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Why Microsoft and Google are Cleaning Up With AJAX

CmdrTaco posted more than 8 years ago | from the i-remember-when-center-was-cutting-edge-web dept.

Java 443

OSS_ilation writes "Google uses it, and Microsoft is pursuing it, so there's a lot of hype and hubbub surrounding AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). AJAX brings together some hot properties, JavaScript, HTML/DHTML and HTML, according to Julie Hanna Farris, founder of Scalix, a Linux-based, e-mail systems vendor. Scalix is using AJAX in Scalix Web Access (SWA), a Web-delivered, e-mail application. AJAX enables advanced features like drag 'n drop, dropdown menus and faster performance capabilities, which are now making their way into Web applications, she said. These kinds of capabilities represent a significant leap in the advancement of Web apps."

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443 comments

Where? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002024)

Where are some good web sites about AJAX?

Re:Where? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002081)

The standard site about AJAX is here [tinyurl.com] .

Not much more needs to be said about this "new" crap-technology.

HTTP-standard? Compatibility? Fuck, I'm a clueless webwhore, I don't need your to understand how it works, I just write purrrdy Javascript that is all new and cool and such!

He's dead, Jim. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002244)

"My gawd, Jim! This is the worst case of gender identity confusion that we've ever seen. You! What planet is this!"

(the man drops the milk bottle and it crashes on the ground)

Re:Where? (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002259)

Guys, this is pretty funny. It's a pimpkin carved something like the gotase guy. Weird, but reasonably work-safe.

Here's the best one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002313)

http://www.yafla.com/dforbes/categories/softwareDe velopment/2005/10/21.html [yafla.com]

This term (AJAX) is really starting to piss me off. Oh, but look, some random shitty web app vendor gets to pimp their product and imagine that it's doing something novel.

Ditch Javascript (1, Interesting)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002027)

Now if we can just keep AJAX and ditch Javascript.

Re:Ditch Javascript (4, Insightful)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002064)

So we should ditch Javascript, but keep Asynchronous Javascript And XML? Isn't that like dumping gas-powered engines but keeping gas-powered cars?

Re:Ditch Javascript (3, Insightful)

hal2814 (725639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002134)

Exactly. We need a better engine.

Re:Ditch Javascript (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002327)

What you mean is that we need a better client side script. But I disagree. Javascript performs the duties of AJAX wonderfully. Especially with the new Visual Studio tools, create AJAX enabled web systems is a brease.

-Rick

AAX??? (2, Insightful)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002075)

Asynchronous And XML?

With out Javascript AJAX doesn't work.

-Rick

Re:AAX??? (3, Informative)

wealthychef (584778) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002255)

I think the grandparent was saying that it would be nice to replace the J in AJAX with something else. But I am not sure what they meant and should let them speak for themselves. :-)

Re:AAX??? (2, Interesting)

chris_mahan (256577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002287)

Whatever happened to embedding python in firefox. That would be bitching: APAX

Re:Ditch Javascript (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002088)

whats so bad about java? the internet would be no where near where it is today with out java. check my site [therightcoast.net] so im not so anonymous...

Re:Ditch Javascript (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002125)

...

Java != Javascript

Re:Ditch Javascript (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002159)

This guy is really whoring up his site today, isn't he?

A better web page scripting language? (5, Insightful)

ThinkingInBinary (899485) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002158)

I'm not sure if your comment was intended as a pointed jab at the buzzword status of AJAX or a serious suggestion that JavaScript is crappy, but I'm assuming the second.

There are some things about JavaScript that are really annoying. First, the object orientation seems very odd. It is well-rooted in the language, but it is quite annoying not to have real object namespaces (yes, you can use closures, but they're annoying and kludgy), real constructors, and that sort of stuff. It's almost as bad as Perl's hash + namespace = object idea, and worse in some ways.

What I'd like, I guess, is a language that is very similar to JavaScript, but has a real object-oriented system and better support for things like loading code dynamically. It's clear that JavaScript or some future variant of it is finally being used the right way--to make pages dynamic instead of just annoying--but right now it's very cumbersome. Loading Gmail, for example, is quite slow, because it (IIRC) downloads a huge chunk of code at the beginning. Perhaps someone (maybe me) could write a wrapper system in JavaScript that uses XmlHttpRequest to load JavaScript code on demand. But some sort of modular functionality ought to be officially added to JavaScript, before it's too late and we end up with the next "___ Wars"... this time it will be the fight between JavaScript frameworks.

