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Microsoft Releases Atlas

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the another-technology-to-ignore dept.

300

Jason Lind writes "Much earlier than anticipated, Microsoft announced the release of Atlas this afternoon at MIX 06. For those who don't know, Atlas is Microsoft's AJAX API for ASP.NET 2, which they claim will greatly reduce the effort in developing AJAX style applications on their platform."

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"No Micwosoft! No!"... (0)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959673)

..."Welease Wobin! Welease Wobin!"

Re:"No Micwosoft! No!"... (3, Funny)

sammy baby (14909) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959683)

When do they release Thiluth, the Athyrian Thrangler?

Re:"No Micwosoft! No!"... (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959714)

Thats "wewease".

Re:"No Micwosoft! No!"... (1)

jacksonj04 (800021) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959944)

No, releathe.

Re:"No Micwosoft! No!"... (1)

whitehatlurker (867714) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959951)

I believe that the last instance should be "releathe", as in "Releathe Thithyphuth"

Of course, really it should be:
"Weleathe Pwometheuth"

Re:"No Micwosoft! No!"... (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959990)

I just *knew* someone would come along and point that out
just as I clicked submit. I just *knew* it. :-)

Re:"No Micwosoft! No!"... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959943)

OK, what kinda useless M$ article is this?

There's no way to make a BSOD joke, a chair joke, an M$ Bob joke....

How the hell did this make it onto /.?

Re:"No Micwosoft! No!"... (1)

ToasterofDOOM (878240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960244)

It says AJAX, .NET, AND Framework. Beat that!

Microsoft learning its lesson? (0, Flamebait)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959685)

Best of all, ASP.NET pages work in all browsers - including Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer.

Something from MS that works on MS competitors too? That's unusual. I mean, there's probably a catch in there somewhere, like with ActiveX.

Re:Microsoft learning its lesson? (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959733)

Last time I used it .NET gave 2 output options: Netscape 4.0 compatible HTML or IE-specific HTML. There was no full support for XHTML or HTML 4. That counts as working in all browsers. But the ASP.NET output I've investigated is far from the best.

Re:Microsoft learning its lesson? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959775)

ASP.NET 2.0 has a lot more options, including XHTML.

Re:Microsoft learning its lesson? (2, Insightful)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959824)

See my point is that I doubt they'd ever fully support all other browsers as well as IE, because they don't want to miss a chance to give IE another boost.

Re:Microsoft learning its lesson? (1)

doubledoh (864468) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960255)

I don't get why it matters anymore what browser you run (business wise). Does Microsoft even care? If they really cared, wouldn't they have tried to compete more actively with Firefox when it was in beta almost 3 years ago? I mean, they aren't even giving IE 7 away for free (unless you have a genuine windows licence), which goes to show they are more interested in making money from their OS market than gain or maintain browser market share. It doesn't really make any difference to them at this point which browser you use so long as you are running that browser on their operating system (which they actually make money on).

The "browser wars" are over and they aren't coming back.

Re:Microsoft learning its lesson? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959950)

That option you speak of is just for warnings at design time. It generates compliant html javascript on the front end at run time.

Re:Microsoft learning its lesson? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959760)

Something from MS that works on MS competitors too? That's unusual. I mean, there's probably a catch in there somewhere, like with ActiveX.

Opera is still struggling, but Firefox compatibility seems to be a priority on their new Live [live.com] services as well (btw, I like that finally someone is trying to move the search ui forward from last decade, even though it takes some getting used to..)

Re:Microsoft learning its lesson? (1)

adolfojp (730818) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959955)

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/xhtml1/DTD/xhtml1-transition al.dtd">
That is the second line that Visual Web Developer 2005 Express Edition will put on every ASP.NET 2.0 page by default. ASP.NET 1.0 and 1.1 controls rendered good code on IE and old code everywhere else. Then again, you can use ASP.NET without the server controls and use it like ASP classic or PHP.

Cheers,
Adolfo

If it's much earlier than anticipated... (0, Flamebait)

swalker42 (944794) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959688)

then it's much buggier and less useful than anticipated. And that says a lot!

If it's anything like the rest of ASP.net... (4, Interesting)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959698)

If it's anything like the rest of ASP.net, It will require that you use Microsoft's wonderful web technology, with __viewstates, and other wonderful features. You won't be able to customize it nearly enough to do a professional job, and will only work for really quick and sloppy applications that don't really need AJAX anyway. I use ASP.Net on a daily basis. We've found the best thing to do is to ignore all the form/component stuff that microsoft has built, and just use tools we have built ourselves, which although they do many of the same features, are much more extensible and easier to use.

Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer.... (1, Interesting)

everphilski (877346) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959720)

Easy Programming Model ASP.NET makes building real world Web applications dramatically easier. ASP.NET server controls enable an HTML-like style of declarative programming that lets you build great pages with far less code than with classic ASP or technologies like PHP or JSP. Best of all, ASP.NET pages work in all browsers - including Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer... from the official website [atlas.asp.net] . Sounds kinda cool.

Re:Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer.. (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959778)

It sounds kind of cool, But I don't think it will work out that way in practice. As it stands now, I remember hearing that even the old ASP.Net had issues with different browsers, and had problems with certain devices (handhelds) and viewstates where if the viewstate was too big then the application wouldn't work.

Re:Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer.. (0, Troll)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960042)

Actually, from personal experience, some of the code we've been mucking with using ASP.NET 2.0 has been just fine regardless of browser. Not bad considering Safari's lack of standards compliance.

To your original point, any system generated code is potentially fraught with peril...question is, how easy is it for you to muck by hand and clean it up. That is one of the big advantages of Ruby on Rails and it seems like the same deal with ASP.NET 2, although there are a lot more layers and code libraries with ASP.NET.

Re:Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer.. (2, Insightful)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959788)

The official website, just like Microsoft's regular website, is full of meaningless rhetoric. I can write complete crap HTML that works in every browser. That definitely doesn't make it good. And less code than "classic" ASP, PHP, or JSP? Not once when I worked with ASP.NET for 2 years did I find reduction of code compared to other options. Maybe there are some cases I didn't see, but a blanket statement like that is just wrong.

The only people who back up this rhetoric are Microsoft employees on their blogs and those who haven't tried any alternatives.

Re:Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Internet Explorer.. (1)

bedroll (806612) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959834)

"And less code than "classic" ASP, PHP, or JSP? Not once when I worked with ASP.NET for 2 years did I find reduction of code compared to other options. Maybe there are some cases I didn't see, but a blanket statement like that is just wrong."

Well, what they're not saying is that it's less code but more markup. If you use their controls then you put all the properties in the .aspx file as an XML object, but you're hardly saving time by setting properties in there vs setting them in code like you used to.

Also, with Atlas you have less of your own code but more of theirs, because you have to use their libraries for all the AJAX functionality. Most people that I know who've been doing things with AJAX already have their own libraries of js written to re-use.

Re:If it's anything like the rest of ASP.net... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959725)

don't mistake your incompetence for bad software

Re:If it's anything like the rest of ASP.net... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959857)

He/she didn't.

Re:If it's anything like the rest of ASP.net... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959999)

__doPostBack() doesn't actually do anything if the user has javascript disabled, so the viewstate crud should not be used for anything serious (eg: ecommerce). Sadly these prebuilt components are targetted at developers who don't know any better.

easier? (3, Insightful)

Douglas Simmons (628988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959701)

which they claim will greatly reduce the effort in developing AJAX style applications on their platform

... provided you buy and use their coding gui frontend ware?

