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AJAX Buzzword Reinvigorates Javascript

CmdrTaco posted more than 9 years ago | from the scripting-is-cool-again-now dept.

Programming 541

samuel4242 writes "Javascript may have been with us since the beginning of the browser, but it's going through a renaissance as companies like Google create Javascript-enabled tools like Google Maps . There's even a nice, newly coined acronym , AJAX for "Asynchronous Javascript and XML". A nice survey article from Infoworld interviews Javascript creator, Brendan Eich, who says that this is what he and Marc Andreessen planned from the beginning. Perhaps AJAX will finally deliver what Java promised. Perhaps it will really provide a solid way to distribute software seamlessly."

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AJAX also good for... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624346)

cleaning tub
cleaning toilet
getting first post

The history of linux (0, Troll)

dlrow olleh (886534) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624491)

Linux came in the mid ninetees. It was a project of three gay fat geeks students, namely Anus Torvalds, Anal Cox and Richard "Dick" Stallman.

Anus, wanted their OS called Anux, a name that also pleased Anal Cox for sure, but Dick Stallman wasn't really happy and threatened not to have a bath anymore if they adopted that name. This threat immediately made Anus and Anal change their mind : given Stallman usually only washes once a month, they knew he was not lying ...

Instead, Dick Stallman wanted the OS to be called "Dinux, the dickhead OS", because he estimated many of the kernel wouldn't have existed if he hadn't first thought of it. Dick has always been an egocentric person, but Anus and Anal still wanted to please him, given he has always been pleasing them with his huge cock. So they kept the second letter "I" from his suggestion. They they went to bed and made love, that's why the first letter "L" was chosen.

So all in all, Linux is just a big story of love for unix, be happy :-).

Choosing language (0, Flamebait)

pupeno (100437) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624361)

There it goes the freedom to choose any language you want for web site developing, now part of it is fixed: Javascript or die (well, there are other set of somethingsciprts that are even worst than javascript).

Re:Choosing language (2, Insightful)

Karma Farmer (595141) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624391)

You're smoking crack. Client-Side scripting has always been in JavaScript or languages that look exactly like JavaScript.

Re:Choosing language (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624426)

Uh, sorry dude but I don't want 50 languages taking 100 MB in my browser. Just ask get your favorite script to compile *into* javascript, a bit like f2c is a Fortran to C translator.

Re:Choosing language (1)

Cmdr Whackjob (883018) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624476)

It would be better if there weren't all these languages for web site developing. What we need is browsers to run EXE files natively without a sandbox, so designers have a bit more flexibility.

Re:Choosing language (3, Funny)

Jeff Hornby (211519) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624605)

Great idea.

I've got an .EXE on my site that does some really cool things including encrypting your hard drive. But that's OK, you can pay me $200 and I'll send you the decryption key.

thanks, slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624368)

Six months after a (not) new technique shows up, we get coverage.

By the way, am I the only one that uses the web with JavaScript turned off for almost every site?

Re:thanks, slashdot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624398)

By the way, am I the only one that uses the web with JavaScript turned off for almost every site?

Yes. Here's your tin foil hat now go sit in the corner.

Re:thanks, slashdot (0)

rebug (520669) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624422)

I disable JavaScript, but not because I'm paranoid about security issues.

Like Flash, 90% of all JavaScript is designed to annoy. Like Flash, I'll have no truck with it.

Re:thanks, slashdot (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624456)

Oh yes, I have JavaScript turned off. Also, I browse with a monochrome monitor, my speakers shut off, and my tinfoil hat firmly in place.

Damn you technology!

(get over JS)

Re:thanks, slashdot (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624552)

By the way, am I the only one that uses the web with JavaScript turned off for almost every site?

You're not the tinfoil hat guy, are you?

DAMNIT Java != Javascript (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624371)

urrrrrrrrr.....

Re:DAMNIT Java != Javascript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624403)

/signed

Re:DAMNIT Java != Javascript (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624419)

Yeah, but that doesn't mean Javascript can't deliver what Java promised, which is what he meant

Ajax is in Ontario (-1, Offtopic)

mfh (56) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624429)

It's where Sum 41 [lot23.com] is from.

