Nitobi Surveys Web Developers: Browser Compatibility Most Painful, Ajax Popular with 73%

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570 Web Developers Weigh In on Design and Development Survey

In February 2008, Ajax expert Nitobi Inc. ran an online survey that asked web developers and designers which development tools and technologies they are currently using, what development issues cause the biggest headaches, and how many developers are regularly using Ajax in their applications. Nitobi surveyed web designers and developers through blogs, Facebook, and discussion forums. 570 respondents answered 11 questions. The survey results are posted at

"We got a good range of responses, with plenty of senior developers who've worked in the field for more than five years," said Andre Charland, Nitobi CEO. "The idea was to get a snapshot of what tools and platforms developers are using and how popular Ajax is in the web development community."

Overall survey results show that web developers are counting on a variety of platforms and tools to build their web applications, and that there's no clear platform or tools leader. Development platforms range from .NET to Rails with the two front runners being PHP and plain HTML and CSS. Eclipse and Dreamweaver won top spots as the development tools of choice, followed by Notepad, Visual Studio and Aptana. 53 percent of respondents say the overwhelming pain point for web developers is browser compatibility, followed by testing.

Ajax proves popular with web developers. More than 73 percent or respondent use Ajax in their web application for the following reasons:

  • Improve user experience
  • To build stickier applications
  • Because it's easy to use
  • Their bosses want it
  • It saves time
  • It saves money

No single tool or framework emerged as the Ajax framework of choice, but jQuery, Prototype and Scriptaculous are currently leading the pack. Despite having more than 14 Ajax development tools to choose from, 27 percent of respondents are unsatisfied with the current set of Ajax development tools on offer.

"It's interesting that so many respondents are using Ajax but they don't think there's a lot of good Ajax development tools out there. At Nitobi that's exactly the problem we're trying to solve. We're focused on building easy-to-use, off-the-shelf Ajax components so that all the developers implementing Ajax don't have to struggle during the development process," said Charland.

For more information about the survey and to read detailed results, visit

About Nitobi Inc.
Nitobi Inc. ( has been creating web-based software components and enterprise solutions for customers around the globe since 1997. Nitobi's customers include Bank of America, Time Warner, KBR and NASA. Nitobi is an active member of the OpenAJAX Alliance and authored a book on Ajax entitled, Enterprise Ajax published in 2007 by Prentice Hall PTR.

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