AJAX - Hot Or Not?


eWeek.com - Java Experts Predict AJAX Will Be Huge. A selection of quotes from the TheServerSide Java Symposium. Sexy? No. Likely to solicit many responses at TW? Doubt it. Conspiracy theories built-in? No. Big? Almost certainly.

Cedric Beust, an engineer at Google, said: "I think all the pieces are there on the server side. But I think we'll get a whole new ecosystem around AJAX. It's like a bad cold. More and more people are coming to this thing and we have a whole new excitement for Web sites we never had before, with things like mashups."

James Strachan, chief architect and co-founder of LogicBlaze, said, "AJAX is going to make a huge difference on how we build Web apps. AJAX and POJOs [plain old java objects] are the two biggies for building Web apps."

Audience was pretty much evenly split:

However, one member of the audience objected to the AJAX hype, as he called it. In fact, an impromptu poll of attendees showed that 51 percent of attendees said they thought AJAX was hype, while 49 percent said they thought it was hot.

Who's using AJAX then, or planning to, or expecting to be forced to? We've used it, but only internally for now. I can see that changing very soon.


Buzzword Hysteria

If it were something new that would be one thing but AJAX is typical marketing nonsense where someone shrinkwraps a word around something and suddenly everyone has to have it in their portfolio and resume.

While we're at it let'e run thru the halls shouting LAMP! LAMP!


Sweet Dreams That Man

Oh dear. I do so worry about you Bill, you seem so tired so very much of the time. Take it easy, man, let one or two iffy IP's through, go on, nobody will let on, I promise.

I can think of no less likely group of people then a hall full of Java programmers to become hysterical. Of course it's a current buzzword, and of course it's not new, but to pooh-pooh such an obvious groundswell seems a bit too easy. A bit more to it than 'typical marketing nonsense', new or otherwise, IMHO. Damn, an acronym. That'll set you off again, won't it?

We've been using AJAX almost

We've been using AJAX almost since the term was coined. It's not useful for everything, but there are lots of situations where it can add a lot of value to a project. Currently the best use we've found is for the admin side of a client's CMS. I used to lie awake crying at the thought of doing more admin pages - now we just use AJAX to let the client edit the actual pages themselves. It helps usability of a complicated CMS no end, and has the upside of actually being interesting to write. Not needing two windows/tabs open to edit bits and see the result is kinda cool for the client too. I also know the target audience (one person with Firefox) so you don't run in to the whole compatability/graceful degrading nightmare.

I think anyone who's truly honest will admit that AJAX has uses. A lot of the sites I see go way OTT with the the technology, but there are certain operations where reloading the page is a massive PITA.

All about timing

Couple of relevant quotes in this commentary piece - Web 2.0: AJAX underpins services

AJAX resonates now because the tech world is finally ready for it. In so many ways, Web 2.0 feels like dot-com déjà vu. Startups are hot again, venture capitalists are excited, programmers can cook creative new applications at home in their spare time, and users are willing to put in the effort to incorporate exotic new technologies into their lives. But many of the actual tools for building Web 2.0 programs, like JavaScript, have been around for years. The technology was available. It was the society that needed time to catch up.

"The upsurge of interest in AJAX applications is not driven by anything technological. It's all about sophistication in understanding what the technology can do," says Adaptive Path's Garrett. "That sophistication is something that sometimes takes a few years to develop."

That's such bollocks - it's

That's such bollocks - it's not because "society has caught up" with technology, it's because the technology is widespread enough to be able to incorporate the technology without losing your job.


Forgive me for being so jaded.

I've just lived thru so many computer industry buzzword campaigns in 26 years it makes me queasy as the truth is it's still programming, nothing ever really changes, it's all APIs, code, data streams, it's just what you call them this week to make spin.

Microsoft started this alphabet soup craze with DDE in Windows 286 timeframe, so we write a DDE app just to impress customers, then here comes ODBC, OLE, ACTIVEX, MAPI, yada yada yada, oh they were all hot, everyone wanted to see it on your resume, bunch of bleeding edge joiners.

Now whether or not AJAX is hot, I'll give it that it's hot, was even contemplating using the techniques on something I'm working on but I refuse to post on the site "LOOK MA, I'M USING AJAX!" because then I'll be so Web 2.0 I'll probably run out and play in traffic, web traffic that is ;)

P.S. No, no IP's are getting thru!

I just realised

What do Java experts know on what web experts know on whether AJAX will be hot or not? AJAX is supposed to be about snappier interfaces in webpages, and I have never -ever- -EVER- used a Java app that was snappy :-)

Hysteria 2.0

I can think of no less likely group of people then a hall full of Java programmers to become hysterical

You missed the Java Beans riots of the 90s then.

leave him alone

Bill is a Windows guy... and we all know that once you get caught up in the M$ camp there is way more pain in realizing the error of your ways than sticking with the platform.