Re:A better web page scripting language? (1)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002274)

What I'd like, I guess, is a language that is very similar to JavaScript, but has a real object-oriented system and better support for things like loading code dynamically.
Perhaps they'll invent it someday. Like in 1991 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:A better web page scripting language? (2, Interesting)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002328)

JavaScript is object-oriented. You only call it "odd" because it's not the usual C++/Java/whatever object orientation you are used to, it's prototype-based like Self [wikipedia.org] , not class-based. That's no less of a "real" object-oriented language.

Loading Gmail, for example, is quite slow, because it (IIRC) downloads a huge chunk of code at the beginning.

Don't blame JavaScript for the shortcomings of GMail, it's simple to dynamically load JavaScript on demand. There's a lot of really screwed up stuff about the way Google use Javascript, don't use them as examples of best practice. If Google are incapable of doing something, that means Google are incapable, not that the language is incapable.

"Google uses it, and Microsoft is pursuing it"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002028)

More like, "Google uses it, and Microsoft invented it".

Yet another "summary" lifted directly... (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002034)

From TFA: "AJAX brings together some hot properties, Javascript, HTML/DHTML and HTML"

So it has DHTML/HTML and HTML? Wow, three HTMLs! Buzzwords ho!

Re:Yet another "summary" lifted directly... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002097)

Next thing you know, it will even bring together XHTML!!! Maybe even HTML/XHTML if we're lucky!

Re:Yet another "summary" lifted directly... (1)

Elwood P Dowd (16933) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002225)

Not to mention HTML.

Re:Yet another "summary" lifted directly... (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002099)

she also mentioned the word Paradigm.. don't for get that one..

Re:Yet another "summary" lifted directly... (2, Insightful)

RobertF (892444) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002329)

Not only that, but apparently, only Ajax creates Drag'n'Drop and drop down menus. You learn something new everyday! Here I thought that it was Javascript and CSS that did that.

The sad part of throwing buzzwords around is that people latch on to them and have no idea what they entail. "I want to use some ajax for my website. Do it." ??? Somebody just realized that they can use the XmlHttpRequest object and some server-side processing to save users from the need to refresh or load a whole new page. The rest of the visual goodies have nothing to do with Ajax, just some good old Javascript+CSS.

Sorry Microsoft (1)

hunterx11 (778171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002037)

It seems that ActiveX is being widely adopted for web apps only insofar as it is used in IE for the XmlHttpRequest.

What is ? (0, Troll)

jkind (922585) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002038)

What is the .NET alternative to this? Why is it tied to Javascript??

Re:What is ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002096)

The .Net alternative is ASP.NET 2.0. You can get free for life versions of the new Visual Studio, one called something like Web Developer. These new versions rock to an insane degree.

Re:What is ? (2, Informative)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002106)

The .Net alternative IS AJAX. VS.Net 2k5 has AJAX components built in. It takes a mater of seconds to get AJAX running in 2k5. There are also plug ins available for VS 2k2/2k3 to run AJAX.

-Rick

Re:What is ? (1)

frostfreek (647009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002193)

Don't you mean ATLAS?

Re:What is ? (3, Informative)

imidan (559239) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002115)

The .NET alternative, which comes as a part of .NET 2.0/Visual Studio 2005, is Atlas.

Here's an overview. [asp.net]

Re:What is ? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002140)

" What is the .NET alternative to this? Why is it tied to Javascript??"
I believe that it is called jscript.net
And why is it tied to JavaScript?
1. It runs client side.
2. As far as I know their isn't a .NET for Mac, Linux, Palm OS, Symbian, or Solaris.
3. Why not? JavaScript is used just about everywhere.

Re:What is ? (1)

ad0le (684017) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002248)

Actually, there is. http://www.mono-project.com [mono-project.com]

Re:What is ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002285)

What a dumbfuck.

Let me guess you still use IE?

real reason why (3, Insightful)

scenestar (828656) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002044)

Farris: Microsoft is probably interested in AJAX for the same reasons everyone is interested in AJAX: the ability to deliver desktop quality applications through the Web.

and charge "subscription fees" for it too.

Come on (0)

KingOfGod (884633) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002045)

Three minutes have passed, and no replies?
I guess the hype about AJAX isnt big as we all previously believed...

