I am just back from Profict's AJAX day, a very nice way of promoting one's company among developers. There were 2 speakers: Greg Murray, the AJAX architect from Sun and Bram Smeets, the DWR expert from Interface 21. In between there was a small product presentation from BackBase. 4 hours for Greg Murray
Four hours were filled by a jetlaged Greg. It seems that because he got so much time he could not chose what to tell from the many presentations he brought with him. It was a shame everything was so jumbled up because there were some really nice things in there. Without going into too much detail, here are some of the things he presented.
jMaki is available for JSP and JSF environments. But given the raw components (simply a html, css and js file) you can probably include this stuff in any other framework easily.
jMaki also has some other basic stuff. For example an eventing mechanism (modeled after Dojo) and XmlHttpProxy.
AJAX, Back button and Anchor links
The trick of the day was the use of anchor links (the part after the #). When the user triggers an AJAX action (for example loading a different product), the URL of the currently loaded document is changed, but only in the anchor part. Since only the anchor changes, the browser will not reload the current page, but will add an entry to the page history. This means that suddenly the AJAX enabled page has a bookmarkable URL. In addition, much better back button support becomes possible.
Bram Smeets on DWR
After a pitch style introduction of Spring, Bram then showed how to configure DWR from Spring. Though the integration is indeed nice, it gives you no advantages when you are not using the Spring bean container for some other reason (which of course there are plenty).
The day ended with a nice barbecue in the beautiful garden of Profict's castle.