Re:DAMNIT Java != Javascript (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624447)

Nobody here said it did! They said it might be able to deliver what Java promised. NO MENTION of Java and Javascript being the same there. If I say I might be able to deliver what Jane promised, I'm not saying I'm Jane, am I? They're refering to run-anywhere.

Ajax and Java deliver the same promise (3, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624594)

Perhaps AJAX will finally deliver what Java promised. Perhaps it will really provide a solid way to distribute software seamlessly... (emphasis mine)

The "promise" of Java (write once, run anywhere) is exactly the same as Ajax. A big implmentation difference is in the runtime. Ajax's runtime is native to the browser; Java's runtime is not.

If what you need to do can be done with Ajax, then Ajax delivers on the promise, today. Java? Sure, it delivers big-time, if you can live with Web Start and deploying the runtime to every desktop.

Ajax should be welcomed by Java advocates everywhere. The marketplace are finally "getting it" regarding write once, run anywhere. The limitations of Ajax are substantial, so it won't be long before people need more muscle.

Rewriting history? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624372)

Javascript may have been with us since the beginning of the browser...

Huh? I don't seem to remember seeing it until about '96 or '97. That's just a wee bit later than the beginning of the browser...

Re:Rewriting history? (3, Informative)

KillerDeathRobot (818062) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624397)

If I recall it was created for Netscape 3. So definitely not the beginning of the browser.

Re:Rewriting history? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624420)

the day IE4 came out was great fun, running round html enabled teen chat rooms that worked via meta refresh and adding <script> window.location="http://lemonparty.org"</script> and friends in =)

and watching said boards go down one by one as admins rushed to work on their html tag filters :>

Correct me if i'm wrong but... (3, Insightful)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624375)

Isn't part of this due to Microsoft's non-complient browser API?

Go ahead and mod me as flamebait.

Re:Correct me if i'm wrong but... (1)

Vraylle (610820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624408)

Sure, but considering that it's currently supported by IE, Moz/FF, and (nominally) by Opera...so what? We're using the hell out of this at work, and it makes the development SO much slicker.

Re:Correct me if i'm wrong but... (1)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624430)

You really do need to code in a hell of alot of tricks to get your javascript working on all the main browsers .
You normaly need a script to switch in other scripts dependant on a browser check.
This is mainly due to the MS implementation and yes it is a big pile of crap that MS used to try and dominate the browser market(sucsefully unfortunatly ).

Re:Correct me if i'm wrong but... (2, Informative)

Vraylle (610820) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624465)

The current iteration of our AJAX library handles IE, Moz, and Opera. While there are browser checks, they're not overly cumbersome.

It works beautifully in all three.

Re:Correct me if i'm wrong but... (2, Interesting)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624510)

I probably should have said "Did" , ive been checking out ajax and ruby on rails for a few things and I am impressed with both . It will be good to have client side browser scripting which dosn't require 17 hours(slight hyperbole) of testing on various browsers.

Re:Correct me if i'm wrong but... (3, Informative)

costas (38724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624455)

Hm, Ajax as these guys mean it, is centered around XmlHttpRequest which IE (6, I think) introduced first (meaning it was a non-standard API). Mozilla actually copied MS, which then made XmlHttpRequest "cool" and we now have this Ajax buzzword business. Never mind that there have been libraries [ashleyit.com] that have been enabling asynchronous DOMServer communication for much longer than Google Maps or GMail...

Re:Correct me if i'm wrong but... (1)

costas (38724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624500)

Oops, this [ashleyit.com] is the correct link and I meant DOM<->Server comm...

Re:Correct me if i'm wrong but... (1)

0kComputer (872064) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624612)

Its funny how parent gets modded -2 and parent (which supported my statement) gets modded insightfull.

In other news.. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624376)

.. both Lucas and Gates recently issued press releases stating ``this is what we'd planned all along.''

Re:In other news.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624442)

Don't forget it is Darth Jobs who is carrying out Order 66.

