Heavy weight Javascript + AJAX vs. very light weight CSS + DHTML

Although I spend most of my time working on artificial intelligence (AI) projects, I have spent a lot of personal time in the last year working on basic web application skills. I have been prototyping a system using the Dojo Javascript library - great stuff, but definitely heavy weight. However, by loading up all required Dojo library and application specific Javascript at once, and then using AJAX does provide a responsive user experience - after the initial load up time.

After dinner last night, I re-wrote the web UI for my current commercial development project using minimal CSS, HTML, and a small amount of Javascript - although switching work contexts now requires fetching more resources from the server, the amount of data transfer is minimal and the web app is still very responsive, even factoring in slower network connections.

I have looked at Open Lazlo and other heavy weight client frameworks - they look great, but for someone like me whose primary work does not involve building web applications, I like reducing my own learning curve by choosing technologies that cover all of my requirements and simply using them unless some far more compelling comes along.


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