

If you’re a web developer, then hopefully you’ve already heard of Ruby on Rails and Ajax. If not, you’re behind the times, and you have some reading to do. New in Rails is built-in Ajax support.

I haven’t had time yet to play with Rails yet, but I’m itching to do so. Rails is a web application framework written in Ruby, an odd, interesting programming language (probably only ‘odd’ to me because I haven’t used it yet). Rails excels at making database operations nearly transparent. And since most web applications revolve around databases, this speeds development greatly.

Ajax is really just a new name for something that’s been around for a while. It’s just that it finally got a catchy moniker that people could latch onto, plus a couple of high-profile real-world applications: GMail and Google Maps.

I have a feeling that we’re going to see an explosion of interesting new “rich interface” web applications soon…

About Dougal Campbell

Dougal is a web developer, and a "Developer Emeritus" for the WordPress platform. When he's not coding PHP, Perl, CSS, JavaScript, or whatnot, he spends time with his wife, three children, a dog, and a cat in their Atlanta area home.
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5 Responses to Ajaxing the Rails

  1. Pingback: Bieber Labs » Ruby on Rails gets Ajax Support?

  2. Yup! AJAX is very useful.

    I’ve been using it to develop a new plugin, and without it there is no realistic way (or reason) you could do what it does. (btw if you are interested in the plugin its on my website – WordPress: Touched, I won’t link it, that would be cheap).

    However AJAX has limits, and some people seem to be touting it as the next buzzword. I’m just glad Adaptive Path made up a name that is easier to type and pronounce than XMLHttpRequest 😉

  3. glen says:

    Our next quarter of MSDN Events is all about ASP.NET 2.0 and I’ve made sure that we are including a demo of client callbacks in ASP.NET 2.0 which is essentially what people are calling now calling AJAX. It’s pretty funny that the plumbing for doing this has been around since IE 4 and is just now gaining momentum.

  4. Dougal says:

    Sure, the ability to do this kind of stuff has been around since IE4. But when IE4 first came out, Netscape Navigator version 4 (and even version 3!) still had a fair amount of market share. It’s only been more recently (relatively speaking) that the vast majority of the general public has migrated up to more advanced browser versions. And also only recently that some Big Names began using those techniques in real world applications.

  5. Joe Online says:

    The client callbacks in is actually sth like XMLHTTPRequest. XMLHTTPRequest object has both server-side and client-side versions. Many people are familiar with the server-side version, which allows you to communicate with another server for real-time response. It is widly used in transaction such as credit card authorization used by gateway provider such as one of the biggest Authorize.Net at Their service fee is low and is getting more and more clients including our company at, than Verisign. The powerful client-side version allows you to connect to the backend db from javascript. This is really amazing. A good tutorial on XMLHTTPRequest I found online to share:

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