Intel chips?...all part of the Master's plan.

PSV (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624377)

AJAX is only second to PSV!

Since the ajax fans thought of a funny acronym to popularize their club, I'll introduce to you

PSV
Potent Scripted Visuals

Java... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624378)

Like the Greater ajax - java embodies the virtues of hard work and perseverance when my browser tries to load it.

Re:Java... (0)

EnglishTim (9662) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624469)

Dang, I wish I still had my mod points...

Asynchronous Javascript and XML? (0)

MaestroSartori (146297) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624381)

Yeah, I meant that! No, really, I did! Honest! :D

Hah (0)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624392)

"A nice survey article from Infoworld interviews Javascript creator, Brendan Eich, who says that this is what he and Marc Andreessen planned from the beginning."


Well yeah, that's what I'd say, too.

Ok, Frist P05t candidate away - time to RTFA now ;-p

It's all about appearances. (1, Funny)

deathcloset (626704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624400)

Fry: [talking fast] These languages are on the fast-track to the it list; blastfax kudos all around.

Leela: Uuh, hello! We haven't made one program since you two took over.

"That Guy": Programming has nothing to do with the Programming business. buzzwords, people, buzzwords!

Re:It's all about appearances. (1)

tehwebguy (860335) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624538)

CTO of the company I interned for last year: Let's just change some settings on the server and rename all of our files with .xml! Everyone will think we're really trendy!

Ruby on Rails and AJAX (2, Informative)

mortonda (5175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624409)

Ruby on Rails [rubyonrails.com] has been working on this for some time, at least since the 0.11 release [rubyonrails.com] back in March. This is a wonderful technique for speeding up web applications. Browse around the web site, or hang out in IRC, and you will quickly see what all the excitement is all about.

Re:Ruby on Rails and AJAX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624480)

AJAX: Oh yeah... now it's got it's own buzzword it'll take off. Can't you people think for yourselves?

Re:Ruby on Rails and AJAX (2, Informative)

PerlDudeXL (456021) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624614)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but Ruby on Rails is server based and AJAX is browser based and I see no way to compare those concepts!?

Slower than Java (0, Flamebait)

HeroreV (869368) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624410)

Too bad it's so sloooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww...........

Having to go back to the server again and again and again to get tiny amounts of data doesn't sound too nice to me.

Re:Slower than Java (1)

mortonda (5175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624438)

Actually, it's quite faster than reloading the entire page. It avoids quite a few database calls, and simplifies the data flow, and reduces the amount of bandwidth used.

Re:Slower than Java (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624586)

In your dreams. I've never seen an example where it eliminates a significant bottleneck by reducing database calls and if bandwidth is an issue, use gzip.

Still looks like a solution looking for a problem to me.

Re:Slower than Java (4, Insightful)

natrius (642724) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624463)

Having to go back to the server again and again and again to get tiny amounts of data doesn't sound too nice to me.

That's what you do each time you click on a link to go to a different web page within a site. With AJAX, you only get the data you need. It's not slow. Have you used Google Maps? GMail? That's what's going on behind the scenes, and it makes the experience far better.

Re:Slower than Java (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624492)

You don't have to do that. Just add a little more data in the initial page load and make the browser do all the work. Once you reach a milestone, then post back to the server. You have to add some server-side validation to keep the script-kiddies at bay, but the performance cost of that is negligible. Also, if you do have to trip back to the server for data, its a lot quicker to just return the data that you need rather than refreshing the whole page.

Re:Slower than Java (1)

buckymatters (885912) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624506)

I never though of using Java to update a paragraph of text. I'll get right to work on that. Thanks.

Re:Slower than Java (3, Insightful)

ciroknight (601098) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624616)

I'd rather go back to the server every time for a small, 2k object than go back to the server for 14k of HTML, and 160k of images/flash/multimedia/etc. For most application's, it's even a smaller object than that. Just look at Google Maps vs Mapquest. Every time you change zoom, Mapquest has to refresh the entire page, whereas G Maps, it's entirely seemless, and doesn't even seem like it's going to the server at all.

