Go with the flow
Go with the flow. People say. However, it is not easy to go with the flow, especially the flow branchs out into five-tooth-fork.
I started web programming in 2003. I used asp then. Now five years later, asp was ditched and much ridiculed, asp .net has moved from 1.0 to 3.5. It took me a while, a long while, to wholeheartedly embrace asp .net. The learning curve was deep, programming became an exercise of discovering available properties and methods. However, once I was up above the curve, I felt great and appreciative of what asp .net offers: a comprehensive framework that is flexible, scalable, with many tools big and small for pick and use.
Season turns, time flies.
In marching to the .net world was ASP .net AJAX. ASP .net AJAX is a complete departure from the asp .net server-centric model, now server's role is pretty much limited to that of a data-provider and client script takes over the rest of tasks such as event-responding, data-dressing. For this purpose, asp .net releases a quite bulky asp .net AJAX library. It also introduces a quick and dirty control updatePanel for a partial page refreshing. Most people have realized that updatePanel is a dangerous entity, it incurs heavy perfomance penality, complicates a page's control tree, and posts all unnecessary bits back to server.
Then there is MVC (model-control-view). It is not really that new and it has just released its fifth version. MVC again represents a modal, new mentality. It does not resemble in any way with the now "legacy" model of asp .net web form application. The model represents the information (the data) and the business rules used to manipulate the data; the view corresponds to elements of the user interface such as text, checkbox items, and so forth; and the controller manages details involving the communication to the model of user actions such as keystrokes and mouse movements. This architectural pattern is new. The url rerouting used in controller is new. MVC ushers in a new framework.
Microsoft is battling on all fronts. Silverlight is a product of the battle against ADOBE's flash, which now made the very, very popular YouTube. Looks like that Silverlight has not made much ground at the expense of FLASH. But sure, Silverlight is a new baby too, even though now it is into its second release. Officially, "Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform, and cross-device plug-in for delivering the next generation of .NET based media experiences and rich interactive applications for the Web."
Whatever that means?
Of course, there is more. There is always more.