ASP.NET "Atlas" - A Reason To Be Excited About The Web Again

A while back I posted about how I was disappointed with web development of late, and that I thought WinFX was going to be the way to go for applications from here on out. I heard about this "Atlas" stuff, and I was like "Whatever, AJAX is just a fad."

I still think the thick client is going to make a huge comback in the next 18-24 months, but I've spent the last few days really tearing through Atlas, and.... wow. This blows all the other AJAX stuff right out of the water. Ajax.NET, ComponentArt's Callback control... there's absolutely no comparison. Make no mistake... this isn't just XMLHTTP... Microsoft has invented a declarative, cross browser compatible, client side scripting framework. Think .NET Framework on the client-side without the huge download.

This is HUGE. The documentation and samples don't even come close to doing the platform justice. There are controls and services buried in there that could blow the lid off web development. Google isn't doing anything like this. Not even close. What exists now makes it easier for a few people who already know Javascript to handle this stuff. Atlas will make it so that every single ASP.NET developer can write VERY feature-rich applications.

Tie this together with all the other Windows Foundations - Workflow (formerly WinOE), Communication, and Presentation, as well as IIS7... and you have what will be one of the most comprehensive application platforms available.

I'll be discussing this more in depth over on very soon. In the meantime, expect more Atlas hacks from this blog in the next few days.


  • so the back button works? oh wait, nevermind.

  • why not just talk about how atlas helps us developers and stop the google bashing bs retoric. you and gates should date.

  • I've just scoured through the Atlas alpha bits - the framework learning curve seems a bit overkill for what it actually does. I believe Scott Guthrie and company should focus on simplicity in the next releases rather than flock new features on a already complex framework.

    Also, it seems that you will need to know a fair bit of javascript and DHTML? Javascript coding seems a major part of Atlas. Is this really necessary? I've just played a bit with alternative AJAX packages from commercial vendors like Dart and Telerik - the amount of javascript code was minimal.

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