It's got some other potential uses I've been investigating as well. Brings back the whole HTML-based video game idea, now that you don't have to refresh the entire page to change one variable to something useful...

widget set (2, Insightful)

oever (233119) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624411)

What we need now (and Google has shown that it's feasable) is a Javascript based GUI.

Gnome and KDE can conquer all desktops once they are ported to this AJAX framework.

Where's the first javascript based window manager? Personalized Google is the first step in that direction.

Re:widget set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624462)

Gnome and KDE can conquer all desktops

bwahahahahaa! oh man. haahahahahaha!

ok, seriously....

haahaahahahahahahaha!

Re:widget set (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624483)

Dashboard?

Re:widget set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624508)

That's the last thing we need. KDE and Gnome are already so slow; having to interpret a load of bloated buggy crashy javascript just to open a window doesn't really appeal..

widget set-XUL (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624511)

It's called XUL.

Curl [curl.com] is another alternative for doing things client-side.

Re:widget set - Try Konfabulator (2, Interesting)

spookymonster (238226) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624597)

Try www.konfabulator.com [konfabulator.com] . It's free to use (nagware, actually) and versions are available for Windows and Mac.

With Konfabulator, you can build cross-platform (no Linux yet) desktop widgets (similar to OSX Dashboard widgets, but more functional), using XML and Javascript. You can define the different components of your widget in XML, and then write the event handlers in Javascript. Optionally, you can have Javascript dynamcially create the components in the onLoad event handler. It uses the Spidermonkey Javascript engine, also found in Mozilla/Firefox.

If you give it a try, Check out my widget, ClipDrop (a clipboard manager), in the Gallery.

JavaScript based window manager (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624621)

Here's one. [php-mysql-perl.com]

What I'm hoping for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624414)

Perhaps it will really provide a solid way to distribute software seamlessly

I'm just hoping this will encourage development tools to make it easier and more standardized in the way it is used. Slowly, but surely I'm building my own API to exploit "AJAX" (since before the term was invented). Unfortunately because of IP/NDA agreements I can't release any of the nice Visual Studio add-ons I've built :(

AJAX Won't Deliver... (4, Insightful)

NardofDoom (821951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624415)

... until every browser does things the same. A lot of the current applications for Google Maps (like this one [chicagocrime.org] ) don't work in Safari.

Unless standards are complied with fully there can never be "one programming language" for web scripting. Anyone who's had to debug Javascript in IE that works in Firefox knows this.

Re:AJAX Won't Deliver... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624502)

Firefox runs on every major computing platform. Linux, Windows, Mac. If everyone used it, we wouldn't have a problem. The problem is all the damn people who insisist on using non-standard browsers.

Obviously, I'm not serious. But it's something to think about.

Re:AJAX Won't Deliver... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624633)

it depends

do you view the browser and web as something that should be standards based to the end or do you belive its ok to build a web site for one client app just as you might build a client app locked to one gui toolkit?

or to put it another way do you wan't to build a website or an app that happens to use firefox as a client.

Re:AJAX Won't Deliver... (1)

NoMoreNicksLeft (516230) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624503)

If it's already working on firefox, why bother with IE? Just make sure it's working for safari and opera and be done with it.

Re:AJAX Won't Deliver... (3, Informative)

md17 (68506) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624585)

This is why people are building component frameworks around AJAX. Component frameworks hide the messy browser specific details. This gives a developer who uses these components "one programming language" that works universally and provides a RIA experience.

AJAX's fate does not rest on all browsers being in full compliance to the standards, it rests more on the implementation of AJAX components. You can read more about my view on this on my blog [64.233.167.104] .

Re:AJAX Won't Deliver... (2, Interesting)

neoform (551705) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624588)

yeah, well i'm developping a web forum using all JS..

http://www.cslacker.com/ [cslacker.com]

works fine in IE, Firefox and Safari.. but IE's retarded CSS handling makes things dicey..