Re:easier? (1)

szembek (948327) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959912)

Or you could use the express edition for free. You can find it here: http://msdn.microsoft.com/vstudio/express/vwd/ [microsoft.com] . I've only used the full versions, but I have heard from others that the express edition was fine for them.

Re:easier? (2, Informative)

Sqwubbsy (723014) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960087)

I'm pretty sure the Express Edition just lacks a lot of the server integration/front end deployment capabilities. Which, of course, is a lot.

Ajax is a flash in the pan (5, Interesting)

jimmyhat3939 (931746) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959703)

Personally I think the whole Ajax thing is overblown and will die down in the next year or two.

Are there good uses for Ajax? Sure. Google Maps is probably the single best example out there at the moment, and I would expect some more to show up soon.

BUT, will Ajax supplant the client app as the workhorse of productivity applications? Not a chance:

  • Ajax requires all communication be serialized using a Javascript callback scheme that requires extensible but ultimately limiting xml communication between client and server.
  • To get good performance, Ajax forces you to code a front-end application using JAVASCRIPT. Now I've coded some pretty complicated Javascript stuff, but it's just not the right language for writing full-featured applications. It's barely even object oriented, weak typed, etc. And debugging it is a disaster.
  • If instead you decide to have the server make all the UI decisions for you ("put this text here, that box there"), that's fine except you'll see lag anytime you do anything. Imagine trying to update an entire column of data in Ajax Spreadsheet. The server has to send down exactly what to put in each cell and do all the computations for you before you see anything. Google Maps has this problem - I often see white boxes, unrefreshed boxes, etc. and I'm using the latest Firefox!

The funniest thing for me about Ajax is it basically is just doing what Java Applets can do, only Java is better. WTF?!?!

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959740)

<script>alert( "Mod Parent Up" );</script>

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959744)

My thoughts exactly. I cringe to think to what it would be like to maintain an entire web application that did everything in AJAX. Even with a development environment that was built to support AJAX, I think it would still be a nightmare. AJAX is good for little features within a web application, but is not the best way to do the entire application.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

_Sharp'r_ (649297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959818)

It seems more and more like Ajax is the new Flash.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (5, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959867)

My thoughts exactly. I cringe to think to what it would be like to maintain an entire Unix application that did everything in X11. Even with a development environment that was built to support X11, I think it would still be a nightmare. X11 is good for little apps like calculators and graphical terminals, but is not the best way to do the entire application.

Or, on the other hand, maybe we could make widget libraries that do all the heavy lifting of X11 for us? Then we could program to the widget libraries rather than the uber-complex X11 drawing library! Genius!

The same is true of AJAX. Right now, everyone is programming at the lowest level. What AJAX needs is a higher level set of widgets that can accelerate development. Mozilla took the XUL path, but that won't work for cross-browser applications. We need a general-purpose widget library written using the standard HTML DOM. Then AJAX will become a quick and easy option.

Unfortunately, Atlas isn't it. This is just a collection of custom tags to simplify and standardize ASP programming.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1, Informative)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959885)

hmm... you mena like Rico or mochi kit?

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959967)

Yes. The only problem is that these toolkits are still highly incomplete. They define a few cool widgets and APIs, but certainly nothing on the level of a full GUI toolkit. Progress is being made, though. :)

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (2, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960229)

That's a great analogy, but there is one crucial difference between X11 and Javascript: X11 was designed in an academic environment, while JavaScript + AJAX evolved in a de-facto way alongside HTML.

You could write Widgets to run on AJAX just like you could on X11, but it will be really tough since AJAX is not a standard, and it wasn't intended for that purpose. It's just not a solid basis. I'm not saying it won't happen, but it won't be pretty. I'm not sure that such a widget library will ever be truly reliable given the willingness we've seen of browser manufacturers *coughMicrosoftcough* to blatently disregard standards.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959752)

I agree with you. Its hard to believe the future of the web is going to be Javascript passing XML. Sure it makes the UI seem fast but at the cost complexity. Plus I have to believe there is a model that is better for performance, I mean XML is is too repetive all that meta data comes at a cost.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (2, Informative)

Skreems (598317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959831)

Well, there's always Javascript Object Notation Language...

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (2, Informative)

FecesFlingingRhesus (806117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959879)


While I agree that JavaScript is not the ideal candidate for developing any system, much less a web app it is what we are limited to. Java Applets et. al. are DOA, unsupported or don't fit within the model of web application development. For better or worse those are the breaks.

I differ with you on the presumption that AJAX is irrelevant, as recently as a few months ago I would have concurred with this notion and would have agreed that it was a new spin on some simple technologies. That was until I found the Echo2 framework [nextapp.com] , it is an Open Source Java framework built on top of the servlet API it is the first comprehensive Ajax framework that I have found and the component model is both flexible and intuitive. It is the first framework where I have not felt the restrictions of the web metaphor creeping into design decisions. It has changed my idea of what Ajax web apps are capable of in terms of usability, speed, code reuse and overall system design.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959901)

For the record, most of what Google Maps does is NOT ajax. Setting image sources and dragging them around is just DHTML.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

liliafan (454080) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960020)

I disagree, I have used AJAX a little and I was quite impressed the javascript isn't the whole application, it is just a means to link to a backend application and return results, the application I wrote just populated dropdown menus based on the users previous input but it made a massive difference to the loading page of the site, the site previously had all these inputs hardcoded and had all the logic on which fields to display written in complete javascript, the new method send input to a php script which queried the database and return the list to be displayed, at the end there was less total code being sent to the end user, less javascript on the page and less potential for errors. For the record the application was a mortgage application which a whole bunch of user input.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (4, Insightful)

pnatural (59329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960046)

Ajax requires all communication be serialized using a Javascript callback scheme that requires extensible but ultimately limiting xml communication between client and server.

False. The web server can return text, plan old xml (POX), or JSON or anything that can be encoded over HTTP.

To get good performance, Ajax forces you to code a front-end application using JAVASCRIPT. Now I've coded some pretty complicated Javascript stuff, but it's just not the right language for writing full-featured applications. It's barely even object oriented, weak typed, etc. And debugging it is a disaster.

False. You're mixing concepts here (performance and client scripting language). Further, EMCAScript isn't OO and shouldn't be: it's a prototype based language. And any developer tackling this problem in today's world should use one of the many freely available JS libs (Dojo, MochiKit, Prototype, etc). Hell, MochiKit has a built in debugger.

If instead you decide to have the server make all the UI decisions for you ("put this text here, that box there"), that's fine except you'll see lag anytime you do anything. Imagine trying to update an entire column of data in Ajax Spreadsheet. The server has to send down exactly what to put in each cell and do all the computations for you before you see anything.

Knock, knock, web server calling. HTML UI decisions start on the server and get modified locally by the client. This is the nature of HTML and always has been.

Google Maps has this problem - I often see white boxes, unrefreshed boxes, etc. and I'm using the latest Firefox!

Oh, lordie. You realize that Google maps doesn't use Ajax, but instead makes heavy use of IFRAMES? (last i checked, this was true). And you realize, of course, that your connection speed might be to blame?

You've painted AJAX with a pretty broad and off-base brush. Better luck explaining it to the ignorant.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (4, Insightful)

SerpentMage (13390) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960054)

Considering I wrote a book entitled Ajax Patterns and Best Practices the mistake made by many is the fact that Ajax is not about extending the current Web paradigm. Ajax when done properly includes REST, Web Services and a decoupled architectured. This means the client is not dependent on the server and vice versa. Granted the client makes Web Service calls, but the client does not know the technology used to implement the Web Service.

