I am a C/C++ programmer professionally, but I've created a couple of personal web sites using PHP and MySQL. They're pretty basic, and I'd like to jazz them up using Ajax, but I've never done any Ajax. I've done all the development so far manually, i.e. no IDE or anything like that.

Does anyone have suggestions on Ajax development environments that can help me? Shareware or freeware would be preferable as I'd find it hard to justify spending more than a minimal amount of money on this...

+2  A: 

If you want an IDE, try Aptana Studio. It supports HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP, XML, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, and more....

Thomas Owens
+1  A: 

As T.O. says, try Aptana. There's a very good free version, and they really push the AJAX. They even have Jaxer, an "AJAX Server" that they're working on. If nothing else, the plugins are great, and, other than a few quirks, I really like working in it.

Brian Warshaw

First off, make sure you understand the basics of the HTTP protocol. Then learn how the javascript httpXmlRequest function works. Once you've covered those, pick an Ajax library - prototype is good.

Then look at a few examples, and follow the API.

Job done.

I seriously have no idea how they manage to write entire books on this subject.

Edit: Why vote me down? Learning the basics first, leads to a much better understanding of the way it works. And yes, I believe Jeff should learn C too ;-P


Rolling your own AJAX has become somewhat outdated in the presence of Javascript libraries like Prototype and JQuery. I would recommend looking into one of those libraries (Jeff used JQuery for SO and he's been really impressed with it from what I understand).

As far as a development environment goes, I don't know that there's much. A typical text editor with syntax highlighting would do the trick for writing (like Notepad++). For debugging, take a look at the Firebug extension for Firefox (though if you use JQuery, a debugging tool may not be as useful).

Justin Bennett
+2  A: 

Aptana is supposedly a decent IDE for Javascript development. I myself just use Eclipse and a decent javascript framework like jQuery that has an easy syntax.


Sajax is another good toolkit with PHP support.

Mostly though I prefer to use a Javascript framework like Jquery or Prototype

Mark Biek