Re:AJAX Won't Deliver... (1)

HyperBlazer (830880) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624623)

A lot of the current applications for Google Maps (like this one) [chicagocrime.org] don't work in Safari.

Erm, that one works for me in Safari 1.3. Of course, your link tells me that I've been a "naughty slashdotter," but that has nothing to do with Safari!

Point may be right; example isn't.

So what's the big deal? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624417)

This has been possible for years. I've personally been using this type of scripting in web applications since 2001. Why the big fuss all of a sudden? Is it just because of the new XhtmlhttpRequest object (or whatever the hell its called)? You can do the same thing with an iFrame. Sure, its not as elegant, but it gets the job done. And it registers in your browser history.

Re:So what's the big deal? (1)

LnxAddct (679316) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624629)

You can have AJAX (I prefer JSON-RPC, but same idea) register in the browser history, at least on mozilla platforms. The trick (and there are a few ways to do this, the way I'm explaining here is the simplest but I use a different method) is that before you go modifying the DOM with your script, just set document.innerHTML = document.innerHTML. In mozilla, whenever innerHTML is modified it treats it as a new page despite no reload (this causes wierd affects with Google's footer when running Greasemonkey scripts, FYI). You can verify this just by hitting the back button on your browser and seeing the page go back to how it was. I know it is usually recommended to treat innerHTML as read only, but this is one of the areas where it's worthwhile to write to it. I'm not saying the iframe technique doesn't work (I've used that technique plenty of times), but this tends to be more convenient and it seems that the web in general is moving away from frames (thank god).
Regards,
Steve

this is good, and here's more material (5, Informative)

yagu (721525) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624425)

For me, the crux of the usefulness and eventual adoption and finally complete embracing of AJAX lies in the article's paragraph:

Some of the buzz surrounding AJAX has been generated by Web designers as well as programmers. AJAX?s flexibility is invigorating for Web designers because JavaScript can control any aspect of any images or type on a page. Fonts can grow or shrink. Tables can add or lose lines. Colors can change. Although none of these capabilities are new to programmers accustomed to building client applications -- or, for that matter, Java applets -- they are novelties to Web designers who would otherwise be forced to rely on Macromedia (Profile, Products, Articles) Flash.

I've seen what Google has done with AJAX (e.g., Google suggest), and it's stuff I never imagined could be so repsonsive in a web context. For me it starts to make programming fun again, and web programming an acceptable form of application development.

When browsers and web first emerged I could see the writing on the wall, but I wasn't happy about it. Browser application writing from the programming perspective was probably the single most giant leap backwards in technology for me (not including technologies introduced by Microsoft)....: you mean, all the years I've spent honing skills writing applications no longer apply? You mean I no longer have "state" as a tool for maintaining sanity in my application???? Hwaahhh??? I have to do what to change the web page???

While there have been some technologies (ASP, JSP, etc) to help with these issues, none have addressed the responsiveness issue with the web page round trip message loop. AJAX comes close. Now all I have to do is learn it.

For a great example of the responsive nature of this (I've referenced this before), go to Google Personal Home [google.com] , set up your own home page, and play... Configure your modules by dragging them around... open and close your g-mail previews. This all starts looking alot like programs actually running locally on your own machine. (I'm assuming all are familiar with and have played similarly with Google Maps [google.com] .)

Additionally, here are some very good resources to learn more about AJAX:

That's it, I'm done.

Planned from the beginning? (1)

kevin_conaway (585204) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624428)

Then where have you been for the last 10 years? Seriously, those comments reek of those guys coming out of the shadows to hop onto the glory boat.

goodbye javascript! (2, Funny)

asr_man (620632) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624437)

Processing threads running in the background preloads page content..

Browsers load AJAX applications automatically. Customers are often reluctant to install custom applications, but most people can be convinced to visit a Web site.

Finally, the reason I was looking for to disable Javascript is here.

Re:goodbye javascript! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624536)

You mean you don't already disable Javascript? With Javascript off, the World Wide Web is a lot like hypertext documents instead of a bloated bastardized application that pops up dialog windows and slides images around the screen.