What makes me laugh about many vendors in contrast to the community is that they simply don't get it. Microsoft and co think Ajax is a "style" of programming by extending and locking the client to the server. This is plain simply wrong, wrong, wrong!

Now to address to your questions:

1) First Ajax does not require XML, but relies on the Permutations pattern. The Permutations pattern is a REST style web service that says the content sent and received by the client and server depends on the needs of the client. That might be JavaScript, XML, bitmap images or even HTML.

2) Coding a front end in JavaScript is not a problem. Coding everything with JavaScript is a problem. Just like coding everything with Java is a problem. Writing a good Ajax applications means creating a client that calls a server using Web Services.

3) To address your problem you use the Infinite Data pattern that uses callbacks that sends data to the client as it received.

Again, part of the problem is that many are considering Ajax as an extension of the current Web Paradigm. Ajax is not that. Ajax is a SOA client that makes Web Service calls. Granted I will give you that companies like Microsoft confuse the issue by creating stuff that completely breaks REST, and Ajax design concepts.

If you want more information feel free to check out my site http://www.devspace.com/ [devspace.com] as I have some prototype implementations of the Ajax and REST patterns that I was talking about (inc source), and look at the Ajax QA. And if you have any further questions just send me an email and I will be more than happy to answer your questions.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960189)

Considering that Microsoft invented AJAX, I'd say that your rather presumptuous (and vapid) claims are pretty silly. More than that, OWA, the original 'AJAX' client, is also the example of the first truely REST-ful web service, up to using complex GET-based queries to specify parameters.

But don't let the facts muddy a good story. This *is* /., after all.

Re:Ajax is a flash in the pan (1)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960128)

Applets are embedded objects... AJAX is inline. Big difference. I can't degrade gradefully from Applets... either they work or they don't... AJAX let's me add user experience if it's supported and degrade back to a less nice but still functional user experience. Sure the current stuff available is being rolled out quickly and haphazardly without a fallback state being defined but this will not be the case for long. This is the same reasoning for why I prefer AJAX over Flash for interactive UI elements... though adding Flash to the User Experience level as the highest possible is an option, with AJAX as a fallback and plain html w/ forms as the lowest.

Ajax Is a Flashpoint (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960198)

BUT, will Ajax supplant the client app as the workhorse of productivity applications? Not a chance.
You might be right, but I've spent the past 3 years migrating client applications to .NET and XmlHttp data-brokered solutions. Ajax was not a popular term when we started doing it. This is a company of 3,000 employees with many clients all over the state and all of them now have rapid web-based access to a variety of analytic tools, reports, and raw data.

There are some very compelling reasons for suffering through Javascript-enabled web applications and many of them relate to platform independence and rapid deployment. I can deploy a new version of a web application targeted at multiple browsers and versions, with significant updates, all by dropping the files into the production environment. And they're off running with it.

The funniest thing for me about Ajax is it basically is just doing what Java Applets can do, only Java is better. WTF?!?!
No, applets are not better. Applets are fatter, you've got client-side sandbox security, and you need a Java VM (not everyone wants to run one of these on their client machines, trust me). Whereas Ajax sits upon dirt simple well established web standards. If Applets were better, Ajax would not have generated the buzz it has. Ajax may not solve the problem as well as it should, but it absolutely points to an as yet unaddressed shortcoming of other available solutions including Java and Java applets.

I think you're right about the transient nature of Ajax, however, because it is a transitionary technology. Ajax has opened up a Pandoras box of, "Hey, we can develop web applications with this level of interactivity in a seamless way. Too bad it's a little icky to do. Let's see, what can we do about that?"

In other words, Ajax is a bit like a proof of concept project that will drive some good innovation and web standardization as we move forward so that you can get the nice things of Ajax with a better development model.

AJAX is bad (2, Interesting)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959721)

I really dislike AJAX, for the following reasons:

1: Does anyone know of any significant javascript code which works on two different browsers without having to have conditionals based on the user agent?

2: Most AJAX applications break accessibility rules, which are law in many countries (including the UK, where I am).

3: AJAX provides another attack vector on websites. Look at the myspace worm. I know that comes down to bad programming, but still it's another chance to miss something.

4: A number of companies block javascript at the firewall - trust me, it's true. Imagine how well an AJAX site will work there!

5: Javascript is not available in all UA's (e.g. Lynx) - I firmly believe that no website should ever NEED javascript - in fact in my sites I avoid it all together.

I wish people would forget about stuff like this and concentrate on at least getting VALID html and CSS in their sites, preferably using at least semi recent standards like XHTML 1.0. Eh slashdot coders? I mean you!!!

Re:AJAX is bad (1)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959768)

4: A number of companies block javascript at the firewall - trust me, it's true.

LOL, what?

Re:AJAX is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960116)

I'm not the OP however access for our users is via a proxy and we strip all script. Allowing 3rd parties to execute script on hosts behind the corporate firewall is simply irresponsible.

that's why we need a toolkit (3, Insightful)

penguin-collective (932038) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959807)

All of those problems can be addressed by creating a good AJAX toolkit; a toolkit can fall back to plain HTML when Javascript isn't available, it can do the right per-browser customizations, etc.

However, from an interaction point of view, AJAX is enormously useful and a big advance over plain HTML pages. It's unfortunate that the underlying technologies are so ugly (Javascript, XML, ...), but, again, with a good toolkit, you don't have to ever think about that.

Re:AJAX is bad (4, Insightful)

lukewarmfusion (726141) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959847)

1. You shouldn't be testing for a UA, but for object support.

2. You can build accessibility into an AJAXified application, but it will take more work. I find that the people who care enough about accessibility on normal websites are the people who are also willing to put in the extra work making applications accessible.

3. Another attack vector? Sure, but introducing any technology introduces new risks. That doesn't mean you should dismiss it entirely. Bad code is bad code - no matter whether it's AJAX or PHP or Ruby.

4. This goes back to accessibility. If a client doesn't have Javascript at all, you need to account for that. If you're writing an app that absolutely requires Javascript, then you need to accept that some users won't be able to use the site.

5. This is the crux of your argument, I think. Some applications are dependent upon Javascript for a good reason - they aren't normal websites. The example I use is of a university that has thirty or so platform and browser combinations to support. Deploying an internal desktop app is expensive, difficult to support, etc. But a web app can be brought up on all of the supported environments - which means you can build for those and ignore anything that's unsupported (like Lynx). We're talking about interfaces which replace a desktop app - but still need comparable functionality, speed, and interfaces.

The web has always been a quickly changing landscape. AJAX is a feature on that landscape, not the future of it. Like anything else it has its valid uses and invalid uses, can be abused, and can be done poorly. But so far, none of this is a reason to dismiss it entirely.

Re:AJAX is bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959981)

Note: I don't use AJAX, just regular Javascript.

Does anyone know of any significant javascript code which works on two different browsers without having to have conditionals based on the user agent?


Of course, mine works fine in the 5 big browsers for Windows (IE, Netscape, Mozilla, Firefox, Opera) and presumably the KHTML derived ones should handle it as well. It's more a matter of testing for function availability than it is trusting a browsers string.

I wish people would forget about stuff like this and concentrate on at least getting VALID html and CSS in their sites, preferably using at least semi recent standards like XHTML 1.0.


See, this bothers me because I come from a HTML 4.0 and "tables for layout" background. It's worked just fine for years and years. Went to XHTML when it was proposed, saw zero benefit (lots of deprecatied stuff though) and stopped keeping up with it. Then my job finally forced me to get serious about CSS and it was beyond frustrating.