Hype, Hype, Hype (4, Interesting)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002048)

Man, are they ever hyping this stuff. This story doesn't seem to actually cover anything new, it just hypes AJAX more!

The truth is that the stuff we've seen in AJAX so far is nothing. I don't know about anyone else, but I've used it in regular webapps as nothing more than an interface enhancement. People don't even really notice the fact that the web pages work much smoother.

That being said, there's a massive untapped potential in this technology. I've got demos of Video Games in AJAX, as well as a full Desktop. I tried to get Google interested in the video games concept, but I'm afraid they ignored my communication. :-(

Re:Hype, Hype, Hype (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002109)

nothing more than an interface enhancement
You say that like it doesn't matter. Interface enhancements brought computing to the masses and brought prices down for all of us.

Re:Hype, Hype, Hype (4, Insightful)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002185)

It certainly matters. However, it doesn't matter quite as much as the hype suggests. AJAX is a very valuable technology, but the only reason why it's catching on now is that we've finally rid the web of early browsers like Netscape 4. Now that everyone has full JavaScript and DOM, we can finally build complex interfaces. XMLHttpRequest is just icing on the cake. (Hidden IFrames did the job just fine in the past, and are still more useful for some interfaces.)

Re:Hype, Hype, Hype (1)

electroniceric (468976) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002262)

Yeah, the mags really are making a mountain out of a molehill here. And there's really very little here that couldn't have been done 3-5 years ago - browsers had the same javascript support, SOAP existed, and people knew you could make a request from within Javascript.

Am I missing something? I've always thought that was part of why people didn't do this before - amount of coding needed to implement a simple app is vastly more than with something like .NET or QT. Is that not true? Are there AJAX development kits, or do you have to build the javascript (and corresponding web services) for every little behavior by hand? And what about the problems of implementing cross-browser Java-script? Has that been simplified?

Thing is... i don't care (2, Funny)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002282)

As a web user I don't give a shit what the application is made of as long as it works and doesn't open me up to all the security nightmares of the day.

Do I care that I can get a full desktop application on the web? I don't because I already have one and free too. Video games? Nope, got'em and they're better too.

Do something I don't have. If it can get me laid all the better.
 

Funny thing is... (5, Interesting)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002049)

Microsoft basically invented AJAX, yet they're the ones behind the curve.

Microsoft invented the XmlHttpRequest functionality, AND they've been using AJAX (before that's what it was called) in Outlook Web Access (OWA) for years. Nobody else in the company seemed to have caught on to it though.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002133)

Other then building a super simple implimentation of it in VS 2k5 and plug-ins for earlier versions of .Net -Rick

Re:Funny thing is... (4, Funny)

LaughingCoder (914424) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002201)

I think that you are not allowed to say "Microsoft" and "invented" in the same sentence around these parts. The approved verbs are: copied, stole, lifted, ripped off, mangled, swiped, embraced-and-extended

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002203)

Yea but have you seen the licensing cost of OWA?? outragious.

Re:Funny thing is... (4, Insightful)

ChrisGilliard (913445) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002279)

Well, the truth is AJAX is not in Microsoft's best interest. The internet in general is bad for Microsoft. They were way into interactive TV and stuff. They really would prefer that they be the gateway to the web and that you pay $$$ to them to be able to get the content as well as selling their OS. AJAX makes windows less relevant because you can run apps on firefox on any platform. So, I can understand why they wouldn't use much of it. However, as always denying a good technology is a mistake. You can see this as a form of protectionism that backfired on them.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

caluml (551744) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002290)

Does OWA use AJAX? I've only ever noticed it using standard HTML and Javascript - web-pages, and pop-ups.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002326)

It's IE only, so if you were using FF it's standard "refesh and pray" approach. They've had it since exchange 2000, and the 2003 version is QUITE sophisticated.

Re:Funny thing is... (3, Insightful)

nick_davison (217681) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002321)

Microsoft invented the XmlHttpRequest functionality

Which comes as quite a surprise to everyone that's been doing the following since the mid 90s.

Create a frame driven page with one main frame and one tiny frame.
Whenever you want to perform an asynchronous action:
    Load a page in to the small frame.
    Have that page call an onload event that accesses a function in large frame.

All "AJAX" (which is just a dressing up of what was already there) does is use the request object which is just a cleaner way of what people have been doing for about ten years anyway.

