I’ve been sitting on a lot of thoughts about this whole AJAX phenomena that is sweeping the industry lately. Tons of people have thrown their two cents in already and I’ve been meaning to post my thoughts, so here goes. 🙂
First off, let me beat the horse one more time and say: AJAX is nothing new. It’s a nice initiative to have a standard library, but people are kidding themselves when they say this is a revolution of the web. The very browser features that AJAX is founded on have been in IE forever. If you want to wonder why people write proprietary stuff for IE it’s because, pretty much up until Mozilla came along, it was the only browser that offered enough power to actually be able to create DHTML applications like those that we’re just starting to see in the mainstream these days. If you want to blame someone for it not being available in other browsers, blame the creeping standards body which to this day still has no specification for something as simple as a component model in DHTML despite the fact that a proposal from Microsoft has been sitting in the queue since 1998. Yeah, it wasn’t perfect, but if it was adopted even in it’s original form the development world wouldn’t still be writing script to emulate such an architecture to this day.
In closing, I want to be clear I’m not against AJAX, Mozilla or Google in any way. In fact, I’m all for a standard script library so I can stop having to invent it all myself. 🙂 All I’m trying to get across is that this stuff has been happening on the web for years. Google just happen to come out with a very public showcase app for these technologies when they released Google Maps and they certainly deserve all the credit they’ve received for the application because it rocks. In the end though, they should not receive all the credit for being the only company that’s really innovating on the web by leveraging the underlying technologies that the browsers supply us with.