You try fighting 3 or 4 modern rendering engines' screwed up implementations of CSS for hours or days, with little more than a prayer that it'll look half as consistent as Netscape 4's parsing of the HTML you wrote over lunch. I eventually did succeed (partially, some tables had to stay) after alot of frustration but I'd hardly call it time well spent.

And you want us to ditch everything Javascript has to offer because of support/compatibility issues? Are you insane?

Re:AJAX is bad (1)

jjeffrey (558890) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960166)

>You try fighting 3 or 4 modern rendering engines' screwed up implementations of CSS for hours or days, with little more than a prayer that it'll look half as consistent as Netscape 4's parsing of the HTML you wrote over lunch. I eventually did succeed (partially, some tables had to stay) after alot of frustration but I'd hardly call it time well spent.

This is where I believe XHTML (1.1 at least) has the most to offer.

When working with HTML 4 I've had to spend a huge amount of time trying to make the site look the same in multiple browsers - then I switched to XHTML 1.1, and all of a sudden most of that work disappeared.

>And you want us to ditch everything Javascript has to offer because of support/compatibility issues? Are you insane?

I've no objection to javascript for input validation and UI enhacement if is it 100% optional, and the site is unaffected if it is unavailable. Also, it has to be done properly - 3 out of the lat 5 ecommerce sites I tried to use failed in Firefox (Windows) due to javascript errors, and I had to switch to IE. In firefox it was completely impossible to use the sites.

My objection to javascript with AJAX is it becomes compulsory for the functioning of that application.

Re:AJAX is bad (2, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960091)

1: Does anyone know of any significant javascript code which works on two different browsers without having to have conditionals based on the user agent?

As someone else pointed out, you test the function or member to see if it exists. If not, you patch the browser on the fly. The only IE specific code I have is code to patch it for DOM Events and up-to-date String functions. This is possible because you can do something like this in Javascript:
if(!String.prototype.slice)
  String.prototype.slice = function(start, end) {...};
These sorts of patches are only necessary for IE (Opera, Safari, and Mozilla all seem to follow standards), and will automatically deactivate if Microsoft ever fixes their out-of-date-and-can't-even-support-a-ten-year-old- standard browser.

2: Most AJAX applications break accessibility rules, which are law in many countries (including the UK, where I am).

If by "most" you mean "Google", then I agree with you. It's not necesary to break accessibility rules, though many text-to-speech browsers are so far behind that it's nearly impossible to support them with anything newer than Netscape 3.0 code.

3: AJAX provides another attack vector on websites. Look at the myspace worm. I know that comes down to bad programming, but still it's another chance to miss something.

JavaScript exploits are nothing new. You might be vulnerable even if your site doesn't use a shred of JavaScript itself. i.e. It's entirely a problem with the browser -> site communication, and what your site allows/disallows.

4: A number of companies block javascript at the firewall - trust me, it's true. Imagine how well an AJAX site will work there!

Say, wha? That's the first I've ever heard of such draconian restrictions. Such firewall rules would break a large chunk of the internet for their users. I sincerely doubt that this will be a major problem.

5: Javascript is not available in all UA's (e.g. Lynx) - I firmly believe that no website should ever NEED javascript - in fact in my sites I avoid it all together.

I hate to break it to you, but apps designed to use AJAX are too complex for Lynx to render effectively anyway. When you make an AJAX app, you make a thin-client application that's intended for delivery over the Internet. The 0.001% of the net that refuses to surf with anything other than Lynx will simply have to not use your site. The rest of the world will be reaping the benefits of thin client applications.

Mythology, lol (5, Insightful)

tehshen (794722) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959724)

In mythology, Atlas and the Titans revolted against the Olympians, lost, had his brothers betray him, and was punished to carry the world. Is this some sort of metaphor for the IE development cycle?

Re:Mythology, lol (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959770)

> In mythology, Atlas and the Titans revolted against the Olympians, lost, had his brothers betray him, and was punished to carry the world. Is this some sort of metaphor for the IE development cycle?

Could be worse, what if they'd picked some other literary reference?

*shrug*

"Who is Bill Gates?"

Well, actually... (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959783)

Actually, he was punished to carry the Heavens [wikipedia.org] to keep them from shagging.

Re:Mythology, lol (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960053)

Actually yes, if you think about it:

Microsoft made IE the centerpiece of their efforts to control the Internet (after they failed to render it irrelevant). Now much of what you can do with Windows machines (including downloading updates) has a dependence on IE, which everyone knows is bug ridden and backwards. The integration of IE with Windows has made updating of IE much much harder than if it were a truly separate component. Thus IE, and soon, things like Windows Live will be "carrying" the Windows monopoly on their backs, making Microsoft less flexible when it comes to network based solutions.

Re:Mythology, lol (1)

DaggertipX (547165) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960184)

Hrrm... after giving it some thought, I actually think it's more difficult to properly support IE than it is to carry the earth.

Key words are... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959736)

The key phrases here are 'claim' and 'their platform'. What about cross platform web applications I ask you?!

"which they claim will greatly reduce the effort in developing AJAX style applications on their platform."

How about ACID2 complicance in IE7 or implementing the features developers are asking for:

http://annevankesteren.nl/2005/03/ie7-wishlist [annevankesteren.nl]
http://news.com.com/Next+Explorer+to+fail+Acid+tes t/2100-1032_3-5813897.html [com.com]
http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2005/03/09/391362 .aspx [msdn.com]

Re:Key words are... (2, Informative)

nixkuroi (569546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959782)

After having watched the guy put together an Ajax application in 10 minutes (typing in all the code right in front of all 1700 of the people in the room) and then watching him open the exact page he created in Safari on a mac, I can pretty well assure you that it DOES work the way MS claims. Now that isn't to say that they haven't built any non-compliant components into it, but what I saw today will handle MOST of the basics of what you'd want on a data driven site without difficulty.

How about we stop trolling and actually check it out before tearing it down.

Re:Key words are... (1)

gentlemen_loser (817960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960195)

As with most MS development tools, the application that he put together fits into a particular framework. If you actually need to develop something that MS did not think of in advance - good luck.

Not to muddy the waters with facts... (2, Informative)

YU Nicks NE Way (129084) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959743)

But this is the March CTP for Atlas, not the final release.

Re:Not to muddy the waters with facts... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959773)

Production ready release, see http://www.nikhilk.net/Entry.aspx?id=112 [nikhilk.net]

ATLAS "Release" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959758)

Its a CTP that now features a 'Go Live' license (you can use it on your site). Not quite what I consider a 'released' product. More like an ongoing beta.

   

Web 2.0!!!!!!1111ONEONEONE (0)

endrue (927487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959761)

Give me a break. There is nothing new about asyncronous calls to the server via javascript. I have used many different Ajax libraries on several platforms and I cannot imagine that Atlas will offer anything groundbreaking. Ajax.NET is an excellent library for ASP.NET applications.

Microsoft is trying to jump headfirst into the Web 2.0 pool and coming this late to the party makes them look pretty stupid. Also can we all stop saying Web 2.0, podacst, blog, and mashup?

Perhaps someone oud introduce a Web 2.0 killer, that would be excellent...

-Andrew

Re:Web 2.0!!!!!!1111ONEONEONE (1)

ad0le (684017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959812)

Microsoft is trying to jump headfirst into the Web 2.0 pool and coming this late to the party makes them look pretty stupid

You do realize Microsoft pioneered what we today call AJAX, way back in the day with their Office product, right?

