AJAX: Are You Experienced?

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-05-11 Print this article Print

AJAX has taken the developer world by storm, but it could be even more effective with the right browser capabilities, claim a pair of AJAX experts at the AJAX Experience show.

SAN FRANCISCO—AJAX has taken the developer world by storm, but it could be even more effective with the right browser capabilities, said two AJAX experts at the inaugural AJAX Experience conference here.

Dion Almaer and Ben Galbraith, co-founders of Ajaxian.com, opened the conference on May 10 with an evening keynote where they delivered their wish list for features of a next-generation browser. The list consisted of four items: 2-D drawing (Canvas) acceleration on top of DirectX, Quartz and Cairo/xgl; Just-in-Time compiled JavaScript; a transparent memory model with memory introspection/debugging tools; and an offline storage API.

"We're sick of people saying the Web sucks, you need rich clients," Galbraith said. "With these features we'd be pretty excited about the world we could live in."

In a lighthearted interactive session where the two speakers played off each other, the pair poked fun at many of the issues hindering greater adoption of AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.

Java gurus say AJAX is the next big thing for building Web applications. Click here to read more.

"Why did we not have this conference in 1997?" asked Galbraith. He said 1997 was when XMLhttpRequest (also known as XHR) appeared on the scene. "If we did have this event in 1997, the show would have to be at Microsoft, with Adam Bosworth and the IE [Internet Explorer] team," Almaer said. Microsoft is said to have invented XMLhttpRequest.

Meanwhile, XMLhttpRequest went unnoticed for several years until Mozilla introduced it into its browser, and "XHR went undiscovered in Mozilla until Gmail, Google Maps and Google Suggest," Galbraith said.

He noted that the Web developer community is adept at innovating within constraints. However, the latest set of constraints will enable developers to go pretty far, he said. With AJAX and the current technology base, developers can create user experiences comparable to desktop applications, Galbraith said. And he said he believes "Comet will change the server-side game."

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: AJAX: Are You Experienced?

Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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