Dont worry, Bill, the LAMP guys are pretty happy these days rapdily deploying code that works and won't be bothering you much with buzzwords or open source evangelism. We let the rails dudes feed the media. It's more fun to code.


Nice try John but Linux is on my server and what I work in most of the time these days. I could toss Windoze box if anyone ever made a decent programming environment and editor for Linux but until then...

p.s. CP/M REWLZ!


on top of what Bill said,

on top of what Bill said, I'd like a good graphics program too. and don't say gimp as that plainly sucks

not quite graphics program, but...

free Ajax web based image editor
free free free


I bet I'm younger than you, but I was programming CP/M on a KayPro II as a kid.


Since this thread has been officially jacked...

Kaypro was a toy in a sewing machine case, several generations beyond the steaming heaps of undercooled chips I programmed. One was the TEI SUPERCOMPUTER which was an s-100 frame, 64K RAM in 8K static memory cards, the 2 floppies were 256K ea., with cast pot metal construction. The whole computer was built in a 1/4 inch metal case, weighed a metric ton, made the table legs bow under the weight and could heat my apartment in the dead of winter with no furnace on, had to work shirtless most of the time just to avoid heat stroke.

I had to move that machine once and didn't have a dolly, I think my left nut hit the ground when the hernia happened, bounced away and has never been seen since.

As luck would have it those 8K memory cards were mounted HORIZONTAL and not VERTICAL making the inside of the cage an Easy Bake Oven which often baked the top row of chips which had to be replaced all the time. Kept a jar of chips handy and fed it to the computer like candy. Eventually I bought a 64K dynamic memory card and gutted a couple of Apple ]['s [about all Apple's were good for was organ donation] for dynamic memory chips to populate the board, rewired it to work with the memory layout of my system got a better memory system and a cooler the house all in oue shot.

Also had a TRS-80 model I and a myriad of other computers you wouldn't believe, all antiques at this point and most hit the dumpster years ago.


Nah. It started as bait and it continues.

Did you say floppies? You had floppies?

I learned to code on a TI1000 with no storage at all. 10 REM Start of Program 20 REM Make the box move... and kept going for about an hour until "brrrrrr..." Dad's bar cooler turned on to chill the beer and the subsequent power surge caused the TI to reset. Start again 10 REM Start of Program 20 REM Make the graphic move...

Yeah I splurged for the cassette recorder interface a few months later when it became available. Floppies. Geeesh. I bet your wore shoes when you walked uphill to school and back in the snow ya damn privileged brat.

Had those 2

Cassette players, even the upgrade software to make them run 9600 bps, we used the cassette to backup the floppies!

I was using an Altos MP/M box (multi-CP/M) with dual 1MB floppies (very fast), a 5MB HD, 208K RAM and 4 terminals hanging off it with 2 printers and I could code, compile and link across the 3 terminals all at the same time I was spooling some code to the printer or running a report.

Imagine how upset I was when someone plunked an IBM-PC on my desk.

64K floppies?
64K ram?
DOS? What the hell is that?
No multi-tasking?
Slower than frozen snot in alaska!

I was wondering who had been smoking crack, this was a pile of junk!

Took forever to get anything done, it was a joke.

I kept looking around for days expecting Alan Funt to jump out and scream "SMILE! YOU'RE ON CANDID CAMERA!"

However, Alan never showed up and all the idiots stuck with the PC and it became a standard.


Did you say floppies? You

Did you say floppies? You had floppies?

When I was at school, we had a teletype terminal with a paper tape. Just the one. You'd write your basic program, and once it ran, punch the tape, roll it up, printout the program, and hand it in.
30 students - one teletype terminal. At least at Uni they had cards, rather than paper tape - and more terminals.

I bet your wore shoes when you walked uphill to school and back in the snow ya damn privileged brat.

We couldn't afford gloves, so we had to carry a sheep in either pocket just to keep our hands warm....

No roof on our house

For those too young to remember, or so old they have forgotten

The Monty Python Sketch

Vroom uses AJAX


I know this thread has gone AWOL, but we just implimented AJAX into our car hire comparison site to select USA cities.

We were hesitant in using it at first due to javascript necessity, but turned out okay.
Would love to know what you think.

This is quite cool, I

This is quite cool, I thought.

slick tool Andy. really

slick tool Andy. really looks cool. the only thing that scares me about that is a browser crash 5 pages into a 6 page letter hehehe


Scraping the bloggers will blog about

(well, it's already out of the bag so ...)

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