Re:Web 2.0!!!!!!1111ONEONEONE (1)

endrue (927487) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959845)

Yes, that is my point. They develop the XMLHTTPRequest and then wait until everyone and his brother has used it to write an Ajax library until they release Atlas.

- Andrew

Re:Web 2.0!!!!!!1111ONEONEONE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959849)

I know it doesn't fit with the "Fox News"-like sound bites so many keep repeating on Slashdot, but Microsoft invented XMLHttpRequest (which makes AJAX AJAX) and used this in Outlook Web Access long before anyone else.

Re:Web 2.0!!!!!!1111ONEONEONE (1)

Zerbs (898056) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959905)

Don't worry, only a few more years of this thin client, rich client stuff and we'll find ourselves all going back to the traditional n-tier client/server models.

Re:Web 2.0!!!!!!1111ONEONEONE (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959953)

Web 2.0 == Buzzword Podcast == a thing Blog == a thing Mashup == anoying as fuck.

Re:Web 2.0!!!!!!1111ONEONEONE (1)

RoadDogTy (921208) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960161)

Perhaps someone oud introduce a Web 2.0 killer, that would be excellent...

Actually, Microsoft is working on this as well, it's called Avalon (aka WPF [microsoft.com] ). Although it will be a few years until it hits critical mass, it should offer developers the ability to write a single interface for traditional client apps & server/web apps.

Where's the beef? (0, Troll)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959798)

For those who don't know, Atlas is Microsoft's AJAX API for ASP.NET 2, which they claim will greatly reduce the effort in developing AJAX style applications on their platform.

Really? I thought it was a rocket.* </sarcasm>

Sorry, but I'm decidedly unimpressed. I was sitting here thinking that Microsoft might be in a position to nail the AJAX market with ASP.NET. If so, then there would need to be an immediate cross-platform response. As much as I'd like to be releaved that Microsoft hasn't taken the lead, I'm finding myself shocked at how absolutely terrible this library is. There's not a shred of AJAX to be found.

In a nutshell, this library is a collection of ASP custom tags (similar to the ones that have existed in JSP for half a decade or so) that produce common controls like buttons, advertisements, tables with data, and a few other bits and pieces. There is no XMLHttpRequest communication that I can find, and precious little DHTML. Unless I'm missing something, this library is a wash.

Is Microsoft really having that much trouble understanding a concept that they invented? Because this library certainly suggests this is the case.

* Sorry for the sarcasm, it's not directed at the poster. Just my own annoyance at Microsoft polluting the technology sphere with such nonsense.

Re:Where's the beef? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959816)

s/releaved/relieved/g

Re:Where's the beef? (3, Insightful)

earache (110979) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960117)

Are you completely retarded?

How this got moderated up is beyond me. It's obvious that you haven't used Atlas, much less even LOOKED at it.

The whole point of the library is to hide away the details, so XMLHttpRequest and it's ilk are tucked away neatly in the variety of external scripts that ship with Atlas.

There are only 4 or 5 controls that come with Atlas, and they're mostly non-visual anyways. The UpdatePanel is a "panel" like control that can automatically reload it's contents on a postback sent via xmlhttprequest. You don't need to do a thing.

Whomever moderated this all the way to +5 is just as retarded as the original poster.

It is Slashdot though ...

Re:Where's the beef? (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960263)

I think this [slashdot.org] sums it up quite well - you're just engaging in your usual I-bash-Microsoft-because-I'm-so-cool routine that for some weird reason always gets you modded up.

"This library is a wash", that's precious.

Google Maps Killer!!! (1)

Galston (895804) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959822)

Don't tell me that I am the only one that thought that this was Microsoft's Google Maps Killer when they read the title.

Why the un-searchable names? (3, Insightful)

hazem (472289) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959862)

What is it with Microsoft and its penchant for product names that are virtually useless for doing searches?

Access
Word
Windows
Excel
Publisher
Sequel

Contrast that with:
linux
mozilla
firefox
mysql
php

At least with these, you have a reasonable chance of finding what you're looking for without a ton of other non-related crap.

Re:Why the un-searchable names? (1)

andrewzx1 (832134) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959899)

Try searching on "microsoft atlas", use the quotes in google.

Re:Why the un-searchable names? (2, Funny)

Fhqwhgadss (905393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959907)

You're not supposed to search for support. You're supposed to buy support.

Re:Why the un-searchable names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959919)

Um, maybe you should try sql rather than sequel and you'd have better results. Just a suggestion...

Re:Why the un-searchable names? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959945)

I think php usually returns a bunch of bogus results. Anything with url with .php usually shows up. I think the one you missed that is the most apparent is .net. Trying to find stuff on .Net is usually quite hard.

Re:Why the un-searchable names? (1)

cpeterso (19082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960047)


I think php usually returns a bunch of bogus results.

This is so true.

Re:Why the un-searchable names? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14959959)

What is it with Microsoft and its penchant for product names that are virtually useless for doing searches?

Google for "Microsoft Access"
Microsoft Office Online Home Page [microsoft.com] is 1st result

Google for "Microsoft Word"
Microsoft Office Online Home Page [microsoft.com] is 1st result

Google for "Microsoft Excel"
Microsoft Office Online Home Page [microsoft.com] is 1st result

Google for "Microsoft Publisher"
Microsoft Office Online: Publisher 2003 Home Page [microsoft.com] is 1st result

Google for "Microsoft Windows"
Microsoft Corporation [microsoft.com] is 1st result
Microsoft Windows Update [microsoft.com] is 2nd result

Google for "Microsoft Sequel" unsurprisingly turns up no decent results, because you should be searching for "Microsoft SQL" in the first place
Microsoft SQL Server Home [microsoft.com] is 1st result

Maybe you'd like to brush up on your search tips [google.ca] or, at the very least, locate the double-quote character on your keyboard.

Just saying.

Atlas? (4, Funny)

TellarHK (159748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959903)

*shrug*

Well, Here We Go (3, Informative)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959920)

Well, the AJAX wars have started, and M$ maybe just got off the first shot. We'll see. With http://www.morfik.com/ [morfik.com] 's public beta just around the corner the RAD IDE AJAX tools are finally coming on scene. We'll see what people can do with these tools, and whether AJAX is REALLY as overrated as some are claiming. Personally I'll bet that once people can get their hands on tools that let them build web apps as easily as they can desktop apps (and unplug them, i.e. run them locally or over the 'net, as you can with Morfik) you'll see a huge increase in web applications.

The number of AJAX tools that are on their way is staggering. http://www.tersus.com/ [tersus.com] is one designed for the absolute noob, and http://www.backbase.com/ [backbase.com] is also a potential option.

Re:Well, Here We Go (1)

FecesFlingingRhesus (806117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959980)

Well, the AJAX wars have started, and M$ maybe just got off the first shot.

Microsoft did not fire the first shot Next App has had a mature Open Source Java Servlet / AJAX framework called echo2 [nextapp.com] and eclipse plugin for quite some time now.

Re:Well, Here We Go (2, Informative)

MikeyTheK (873329) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960160)

Frameworks aren't the same thing as IDE/RAD tools. http://www.axaxian.com/ [axaxian.com] discusses lots of frameworks every day. Ruby on Rails does AJAX. However, this isn't the same thing as having a complete integrated tool that does it all for you. Any geek can spank out httpRequests, but this next generation of tool should make rich web apps a lot eaiser to build, which means that a lot more creative people will be building them.

