2.7 The Shape of Things to Come
The sole purpose of this chapter is to offer a glimpse of the shape of things to come, both in this book and in the industry. All joking aside, this glimpse wasn't the result of mad science or any other dark art. It is the result of several years of beating various web browsers into submission, consistently pushing a little further to create rich application interfaces with consistent behavior.
The wide range of technologies that comprise Ajax can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, there is extreme flexibility in the tools available to the developer. On the other hand, currently Ajax applications are often sewn together in much the same way that DHTML pages were in the late 1990s. Unfortunately, although the hand-crafted approach works for furniture and monsters, it relies heavily on the skill level of Igor—eh, the developer.
In future chapters, it is my intention to elaborate on the various techniques that were briefly touched upon in this chapter. Also, even though Ajax is currently considered a technique that takes longer to develop than the "traditional" methods of web development, I'll show some ideas on how to reduce this time. After all, what self-respecting mad scientist cobbles together each and every monster by hand? It's all about tools to make tools—eh, I mean monsters.