Google's Bosworth: Why AJAX Failed (Then Succeeded)

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2007-01-30 Print this article Print

Adam Bosworth, vice president of Google, talks about what makes software and technology falter or thrive, including AJAX, which he helped create while at Microsoft.

NEW YORK—When it comes to software development, Google's Adam Bosworth has a need for speed.

In a talk entitled "Physics, Speed and Psychology: What Works and What Doesn't in Software, and Why," Bosworth, a vice president at Google, discussed why technologies such as AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), PDAs and natural language failed to catch on in the past but are successful today. Bosworth spoke at Google's offices here as part of the Google NYC Speaker Series on Jan. 29.

Bosworth said he has been building software for about 30 years and "not all of it works" all the time. "The reason, on reflection, turned out to largely depend on physics and human psychology," he said. And "a lot of it had to do with Tom Cruise," Bosworth said, citing the actor's line in the movie "Top Gun" where Cruise says, "I feel the need, the need for speed."

Indeed, speed or lack thereof has played a role in hampering the success of various software innovations, including AJAX, Bosworth said. Had chips been a little faster and broadband been more ubiquitous, AJAX might have caught on a lot faster. However, the physics of the technology was only one of the factors holding AJAX back.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Google's Bosworth: Why AJAX Failed (Then Succeeded).

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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