Re:Well, Here We Go (1)

FecesFlingingRhesus (806117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960225)

Did you look at the link I provided? They have an integrated Eclipse RAD tool for those so inclined. As far as my research into web frameworks Echo2 is the most comprehensive both in supporting architecture and development tools.

Re:Well, Here We Go (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960179)

OTOH, Microsoft had the first shipping, fully functional AJAX app (before someone came up with that acronym) in the Exchange OWA [wikipedia.org] ... circa 1999.

Kinda funny, but if you think about it Google Mail (the app that pretty much launched the current AJAX craze) was essentially four years behind the curve, at least client technology-wise.

Re:Well, Here We Go (1)

FecesFlingingRhesus (806117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960268)

I concur 100% this has been going on for quite some time someone just put a fuzzy name on what developers have been using for years. Its like LAMP development, what the hell is that? what if I use PostreSQL am I not in the LAMP club? the acronym stuff is getting crazy.

Watch the video (0, Troll)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 8 years ago | (#14959993)

A lot of responses, not a lot of information. Some of the more troll-like comments are addressed in the video demo at : mms://wm.microsoft.com/ms/uifx/asp_net_atlas.wmv

malfunction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960022)

Microsoft... release... much earlier than expected...

BRAIN ASPLODE

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960075)

If I have NO idea WHATSOEVER what Ajax is, does that make me an incompetent computer science student? :)

Standards Compliant (2, Informative)

Landak (798221) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960090)

Standards Compliant Hmn? [w3.org]

Try the CSS one for a real laugh :).

I misread the headline.... (1)

deviantphil (543645) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960115)

I thought it read:

Microsoft Releases [Longhorn] At last

Did you guys even read TFA??? (5, Informative)

moochfish (822730) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960144)

I'm not really a fan of MS, but I recognize they have a lot going for them. I'm a PHP developer so please don't assume I'm defending it because I like ASP. Really, I don't.

I think a bunch of people commenting read the press release and made their judgements without actually investigating how incredible the technology is. There was even the flamebait who posted something about cross browser compatibility. Well, watch the freaking demo video before you go trolling. You can find their first of many such demos here:

mms://wm.microsoft.com/ms/uifx/asp_net_atlas.wmv [wmmicrosof...etatlaswmv]

Maybe I find it amazing because I'm not that used to ASP development, but I'm thoroughly impressed how far MS has come in making developing for their platform easy. The demo I pasted above shows him making a pretty standard data grid. That part is cool, at best, to anybody familiar with ASP, and flat out amazing to anybody who's never seen ASP sites being developed. About 2/3 into the video he busts out the new Atlas code (so fast forward to there). It was maybe 3 additional ASP tags to implement full asynchronous functionality plus one more to setup a "updating..." dialog. Suddenly, a page that required refreshes on any action could add, edit, and *sort* paginated data without any refreshes.

And then he fires up the same code in Firefox and goes to show that it works exactly the same in both browsers. 3 ASP tags.

I'm sorry, but how can you blindly bash that? Sure there's equivalent technology in the works out there (such as rails), but it doesn't make this any less amazing. If there was a development platform as complete as MS's offering but based on Python/PHP, people would be pissing their pants. To ASP developers, this will make creating AJAX functionality unbelievably easy.

MS just scored major Hype 2.0 points today. But the hype isn't all unjustified. Again, go learn about this before you bash it. [asp.net]

It's like YELLING. (1)

jeblucas (560748) | more than 8 years ago | (#14960187)

I'm surprised the article summary made it through the lameness filter. Here's a metasummary:
Microsoft Atlas at MIX 06; it's their AJAX API for ASP.NET 2.
I don't think "O RLY?" has ever been a more appropriate comment.

my post has more content than all of yours combind (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14960264)

THE GOOD BOYFRIEND
(Male Gain story)
By fa12345
Mark grabbed his substantial belly with both hands. Since his girlfriend Janey left for college, he'd promised himself to take ten pounds off his 260-pound frame, but it wasn't going so well. In fact, he'd actually put on weight since she left. He missed her, and in her absence found himself eating lots of "comfort food." He now struggled to button his jeans under his gut; he promised himself to go on a diet and lose some weight before he visited Janey at school.

Meanwhile, Janey sighed and looked at a picture of Mark on her bulletin board. How handsome he was, with a head of thick brown hair, intelligent eyes, and a tall frame. And he carried his weight so well, with a delicious belly and the beginnings of a double chin. At 260 pounds, he wasn't a small guy, but she still wished he were bigger, maybe 300...350...did she dare to dream of more?

She'd never told him how much she wanted him to put on even more weight, but she'd tried to get the message across. She gushed over how much she loved his body. She stroked his belly during lovemaking, saying how hot it was. At meals, she'd subtly encourage him to eat more: "Oh, you can't be full *yet*!" She'd say, urging him to clean his plate, or "I bet you can eat a *few* more," with a challenging glint in her eye. She'd talk about her favorite fat actors, emphasizing their sexiness. But he either didn't believe her, or didn't want to gain weight. She tried to give up the dream, but it never disappeared entirely.

Looking at the picture of Mark, Janey had an idea. She scanned it into her computer, then signed online. She found one of her favorite webpages, a gallery of pictures of enormously fat men. She downloaded a favorite shot into her photo program, of a man holding up his shirt to reveal his huge breasts, giant stomach, and love handles. She took the head from the Mark picture, and put it on the fat body. She made Mark's face more jowled, and added a third chin. There!

Janey surveyed the results, and felt herself grow warm. She'd done a good job, and it actually looked like her boyfriend had gained at least a hundred pounds. The idea of making love to *this* Mark, his blubber bouncing against her, made her incredibly hot. She masturbated right then and there, imagining how his rolls of fat would feel under her hands. She put the picture up as the wallpaper on her computer, so she could look at it anytime. Janey could hardly wait for Mark's visit in a couple weeks.

On the day he was to visit, Mark stepped on the scale, wincing. Every time he'd tried to diet, it had only made him hungrier, and his consumption of junk food had actually increased. He looked at the scale and groaned: 275. Great. She was going to take one look at his fat ass and lose all interest. Half his clothes didn't fit anymore, and the rest were straining at the seams. And they'd only been apart for two months!

Discouraged, Mark went into his bedroom and tore open a bag of chips. He munched away, and wondered what to do. He thought about his girlfriend, and it occurred to him that maybe she wouldn't notice. She'd put up with his extra poundage before, and sometimes he even thought...she *liked* it. But no, that's silly. How could she, he thought, unbuttoning his tight khakis for comfort. He reached for more chips, to find that he'd finished the bag. Oops, he thought, guiltily hiding the chip bag in the garbage.

Janey couldn't wait for Mark to get there. She kept looking out the window for his cab from the airport. She'd cleaned her room and stocked it with all sorts of goodies, and was wearing her prettiest lingerie under her sexiest dress. Finally, she saw him pull up, and ran to the door. "Sweetie!" She shouted, throwing her arms around him. "Come in, come in!"

Mark paid the cabbie and they went inside, climbing the stairs to her room. Janey noticed that Mark was breathing pretty hard just from walking up the stairs, which excited her. Maybe he'd gotten more sedentary after she left.

As the door closed, he grabbed her and kissed her. "Oh, I've missed you," he murmured into her hair. They embraced for a long, long moment, then she pulled back and held him at arm's length to look at him.He seemed to have put on a little weight, to her delight. He had a clear double chin, and the buttons on his shirt were straining.

"You look great," she said honestly. "I really missed you, too." Mark blushed, glad she hadn't said anything about his recent weight gain.