When replying to this message, please confirm you're not a script by typing the text shown in this image: [iarejzn/\/\/\]

See (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624450)

the world is just now discovering what he imagined back in 1995. He says, We [Marc Andreessen and I] always intended JavaScript to enable client-centric apps that did not have to reload pages from a server.

If we had only known... We could have avoided ActiveX! :-)

Seamless... LOL (1)

orderthruchaos (770967) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624451)

If by seamless, you mean heavily hacked to get around platform/browser compliance/implementation... then yes, I agree.

Javascript? (1, Insightful)

Umbral Blot (737704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624452)

Quite honestly javascript is a very poor language. The reason it is used so much is that it is basically the only alternative to client side scripting without Java. I would be excited by a more robust replacement for javascript, but this just seems like taking a bad idea and running with it.

Re:Javascript? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624593)

Sadly I see this as nothing more than further commercialism of the web. Soon going to a page to look at data will force the user to sit thru a [at least] 30 second commercial before rendering the page.

This is progress ?

Thank you Microsoft (0, Flamebait)

ad0gg (594412) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624464)

Microsoft'sIE was the first browser to offer XML capabilities using activex with microsoft xmldom and XMLHttpRequest object. This same concept was copied by other browsers and made famous by gmail.

The Ajax concept is based around something called the XMLHttpRequest component. All you Microsoft haters get ready to yell because this was a Microsoft creation! Yes, Microsoft got something right, and did so before anyone else! Microsoft first implemented the XMLHttpRequest object in Internet Explorer 5 for Windows as an ActiveX object (ok, so they didn't get it QUITE right!).

Source [omnytex.com]

Re:Thank you Microsoft (again) (1)

dmh20002 (637819) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624535)

Microsoft also has had DHTML+Time for years, which let you script actions based on timeouts, greatly facilitating animation and periodic update.

Javascript is not java (1, Redundant)

bharlan (49602) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624467)

"Perhaps AJAX will finally deliver what Java promised."

Javascript and Java have nothing in common but four letters in their name, from a silly marketing decision by Netscape and Sun long ago.

Unfortunately, the alternative name that could have cleared up the confusion is impossible to pronounce: ECMAScript.

Re:Javascript is not java (1)

DARKFORCE123 (525408) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624544)

If they would have stuck with the original name LiveScript that would have been okay too. It still is.

Google maps problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624470)

I can't get images from google maps to show up in mozilla. Either on windows or linux. Anyone know why?

Java (4, Insightful)

HRbnjR (12398) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624493)

People keep talking like Java has failed and is now dead and gone.

I have been programming primarily in Java since 97, and if you ask me, it's just *starting* to pick up steam.

The language itself is just becoming mature - with big strides (generics, etc) in Java 1.5. And only now are we seeing alternate implementations to Suns, with GNU Classpath approaching a million lines of code, and GCJ compiled applications shipping in Fedora Core 4. Java applications such as Eclipse are also just starting to become popular, and Java API's for things like GNOME are just appearing on the horizon.

So quit calling Java dead :)

Re:Java (1)

ThreeE (786934) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624577)

Who said anything about Java?

Gah (2, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624496)

Perhaps AJAX will finally deliver what Java promised. Perhaps it will really provide a solid way to distribute software seamlessly.

All "AJAX" is going to do is sell a bunch more four-color glossies to those IT types with more stars in their eyes than substance in their heads. It's just another vaguely-defined acronym with a catchy ring to it.

For anybody who actually writes code, things like Google Maps are simply a happy marriage of time-honored techniques and modern browser tricks. They're cool, they're novel, they're useful, they're quite well-written, and they're letting us do things in the browser that used to require plugins--but there's nothing terribly eye-popping about the techniques themselves.

AJAX stronger than DIRT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624498)

http://zeldman.com/goodies/dirt.m4a.zip [zeldman.com]

Zipped AAC file from Zeldman (requires iTunes)

This is new? (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624509)

Some of the buzz surrounding AJAX has been generated by Web designers as well as programmers. AJAX's flexibility is invigorating for Web designers because JavaScript can control any aspect of any images or type on a page. Fonts can grow or shrink. Tables can add or lose lines. Colors can change. Although none of these capabilities are new to programmers accustomed to building client applications -- or, for that matter, Java applets -- they are novelties to Web designers who would otherwise be forced to rely on Macromedia (Profile, Products, Articles) Flash.