There were also tricks for doing it with Java. But Microsoft had to supply an alternate mechanism because someone took Java out of the dominant web browser for a while. Can't think who might have done that though.

Re:Funny thing is... (1)

killjoe (766577) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002337)

OWA looks and works like ass in firefox though. It's IE only for all practical purposes.

Of course this makes sense as the primary purpose of exchange is to lock people into windows both on the server and client.

fuck (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002053)

i fail the first post, but i win the dick measuring contest with taaco

Microsoft pursuing it??? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002055)

Microsoft was using Ajax before anyone ever even heard of google. Outlook web interface anyone? Cmon, at least be semi-accurate.

Mod parent up (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002147)

This was even mentioned in a Slashdot story (yesterday I think) about a memo or something from a MS employee.

One thing is for certain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002059)

Their interfaces will be really clean.

There's something very familiar about all this (3, Interesting)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002060)

Sounds familiar, could have sworn I read something about this here the other day.

Anyway. Let's not fill this page up with 'Dupe' complaints. Macromedia are probably gonna have to re-think things (in the new Adobe environment, of course) since they were convinced that Flash would be the vehicle of choice in developing what they call Rich Web Applications. They'll now have to sell it on the basis that you can get a hell of a lot of functionality out of very few lines of Flex code.

It's gonna be interesting.

Well, duh (3, Insightful)

Psionicist (561330) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002063)

I don't mind dupes. I don't really think about spelling- or grammatical errors (queue jokes because I'm not careful here). But do we, readers of slashdot, really need to be lectured what AJAX is?

Google uses it, and Microsoft is pursuing it, so there's a lot of hype and hubbub surrounding AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML). AJAX brings together some hot properties, Javascript, HTML/DHTML and HTML, according to Julie Hanna Farris, founder of Scalix, a Linux-based, e-mail systems vendor

What's next, summary teaching us what programming languages or computer is?

Bah, this is slightly annoying.

Re:Well, duh (1)

richdun (672214) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002175)

Eh, I just wish people had the sense to actually write a "summary" - this whole thing was copy and pasted directly from the story.

Re:Well, duh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002268)

Yeah... and this is the key:
brings together some hot properties, Javascript, HTML/DHTML and HTML
... good to see that I can finally use javascript, HTML, and HTML together.

Re:Well, duh (1)

lobsterGun (415085) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002277)

Are you actually complaining that there is too much info in the Slashblurb?

To summarize (copy & paste that is) (1)

Fhqwhgadss (905393) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002303)

A computer [wikipedia.org] is:

... a device or machine for processing information from data according to a program -- a compiled list of instruction.

vs2005 (1)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002070)

I noticed at the technet launch for vs2005 (the local one they did in my area on tuesday) that a lot of the new components in the web development toolbox use ajax. It was pretty slick I must admit. Drag and drop them on a form and use them.
 
I've never used visual studio for web stuff, and I don't know if it can be used to do stuff like that without getting tied into asp or whatever, but it was impressive what they can do with it.

So what you're saying is... (2, Insightful)

Wannabe Code Monkey (638617) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002076)

AJAX brings together some hot properties, Javascript, HTML/DHTML and HTML

So what you're trying to say is "AJAX brings together Javascript."

Who approved that post? (1, Offtopic)

squisher (212661) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002090)

Oh my! Read the headline: Goole and Microsoft.

Read the rest. Oh well, some other, insignificat company that is advertising on slashdot! Great!

Can someone PLEASE not approve these stories? Story about a nice AJAX webmail - great and interesting. Using completely out of context comparisons to M$ and Google - wrong advertisement.

Just my 2 cent...

Google is using it, MS is persuing? (0, Redundant)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002100)

It didn't get any publicity at all, but most of the reason that IE has, and has had a while, the active X control to do XMLHTTP is because Outlook Web Access has used "ajax" since Exchange 2000.

MS has been using AJAX for YEARS before the term was even invented!

Now, they didn't use it in a cross platform way, but they did it using the same standard IE control that every other AJAX implementation uses and not some whacked out special outlook AX control.

Admittedly in mozilla/firefox it was crap, using the old "refresh" methodology.

What my dog hears (5, Funny)

hillg3 (656728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002101)

Anyone remember the old Gary Larson cartoon? Man talking to dog, bubble above dogs head captioned, "what dogs hear."

"blah blah blah AJAX, blah blah blahblah AJAX!!1!. blahblahblah Google blah AJAX, blah Microsoft sux."

