Microsoft Atlas

A screencast about Microsoft's Atlas toolkit (Flash, Windows Media and QuickTime formats available).

Atlas it ASP.Net's AJAX solution, and it seems quite well thought out from what I can tell.

Both the ASP.Net Atlas code and the Atlas XML Script DSL provide a declarative programming model, which should help build AJAX applications which otherwise require a somewhat confusing programming model for beginners.

It sohuld be interesting to see how this approach compares with web frameworks such as Rails (whose DWIM approach makes it quite DSL-ish), and with the approach Wadler takes with Links.

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It's the right direction

The problem with the current ASP.Net event model is that you have to have a complete page turnaround on each event. Well, restricting the turnaround to div sections (pseudo frames) certainly helps the turnaround time and the refresh rates. Still, it would be more encouraging if ASP.Net was a tad more friendly to client side scripting. There's still a big disconnect in trying to program client scripting into an application.

Atlas also for PHP

Atlas offers a very interesting event driven programming model for client side scripting and delta updates. It integrates very well in Visual Studio without losing control over your source HTML.

As far as I know it is a client side part of Javascript base classes combined with server controls who generate the right proxy code. Combined they do the magic. These server side controls don't need to be, there have been demos of using PHP on the server. More info at Using Atlas with PHP

Mature solution

Echo2 seems to be a much mature solution.

It provides a set of widgets. Each widget has a part exposed to the user (e.g. Button), a ButtonPeer a Javascript part (Button.js :).

The Peer is responsible of the synchronization between the Javascript and the user part.

Some components are rather smart, and can avoid the client/service data exchange, by doing most of their operations on the browser side.

Some of their demos show the functionality of the framework:

Interactive Test