"I have a little problem, though," said Janey. Oh no, thought Mark, here it comes. She's disgusted by me.

"I have a lab right now, and I forgot all about it," she said apologetically. "There's a no-absence policy, and I have to go. Will you be okay here for a couple hours?"

He was so relieved she hadn't mentioned his weight, he smiled. "Yeah, it's no problem. But hurry back, my little student! We have lots of catching up to do!"

"Thanks," she said, and kissed him. Was it his imagination, or did she brush her hand over his stomach? Hmmm. "Make yourself at home, there's the TV, and there's lots of food in the mini-fridge." He wondered if that was a subtle dig, then chided himself for being obsessed with weight.

"I love you, bye!" He called as she sidled out the door. He went to the computer, figuring he'd check his e-mail. As it loaded up, he was astonished at the computer's wallpaper. It was a picture of him, but it was like looking in a funhouse mirror! He was triply chinned, and his meaty arms held up his shirt. What he was revealing was two enormous breasts, and a vast blubbery belly that hung far over his huge pants. He was so big that even his hips and butt were fat!

Mark sat back, bewildered. As he looked closer, he realized that she'd put his head on a different body, but why? She hadn't known about him putting on weight. And this version of himself would weigh at least 400 pounds! Mark tried to imagine himself that breathtakingly fat, and found the idea too strange to contemplate.

Mark considered more seriously the idea that maybe, just maybe, his girlfriend actually wanted him to get fatter. She *was* always baking and buying him treats, and trying to get him to eat more. She *did* rub his belly lovingly all the time, and say how much she loved his body, chubby though he was.

Janey was pretty shy about her fantasies, and this one was so strange, he could see why she never brought it up with him. But Mark had an idea of how to see if she wanted him to put on weight.

Mark turned off the computer, and turned on the T.V. He opened the mini-fridge, and pulled out some ice cream, some pudding cups, chocolate milk, and some leftover pizza. He located a spoon, and dug into the ice cream. Good thing he was hungry--he made short work of a pint of ice cream, three pudding cups, a carton of chocolate milk, and three pieces of pizza. His stomach ached, but he was willing to deal with a little pain for this experiment. He opened Janey's pantry, and was happy to see a box of Pop-Tarts and a bag of chips. He started in on those, eating much slower but still managing a bite every now and then. He left the empty containers by his feet, so she could see how much he'd eaten, and didn't bother to brush the crumbs off his distended stomach.

Janey hurried back from lab, anxious to see her Mark. She opened the door to her room, and her eyes widened at the sight: Mark sat on the bed, crunching a handful of chips. An astonishing number of empty food containers were laid neatly at his feet, and it looked as if he'd cleaned out her fridge AND pantry. The buttons on his shirt were hanging on for dear life over his bloated belly, which was covered with food crumbs. There was a smudge of chocolate on his cheek. He looked up at her and smiled, brushing his greasy hand on his pants.

"Hi, honey!" He said brightly. "Had a little *BURP* snack while you were gone." Here was the piece de resistance, he thought, and pushed his stomach out as far as it would go. Two buttons exploded off his shirt and his stomach peeked through.

Janey stared, openmouthed, her pussy growing warm and wet. Little snack? He'd eaten enough for three people, and he practically looked pregnant, with his stomach hanging over his waistband. It was so hot. "Wow...you sure did," she said. She kneeled on the floor in front of him, and kissed him hard. Mmm, he tasted like sugar and salt. "You are SO HOT," she said, unbuttoning the rest of his shirt and laying him back on the bed.

"Be gentle," he warned, "I'm really full." She deftly removed his shirt without disturbing his belly, but his pants button was trapped under a roll of fat. He undid the pants and slid them off. She pulled off his boxers, and his erection popped out from under the big belly. She slipped out of her dress, and he sighed his approval at her lacy bra and panties. Then she took those off, and they had the hottest sex they'd ever experienced.

Janey was nearly frantic with desire. She kept moaning, "God, look at you, you're so hot," and running her hands over his belly. As she came, she grabbed his love handles and squeezed. "Aaaaugh!" She screamed, her eyes closed. It was such a sight, he came shortly thereafter. Afterward, they lay close together in her narrow bed and he figured he had his answer. Janey wanted him fat, really fat. And if it would improve their sex life this much, he was all for it.

Janey didn't say a word, but there was a clear difference in Mark during his visit that weekend. At meals, he ate without apology, and when he claimed to be full, she'd egg him on. "Surely you can eat just one more bite," she'd say, smiling sweetly. Instead of protesting as he would have before, Mark would just smile back, clean his plate, and then have dessert, too! Watching him ingest thousands of calories at each meal was so arousing, Janey and Mark did little other than eat and screw that weekend. It was wonderful.By the end, Mark was using two safety pins to hold his pants closed, since there was no chance of buttoning them.

Janey kissed him goodbye, savoring the feeling of his slightly-bigger gut between them. "This weekend was much too short, sweetie," she said regretfully. "I hope I get to see a lot more of you at Christmas!"

Mark wondered if she realized her pun. A lot *more* of him. He decided not to mention it. "Oh, definitely, babe," he promised as he got in the cab. "I love you!"

Janey walked back to her room, musing over the wonderful weekend. What had piqued Mark's appetite so much? She hoped he wouldn't lose weight at home, but she wouldn't be there to encourage him, either. Oh, well, she thought. It was nice to see him pigging out for a weekend, anyway. Maybe I can encourage him to keep it up over the phone, she thought.

As soon as Mark got home, he went shopping for food. As he piled his cart high with both food staples and fattening treats, he planned a sort of reverse diet. By Janey's Christmas break, he'd have broken 300 pounds, at least, he decided. And since he'd put on a couple pounds just that weekend, he could definitely do it. It was only October, and he had nine weeks.

He plunged headlong into a decadent lifestyle. Since he worked from home, it was easy. Three giant meals a day, and plentiful snacks. He worked mostly on computer, so he sat most of the time. He stopped his sporadic visits to the gym, and spent his evenings watching TV and snacking.

Occasionally, he'd go out for a meal with friends, but it got embarrassing as his appetite grew. "Dude, are you going out for sumo wrestling?" One of them asked him as he finished a huge steak and ordered a banana split. "Your girlfriend goes away, and you start packing on the pounds!" He went with another friend took him out to the movies, and he actually found it difficult to squeeze into a seat.

Janey noticed that every time she called, he seemed to be eating. "Sorry, hon," he'd say, "Just finishing up dinner."

"Oh, what'cha eating?" She'd say innocently, hoping it was fatty and decadent.

It was. "Oh, one of those family buckets from the fried chicken place," he'd say.

Family bucket! "Wow, you were hungry, huh?" She'd say, secretly thrilled. "That's good, don't want my strong man to waste away while I'm gone!"

"No chance of that, babe," he'd say, slapping his gut to watch it jiggle. "I'm going out for ice cream later." He could hear her breathe a little faster on the other end of the line, and smiled. He had weighed in at 285 that morning. She wouldn't know what hit her by Christmas.

He became a fantastic cook since he lived alone, creating huge feasts for himself, and alternating his own cooking with fast food and restaurants. He was such a quick study, he asked his mom what he could make for Thanksgiving that year (he always spent Thanksgiving with his family, three states away).

"Honey, you cook?" His mom said, astonished. "I never thought I'd see the day! Well, can you make pie?"

