q_no, can you give me a example of the function you descriptor where xajax exceeds? Because to be honest, from my experience with xajax, most functionality is most of the time limited a) to basic calls, b) the plugins.
This script example is exactly that, a example. You state the missing error handling, but i never released the complete code. Because my framework's error handling handles that ( and is reported back to the script ). You do not think that i will just get data directly from a $_POST request. *haha* No ... this is also filtered in advance. Same with some other things.
And lets not get me started on error handling with xajax. How long did it take so that xajax output its debug to a div instead of that *biep* popup? That was on hell of a future that was requested plenty of times. And i'm not started on the hundred of times, that xajax shocked on some problem, leaving you in the dark as the error handling was useless. To be very honest, most of the time the error handling was just that, useless. All it took to make you wonder what the hell was wrong, was a single! extra line/character beyond the "?>" end of your script. That alone was able to give you errors that made you lose plenty of time to track it.
You want proper error handling: Firebug, or other debugging for JS related problems, and your own error handling to capture anything PHP trows at you. Guess what gets captured in the example above ( and my own stuff that is not posted above ). And no, i'm not saying its perfect. Hell no. But for me, it beats xajax's error handling!
Third party plugin is nice, but lets see how many official plugins xajax actually has? 3 in 0.6 release, and 4 in the 0.5 release if i remember correctly. And some onofficial one's, with half not working anymore, as ... written for 0.2. The same with plenty of info sites, that first showed up when xajax become popular. Most are gone or incomplete these days.
UTF8 ... Maybe its better to first look if there is support in area's that use a other character set ( like GBK ), before a option like that needs to be implemented? Sure, Xajax can be supported in China? Are there a lot of Chinese users? I did not see a lot of Chinese users on this forum, asking for support. UTF8 is basically half the websites on the internet. I'm not saying that one needs to avoid or disregard a growing part of the internet, but one needs to stay realistic.
xajax has 956,000 results on a quick google search. This for a ajax solution that has been there from the start of the ajax "revolution". With a lot of those being about version 0.2.
Forking xajax, to integrate jquery sound a bit silly idea. Like i stated above, i really do not see a lot of abilities in xajax, that make it stand out beyond a transport / 3Th party plugins.
Lately on a lot of job notices, i say the following under the knowledge section: jQuery. Because a lot of companies use it these days. I have never in my entire life, saw one advertisement for xajax.
To be honest q_no, i am sure, that its very possible to create a wrapper functionality, that allows the "cleaner" syntax that xajax uses, and 3th party plugin support.
Actually, talking about this wrapper thing, i noticed this in the past: http://jquery.hohli.com/ This already does it ( with a different twist then the example posted above ). The only problem, is there is no support linked to it, and again, not maintained ( relying on a very old version of jQuery ).
The compiler idea is something that actually also comes up in a lot of jquery topics. The funny thing is, there the developers clearly say "NO" to this request. Because while it sounds nice at first, it becomes a problem the moment you think about 3th party plugins. What happens when a plugin like the TableUpdater requires a features that is not present in the compiled version.
With the 0.5 release, it got out, without anybody checking the Tableupdater code, to see if it actually worked with the changes done in 0.5. With a end result, that anybody who updated and used the Tableupdater, had unexplained problems with his scripts ( that used the TableUpdater plugin ). *holds up hand* Yea, i found the topic again, 5 month later, somebody else also stated that the bug was not fixed ( i do not remember for how long before it was fixed, if ever in the 0.5 release? ). For the 0.6 release it got fixed. But lets be realistic, a release with 2 bugs in a script, that never got updated for months, even after the fix was posted under the bug section CLEARLY, with a exact line number, and problem. Meaning every person who downloaded that version, and used the plugin / configuration, had this potential problem.
Do you realistically expect people to come back? What if people do come back. Most of the information on the web is 0.2 version, even this websites information last time i checked, was out of date. And incomplete.
I'm not saying that xajax needs to pack its bags, but realistically, one does need to think over the future you want for xajax. Cutting out the weight, ... then what? How about the speed, realistically, it needs a major speedup. Are it those features you mentioned? Who knows, but more importantly is not just releasing some cuts & features, but also maintaining a support. edrobinson has been the only one resembling any "official" support. There are plenty of topic of people asking for help, reporting problems, that gone unanswered. Its not just about maintaining something, but also that people feel that the project has life in it.