Better Ajax Development

Jon Udell wrote a great Strategic Developer column in the October 10th 2004 issue of InfoWorld in which he described the fun he was having with the E4X extension to JavaScript. This article got me to invetigate and use JavaScript wherever it was available. And Jon is right, E4X is a real boon to XML development wherever its used.

By the way in the article Jon said:
“Its actually Bill Gates fault that I am obsessed with the notion of data as Play-doh…more than any other technology, E4X make XML data feel like Play-doh in the hands of a programmer.” I cannot agree with John more fully – it really make XML data in Adobes ActionScript 3 really fun to work with.

Wish I could say the same for JScript. Here is Microsofts recent Record on E4X:
1)Rok Yu answered questions in April 2005 on MSDN saying:
“4X features will not be in the Whidbey release of JScript .NET. There is also no plans to add it for the next release of the COM classic version of JScript (IE7). At this point, were evaluating how much customer demand there is for the feature set. What scenarios would you like to use E4X?”
2)The new IE8 whitepapers do not mention E4X in the upcoming standards compliant edition of IE. For example search for E4X in the Better Ajax Development IE8 white paper here.

So Jon, now that you are on the inside at Microsoft, could you help persuade the IE crew to make good on your 4 year old request ? Any comments that you send this way will be of course published here.

Now I raise this point because I have been saying for the past 4 years that Microsoft is grossly remiss on supporting HTML, DOM, CSS, JavaScript and other Web standards. Checkout Quirksmode.org for another confirmation of MS Missed Compliance. Of course if you are a Web developer you know very well because you have had to pay the Microsoft compatibility tax – countless extra hours of work providing hacks and workarounds so IE and other MS software will work like other browsers do the first time.