I've never build web pages with any Macromedia project, and yet through the magic of style sheet and JavaScript, I've had all of these capabilities in my pages for years upon years. Am I misunderstanding the point? I assume I must be.

(insert flawed analogy here that will be mercilessly seized and picked to pieces by responding commenters)

Re:This is new? (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624608)

This is just another cycle of rediscovering old technology and calling it new.

Next thing you know XML will be replaced with the .ini file ;-)

Why people get all excited to the point of jizzing buzzwords over something as simple as XML is beyond me... It's a text file with HTML like tags...

At least ASN.1 specifies encodings "on the wire" which is a bit more useful. I mean you may see

<keyword> TOMBOT </keyword> but how are those chars actually sent on the wire? XML doesn't address this. It's just a fucking syntax for tagging stuff..

Granted what Google is doing is cool it's not "new technology" that enables them todo that. It's just hiring smart people with enough creativity.

What I would love to see are DVI webpages... e.g. end the browser war and replace HTML with TeX once and forall ;-) That way your page will render the same ANYWHERE and not just where a given vendor decides to put a client. ...

mmm standards that are actually encompassing...

Tom

Open up AJAX (5, Insightful)

iamthesamurai (464513) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624513)

There is a need to standardize (as much as possible) the way that AJAX will work in the browser. There are a lot of code-writers and code-copy-n-pasters out there. When you visit one of these sites, you know because the browser may act funny due to poor programming/hacking of Javascript interacting with the server. AJAX is much bigger than just XML messaging, it's an opportunity to bring a more traditional application model to the browser via Event handling and dispatching. Notice that if you have an engine or framework that is well built, it's quite simple to add event handlers like key presses or mouse clicks or even drag-n-drop. If one was to script each element on a page, that gets heavy and can slow the browser. Which - btw, is why AJAX hadn't caught on until recently: computing resources were not sufficient in many cases.

That being said, everyone should look at http://www.sourcelabs.com/ajb/ [sourcelabs.com] AJAX Mistakes. There's also a nice list being compiled at http://www.openajax.net/ [openajax.net] OpenAJAX .net. This combination of technologies has been around for a while, however, as people find them more useful and interesting, there is a need for good information and a solid foundation for folks to work off of.

AJAX really helps for dialup users (1)

vishbar (862440) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624523)

As a dialup user, I can say that AJAX is a massive improvement over a standard Javascript page. GMail's web uses AJAX, and, though it takes quite a while to load the page initially, not having to go through the server for something as simple as clicking on a thread is highly preferable to reloading the page each and every time a link is clicked. Hopefully, we'll see more Javascript applications that run on the client side as opposed to old-fashioned form-based applications.

Still lacks decent security (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624526)

Running script direct from arbritrary servers is not acceptable from a security standpoint. Inline scripts (aside from event handlers) need to be depreciated and the end user permited to audit signed scripts on a site by site basis before running them.

WANTED - AJAX DEVELOPER (5, Funny)

BillsPetMonkey (654200) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624527)

* Bluechip client
* Excellent Package
* London, Engliand Offices

Requirements -

* 5 years of writing AJAX apps for enterprise clients
* 5-10 years .NET Experience on Linux
* At least 15 years Linux experience

Call now or apply online by clicking here! [monster.com]

Re:WANTED - AJAX DEVELOPER (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624624)

lol, considering the buzzword AJAX has only been around since about february, asking for 5 years experience is a bit... optimitistic.

I've been seing this pop up on job postings (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624537)

Of course, most people developing web applications have a little experience in the main technologies in AJAX, particularly DHTML and DOM, which are the critical ones. Only now we have a buzzword that HR an latch onto.

On the other hand, if they're looking at people who can architect something like Google maps, well, they're going to have to wait until the frameworks catch up. I've got my eye on Echo.

