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Most of the challenges in developing Ajax applications is dealing with the developmentlifecycle of creating applications for the various browsers. Despite the fact that Dojo attempts abstracts away the pecularities of the various browser platforms, there are stillgoing to be cases where it works on one browser and not the other. So here is a list of someof the tools that I use and feel free to add your own as well.

Firebug 1.0 for the Firefox browser.Where would we be without Firebug? thinks the same thing since they made a nicedonation to the Firebug project this January. Firebug is a Firefox plug-in that has a wealth offeatures for the weary Javascript developer: Inspect and edit HTML, CSS update and visalizationmetrics, monitor network activity, and of course debug features. I've only listed a few of thefeatures, but you should look at this amazing project.

I was pretty much resigned to the fact that I was going to have to use IE's MS Script Editor todo anything meaningful on IE, but then along came the IE Developer Toolbar which integrates intoIE 6 and IE 7. It's in Beta 3 right now so there are few problems, but it's a step in the right direction.

AptanaThe Aptana IDE is a free, open-source, cross-platform, JavaScript-focused developmentenvironment for building Ajax applications using the Eclipse IDE. It features code Assist on JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. There is also a Javascript debugger. It's valuable plugin if your doing any Javascript development in Eclipse.

Ajax Tools FrameworkIf your doing J2EE development and attempting to combine Ajax on the browser side, you mightalso consider the Ajax Tools Framework which was recently added as a sub project of The ATF can be used with a number of Ajax offerings, including Dojo, Zimbra, Rico, and others. The tool can also be used to create J2EE artifacts such as WAR files which embed a Javascript toolkit on the server side.

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More Stories By Kevin Haverlock

Kevin Haverlock is an advisory software engineer for IBM's WebSphere Application Server product. He joined IBM in 1995 at Research Triangle Park, NC, where he worked as a developer for the Tivoli division. In 2000 he transferred to the WebSphere Application Server organization and is currently an architect and developer for the WebSphere Application Server Express product.