LINQ to SQL, WCF, REST and AJAX alternatives

Rick Strahl posted his session slides and samples from his ASP.NET Connections. Really good presentations.

JavaScript frameworks

I am getting more and more comfortable with different javascript frameworks.
The simple reason is that frameworks got much better.
I used javascript here and there before but tried to stay away from internals and poluting my memory with different behaviors of JavaScript in different browsers.

My first encounter with AJAX was via using at the begining of 2005. Later when Atlas/ASP.NET AJAX got better I start using it for my projects.
I have now enough understanding to see that ASP.NET AJAX can be somewhat havy and from now on I am trying to use more browser friendlier and much lighter options utilizing following javascript libraries and CSS resources:
  • jQuery is a fast, concise, JavaScript Library that simplifies how you traverse HTML documents, handle events, perform animations, and add Ajax interactions to your web pages. jQuery is designed to change the way that you write JavaScript.
  • Ext JS 2.0 Ext JS is a cross-browser JavaScript library for building rich internet applications.
  • Dynamic Drive's new CSS library! Here you'll find original, practical CSS codes and examples such as CSS menus to give your site a visual boast.
Combine this with the good server side scripting technology like ASP.NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails and others and you may get very close to perfect harmony and nice warm Zen like feeling about design and performance of your web application. ;-)

Quest: is AJAX bad for SEO?

This sounds like a simple question. I will say like many other developers/architects/consultants - "It depends..."

Bottom line AJAX is bad for SEO!
For publicly facing company websites, were SEO important, stick with the server side scripting such as ASP.NET, PHP, Ruby on Rails and others.
I am not mentioning static HTML pages here since medium and big size companies most likely will have data driven web site.

If you are building Line of Service business application AJAX will only make your application better.
Do not think twice learn it well and use it.

If you absolutely have to use AJAX follow "Unobtrusive JavaScript" pattern.
AJAX is great tool when used for proper application types.

Here is my prediction -> 3 years from now Search engines will learn to understand and properly index and rank RIA/AJAX/FLASH/Silverlight/Flex/Put your faviorite client side technology here. Until then ...

AJAX and SEO: How to have an SEO Friendly AJAX website using jquery

12 More SEO Tips for 2007

SEO Myths
AJAX, Web 2.0 and SEO
Web 2.0 Technologies and Search Visibility
Unobtrusive JavaScript
CSS, AJAX, Web 2.0 & Search Engines
Search engine optimization

Some JavaScript and AJAX related links

free, original DHTML & Javascripts to enhance your web site...

"Ext is a client-side, JavaScript framework for building web applications. In early 2006, Jack Slocum began working on a set of extension utilities for the Yahoo! User Interface (YUI) library. These extensions were quickly organized into an independent library of code and distributed under the name "yui-ext." In the fall of 2006, Jack released version .33 of yui-ext, which turned out to be the final version of the code under that name (and under the open source BSD license). By the end of the year, the library had gained so much in popularity that the name was changed simply to Ext, a reflection of its maturity and independence as a layout:'fit',framework. A company was formed in early 2007, and Ext is now dual-licensed under the LGPL and a commercial license. The library officially hit version 1.0 on April 1, 2007"

The Json.NET library makes working with JSON formatted data in .NET simple.
Quickly read and write JSON using the JsonReader and JsonWriter or serialize your .NET objects with a single method call using the JsonSerializer