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March 13, 2005

More on Ajax

Over at the Adaptive Path site, we've posted an Ajax Q&A where I respond to some of the most common questions people have had about my essay.

Meanwhile, today's Wall Street Journal features a column on Ajax. [Update: Now that the non-subscribers' link for the WSJ piece has expired, here's a syndicated version free to everyone.]

<=> | March 13, 2005


I can not help but smirk at the fact that you are getting a ton of credit for "inventing" something just because you gave it a name. Ajax is really just the evolution of something that has been building for a long time. The final step of course being a broader support of client side XSL transforms or XMLHTTP generated objects (almost there...)

Anyway, I am glad it is finally coming into the spotlight so now at least when I try to explain to potential employers what I was working on for MTVs Digital Music Service I can use a term they might recognize. BTW, I can not confirm it, but I assume iTunes is based on this approach as well. Up until Firefox embedded browsers were the only safe way to approach Ajax.

I am looking forward to the day that servers only generate XML. Let the client (browser) deal with it. Maybe then I can finally get some respect for 10 years as a presentation layer developer (no, not a designer, no, not an application programmer).

Posted by: Wade Harrell | Mar 16, 2005 10:55:43 AM

This could be the father of all ajax apps. It started as a second generatation attempt at the ajax technologies in sept. 2001. Prior to that I used something called 'remote scripting'. I feel another key part of these technologies is xml data islands in the browser. The vision behind this site is none other than to use the ajax technologies to solve the nutrition crisis. Go to and click on the 'food finder'.

Posted by: pat capozzi | Mar 17, 2005 11:04:49 AM

I've been using these techniques for a few years now =). I particularly like using it in connection with Intranet sites and data binding to XML data islands. The user is totally unaware of what's going on under the covers.

Unfortunately, some uninformed writers have already made the connection that this can "compete" or offer an alternative to rich/smart clients (Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Watch). It doesn't. It does offer the illusion of web apps being more responsive without page loads. BTW, the Google example is a bad one -- it doesn't represent the average case since Google's business it super fast search and retrieval; indexing is their business and they rock like no other. These techniques don't really offer much of an alternative to "rich" clients. There is much value to below-the-page techniques, however.

That said, I'm very happy to see it get more press. Maybe now the W3C, software shops and browser makers can keep these in mind when designing html standards, browser extensions and applications.

Monte Hansen
Visual Basic MVP

Your voice is needed. Please read and sign the petition:

Posted by: Monte Hansen | Mar 22, 2005 1:39:37 PM

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