10 Things IT Needs to Know About Ajax?

by Dylan SchiemannApril 3rd, 2008

Network World’s Thomas Powell recently wrote an article, 10 things IT needs to know about Ajax, and while some of the points are well-informed (”4 - Plan for an increase in HTTP requests and 5 - Optimize Ajax requests carefully”), point 6 is a strike at the heart of Comet:

6) Acknowledge the two-connection limit

Ajax applications are limited by HTTP to two simultaneous connections to the same URL. This is the way the HTTP protocol is designed, not some browser bug or limitation. The good news is that it keeps many Ajax developers from swamping a server accidentally, though Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 is supposed to go well beyond the limit. Chatty Ajax applications can be trouble, and with browsers changing the rules, network administrators need to keep a close eye on the number of requests made, and work with application developers to avoid employing such design patterns as fast polling or long-held connections.

The number of simultaneous connections is a performance optimization that needs to be considered based on the type of application, and a blanket statement that Comet-style approaches should be avoided fails to account for the advantages that are possible for creating great user experiences and real-time web applications. Long-held connections are an obvious way to improve application performance, but the author is right in that this can pose issues for traditional web servers.

I invite the author and readers of this article to read through Comet Daily to learn more about how to get the most out of your connections. A few posts of relevance include:

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