All the great technologies have... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624546)

2 syllables including X, I expect this is why the HURD is still unfinished and VRML petered out, X3D is clearly a foolish attempt to sound like mp3 and has too few vowels to take off.

Flash will fall by the wayside defeated by this superior floor cleaner, er web technology.

curiously resource-intensive (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624582)

i have noticed in my own js/DOM hacking that somewhat simple operations are costly. simple resource allocation tools indicate firefox really starts hogging memory and cpu when i engage what i would consider straightforward DOM manipulation. has anyone else noticed this?

AJAX is a stupid, stupid name. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12624606)

Ugh! "AJAX" is misleading (and rather dumb sounding too). I use the "XMLHttpRequest" object both in syncronous and asynsconous modes, and I DON'T USE XML..ever! Why parse all that garbage when I can send JSON (JavaScript Object Notion) or even plaintext back and forth? It's lightweight and does the job.

Google isn't writing in Javascript (1, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624609)

Google has people coding in something new, which they aren't saying much about. It's then compiled to Javascript and DHTML. They're not just writing Javascript by hand.

I don't recall remembering Javascript (1)

netglen (253539) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624611)

I don't recall remembering Javascript with my Lynx and the first Mosaic browsers. Funny that.

Wow... (1)

pdevor (603443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624618)

...never heard about AJAX before... ...seriouly, at this point, how is this newsworthy?

AJAX? How bout mozilla (1)

Bobbysmith007 (717813) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624619)

I would say that the popularity of Firefox and the fact that there is a good implementation of a javascript runtime which can serve as a reference from which to attack the shitty implementations(cough cough ... IE), that really made the difference. But hey we can blame it on a shitty acronym if you'ld prefer.

What AJAX is really about (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624620)

(For those who didn't bother RTFA)

Not having to refresh the frigging URL everytime you want to request some info from the server.

Think of it as "DHTML+minor server requests".

So, what car would you like to buy?
(select: Volkwagen)
(javascript then loads the currently available VW's from the server into a second combobox)

Ta-da!

Javascript's never really gone outta style (1)

Mr. Cancelled (572486) | more than 9 years ago | (#12624625)

I use Javascript for a lot of things, and I constantly hear things like "Wow! I didn't know you could do that kind of stuff with Javascript", which to me just goes to show how uninformed people are about the language.

Additionally, anyone in the know is aware that a lot of the cool things you can do within OSX are attainable via Javascript(JS). Want to write a cool new Sherlock plugin? Use JS. Want to write a cool new widget for Tiger? Use JS.

As the trolls have already started pointing, Javascript is not Java. And who would want it that way? Not to feed the trolls, but to me JS is a great way to quickly get something done. Java on the other hand requires a lot more code to do the same types of things - Simple things that is. Java can scale better, and do things that Javascript cannot, but to me they're for two different types of applications. Plus, there's a helluva lot more overhead to Java to learn than there is for JS, and while those skills might come in handy, if I don't have to learn it, I'm not going to. Java's never been an overly "friendly" language to me. PHP on the other hand is, and it's an ideal backend for use with todays subject: Ajax!

But I digress... I was writing my own "Ajax" code until I came across this [modernmethod.com] , which has allowed me to focus on my backend (typically PHP for me), and my front-end (The JS), and not have to worry about all the middleware that's making my dynamic app tick. I highly reccomend checking it out.

Also, it's worth noting that althogh Ajax is intended mainly for small bits of data to be sent back and forth, it does scale fairly well. I built an Ajax based random image slideshow, which has a PHP backend feeding the images to the browser one at a time, and it works great with multiple users!

Long story short, if you like the concept of Flash, but hate the overhead, and/or the spam/ad crap that Flash has given birth to, you should really check out the Ajax technologies... You can do a lot of the same types of things with Ajax as you can with Flash, but with the overhead of Flash, and without requiring that your users install Flash, and/or use a Flash-enabled browser. Not that everyone on /. doesn't just love their flash, of course. 8)
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