AJAX, AJAX, everywhere

2005-11-05 01:38:00

Well, looks like everybody's finally on board the AJAX hype train, and it's pulling out of the station. There was an article yesterday in the Wall Street Journal Online about what it describes as a "hot new, Web-based technology called Ajax" which is attracting lots of investement money.

Amazingly, they do note that the technology isn't completely new, although they follow this up with the predictable, grossly inaccurate statement that "Ajax-type technologies were first developed by Microsoft in the late 1990s as part of its Internet Explorer Web browser."

Yes, the XMLHttpRequest object originated in Explorer, but Web devs were doing stuff with framesets to create AJAXey Web apps back in the Netscape 4 days. Of course back then, as I always note, we called it 'DHTML.' And, I should add, we did it barefoot, uphill both directions, and we were thankful for it.

The article focuses mainly on companies being built around AJAX technologies, with a list including some of the usual suspects like Kiko, Zimbra, and Writely, and Meebo. It also mentions a company I've not heard of before called Joyent, who are apparently also doing an e-mail/calendaring/groupware type of thing.

I had a look at their site -- it's a commercial product, with enterprise pricing and QuickTime demos. Unfortunately they don't provide a live demo, so it's impossible to tell anything about the actual quality of the product.

The article quotes Zimbra's CEO Satish Dhamaraj as saying that there's a "venture capital frenzy" over AJAX. Guess that just shows you should never underestimate the power of a good acronym, especially one with the letter 'X' in it.

The article also notes, "Other technology veterans are rolling their eyes over the Ajax frenzy." Yeah, I'm actually kind of grateful now for the Ruby on Rails hype because it gives me the occasional break from the AJAX hype.


This is the blog for Matthew Eernisse. I currently work at Yammer as a developer, working mostly with JavaScript. All opinions expressed here are my own, not my employer's.


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