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AJAX and rBuilder

For the past week or so, I have worked on creating a new AJAX-y group trove builder for rBuilder Online. This widget will allow anyone who can shop online to create new purpose built Linux images. The images can then be downloaded, burned to a CD-R, and installed, all in a day.

The best part of the work I've been doing is that it elegantly falls back to POSW (Plain old static web) when javascript is disabled. I do this by rewriting the urls on the page to make the AJAX calls to our XMLRPC interface to rBuilder Online. If the urls don't get rewritten, they will make page load calls to perform the same action.
The AJAX toolkit behind this is MochiKit, which has some very nice extensions to the standard JavaScript DOM model, making it possible to do the url rewriting in only a few lines of code. MochiKit does have an Asynchronous HTTP object, but it hasn't been flushed out for XMLRPC, so we're still using our homegrown version, but that's one of the things I hope to be able to contribute back to MochiKit.

The AJAX in rBuilder may not be as flashy as Google Mail, but that's not the plan. My goal is functionality and correctness first, then we can work on making it shiny.

The Group Trove Builder will be rolled out on sometime soon, so keep an eye out for it.


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