He laughed. Pie was one of his favorites, and he could eat more than one at a sitting. "I'll make a couple, Mom." Maybe he could use his newfound interest in cooking to explain his increased girth. It wouldn't be easy, last time he'd been at a family function he had weighed 260, and Thanksgiving morning he weighed in at 298. His pants size was increasing in leaps and bounds, and he found himself shopping for clothes almost as often as he did for food!

At Thanksgiving dinner, Mark tried to keep his dinner a normal size. He loved turkey with all the fixings, but didn't want to alarm people by taking thirds and fourths of everything. After everyone had gone off to watch football, Mark polished off most of the leftovers. He ate so much that he felt dizzy and had to go lay down.

As he lay in his old bedroom, unable to see over his huge belly, Mark imagined what Janey would have done if she were there, watching him eat slices of turkey, handfuls of mashed potatoes and stuffing, a dish of cranberry sauce, and nearly a whole pie with whipped cream. He imagined her spooning gravy into his mouth, cooing, "Oooh, just think how fat this'll make you! That belly's going to hang down to your *knees*!" The thought was so arousing that he masturbated, enjoying how his arm slapped against his fat stomach and made it quiver. Being fat was a great sensual pleasure, he thought, and drifted off to sleep.

The next morning he weighed himself, and lo and behold, 300 pounds. And it was only Thanksgiving! Just imagine what he could do by Christmas!

As he finished cooking breakfast, the phone rang. Janey, calling from her grandmother's house. "How are you, hon? I didn't wake you, did I?"

"No, babe, I've been awake for a while. But haven't had breakfast yet, so I can't talk too long--I'm STARVING!"

Janey paused. Then, coquettishly, "You can eat breakfast while you're on the phone, if you want. Just tell me what you're eating, so that I can pretend I'm with you, okay?"

"Sure, babe. Well, I'm starting off with cinnamon rolls and coffee..." They kept talking, he kept eating, and as they talked, he ate a plate of cinnamon rolls, a four-egg omelet, a pile of bacon, a bowl of fruit and cream, and several donuts. Of course, he only told Janey about the cinnamon rolls and the fruit...didn't want to give away the surprise!

Janey was thrilled, on her end of the phone. Mark had never been much of a breakfast-eater, and now he was eating something as rich as fruit and cream! Surely he could have put on a couple pounds while she was gone.

During the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas, Mark made his final preparations for Janey coming home. He bought her gifts (mostly online, because walking through the mall was too much exercise), bought himself some stylish "fat clothes," and bought a big water bed (no way he and Janey could both fit on his old one). And, he ATE.

It became a challenge to see how many calories he could take in and how few he could expend each day. He started having his gigantic grocery orders delivered to the house, as well as many of his meals. He found a way to mix 2,000-calorie weight-gain shake mix with several other ingredients to make something both tasty and *very* fattening. He'd started to get winded just getting out of his new waterbed in the morning, both due to his sedentary nature and his rapidly acquired extra poundage. Mark ate from morning to night--he'd spread an array of goodies around him where he sat working, and when those were gone, he'd make some more.

Finally, the day he'd waited for came--Janey called to say she was home and wanted to see him. He asked her to come over at 7:00 that night.

Janey wondered what he was planning, that he needed the extra time. She waited on pins and needles to see her handsome boyfriend all day. She did her hair, bought new lingerie, painted her nails, and put on a Christmas-red dress. Finally, she drove over to Mark's house, her heart pounding with joy.

When she got to Mark's there was a sign on the door that said, "Come in, Janey." The door was unlocked, so she did. The table was set for two, with candles and everything. The house smelled delicious. "Hello?" She called out.

"I'm in the bedroom, love!" Shouted Mark. "Just getting dressed!"

"Can I come back?" Janey called.

"Yeah, I need some help, anyway!" Mark called back.

Janey walked down the hall and opened Mark's door. Oh, wow. The whole thing was filled with candles, and Seal was on the stereo. As her eyes adjusted to the dimness, she gasped. "Oh my god, Mark."

He grinned. "It's the same thing I was wearing when I came to see you in October, but I'm having some trouble getting into it." Janey could see why. His face was much rounder, and he really did have three chins. The buttondown shirt barely allowed for his much-fatter upper arms, and the only button he could do up was the top one. Two fat breasts with big nipples pushed out throught the opening, and under that...oh, my. His stomach stretched out a couple feet in front of him, hanging down to his upper thighs. It was dimpled and jiggling. His rolls hung over the sides of his boxer shorts several inches. The pants couldn't even get all the way over his thighs and newly-flabby wide ass, not that it mattered. They were at least six inches away from buttoning. He pretended to struggle with the pants some more, and turned around so she could see that he'd ripped the seat out of his boxer shorts. He was sweating and panting with the effort of putting on these much-too-tight clothes. The effect was breathtaking.

As Janey stared, openmouthed, he smiled and walked over to the bedside table, where there was one piece of pizza left in a box that had at one time held a large pizza. He picked it up and began to eat. "Boy, that's hard work. I guess I've put on a few pounds since I wore these things last." He smiled to show that he was joking.

"Did you eat that whole pizza?" Janey squeaked. She just couldn't get over the wonder of her Mark, so gloriously fat.

"Baby, I can almost eat *two* whole pizzas," bragged Mark, grabbing one of his love handles and shaking it. His whole gut rippled in response.

Janey could take it no longer. She ripped off the comically small shirt to feast her eyes on that huge, gorgeous gut. She grabbed his breasts and squeezed. "Wow, these are amazing." Then she ran her hands over his massive torso. "But this is the best of all. Look at how FAT you are!" She made him take off the pants and boxers, and looked at him in all his naked, jiggling, stretch-marked glory.

"Oh, Mark, you are immense!" She said joyfully. She pressed herself up against his soft stomach, and they kissed insatiably. They fell back on the waterbed, and his whole form rippled in response to the mattress' motion. He tore off her clothes, and they had incredible sex. In the middle of it, with Janey on top, riding the waves of Mark's belly, he said, "Want me to be on top?"

Janey bit her lip and nodded. And with gravity pulling all his fat toward her, he looked even bigger. "You ready?" He said. As he entered her, and put his weight on her, she felt deliciously crushed. She could barely breathe under his new heaviness, which was incredibly exciting. She felt that tremendous gut, those flabby breasts, pressing on her. She tried to reach his butt with her hands, and couldn't get there.

She was in ecstasy. "Oh, Mark..." She whispered.

"Oh, Janey...am I crushing you?" He panted.

"Ohhhhh, yes, with that huge, fat body! And I love it!" She screamed as she came. He came too, and rolled off her, so that she could breathe.

As she cuddled up to Mark's sweaty flab, Janey ran one hand idly over his belly.

"Do you like it?" Said Mark, knowing that she did.

"Oh, Mark, I love it! You're gorgeous! How big are you, anyway?" Said Janey, smiling.

Mark was excited to tell her. "322 pounds, as of this morning."

"Since October? How? Mark, that's 62 pounds!" She was astounded.

Mark thought. "Well, I put on 15 before I came to see you, 2 that weekend, and 45 after that."

"Were you trying to put on weight? I love it, but why?" Janey asked.

He looked at her pretty eyes. "I put on 15 without trying, and then when I saw the doctored picture of me on your computer I put two and two together..."

Janey blushed. "Oh my gosh! And you gained 45 pounds so that I'd find you more attractive?"

"Well, you have to admit, the fatter I get, the more of an animal you are in bed." He chuckled, and his fat rippled.

"You are gorgeously fat. But you know, you're still not as fat as that picture on my computer..." She said teasingly.

He grabbed the half-piece of pizza on the nightstand and started munching away. "Not yet, baby, not YET!" He said.
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