Re:What my dog hears (3, Informative)

hillg3 (656728) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002142)

Yes! I found it! What dogs hear [codinghorror.com]

Web 3.0 (1, Interesting)

trollable (928694) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002104)

AJAX is so 2005, we should use new technologies.

Advanced features like drag 'n drop, dropdown menus and faster performance capabilities

A very nice offer. Really. Something fresh and new: DnD and Menus. 1984?

a significant leap

21 years back. Honestly I don't like it, AJAX is not good for the users, not good for the developpers. All of that could be replaced by Java or any similar tech. With much better results. Let's switch to the Web 3.0 directly.

Platform independent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002117)

For the non techs among us, is AJAX platform independent? Outlook web access doesn't work very well on, say, a Mac.

Does anyone remember... (1)

Xarius (691264) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002120)

...when it was called DHTML?

Re:Does anyone remember... (1)

leather_helmet (887398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002209)

heh - agreed, a colleague of mine made a similar comment when we were talking about it yesterday

Re:Does anyone remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002222)

Yeah - it was so broken across different browsers that it was unusable. Now the browsers have stabilized a bit, and it's been renamed so everyone will take another look.

Looks like a press release to me. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002121)

When did slashdot become a press release center?

Wait, it's all a matter of time (2, Insightful)

rawwa.venoise (881755) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002129)

Just wait until microsoft defines is "standard" AJAX interface.

What i would like to see is the US goverment and other countries to force them to adopt clean, industry defined standards like the XML, HTML,CSS, AJAX and not an assimilated badly digest crappy way of doing things that breaks the WEB. They should be more humble since the WEB has given a good chance for all companies to develop and sell new products, and microsoft is no exception here, aldo they have wakeup lately to this.

Re:Wait, it's all a matter of time (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002163)

you did realize that xmlhttprequest (ajax) is something that came from IE, and was adopted by mozilla, right?

Microsoft *has been* pursuing it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002150)

Google uses it, and Microsoft is pursuing it

Please! Microsoft has been using AJAX. Microsoft pioneered AJAX with Outlook Web Access. Microsoft is continuing developing with AJAX (Hotmail) and is working on a development platform (Atlas). The fact that then name AJAX was coined only recently doesn't change the fact that the technology has been around for years.

The Big Question (3, Insightful)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002165)


Who will be the first to try and patent something "using AJAX..."?

Incoming data (5, Interesting)

n0dalus (807994) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002172)

I think that if AJAX picks up and starts to be used everywhere, we should standardize a system so that optionaly, a web browser can inform the server that it has the option to connect to it using an open port on that system. It would really help things if the browser didn't need to connect to the server every few minutes to check for new data. That way, instead of my browser connecting to Gmail's servers every 60 seconds to check for new mail, Gmail's servers can connect to my browser and tell me only when I have new email. This saves processing and bandwidth and increases usability.
This turns AJAX into more of an actual internet protocol, and I think it would really improve things.

*rolls eyes* (1)

6Yankee (597075) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002178)

Java icon? WTF?

Gates & Ozzie (MS CTO)... (1)

leather_helmet (887398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002181)

..were rambling about this in an email which was leaked a few days ago

MS basically invented AJAX (methinks) and have not yet take full advantage of the technology. It is rather funny how they are both lauding AJAX only after Google has fully utilized it and made it 'cool'...

Slashvertisement (1)

jone_stone (124040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002202)

Another in a proud tradition of advertisements masqerading as Slashdot stories....

From the article: (1)

brett77 (808513) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002206)

"Google Gmail and Google Maps are good examples of a very simple use of AJAX."

I would go out on a limb here and say that neither of these applications could be considered "simple" within any stretch of the word.

Who is this lady anyway?

Why? It's obvious! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002212)

Why are Microsoft and Google cleaning up with AJAX?

Because it's stonger than dirt.

How is this any different from Java Applets? (4, Insightful)

thekel (909848) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002215)

Browsers could spend alot less effort kludging together DHTML and javascript and ride for free off of the JVM. I understand the JVM is a separate download, but browsers can include it as part of their install. I don't see why were a celebrating the creation of such a kludge with random inconsistencies across browsers and platforms that are far worse then what you find when targeting the JVM.

Re:How is this any different from Java Applets? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002333)

You're right - and what "browsers" are those? Presumably IE and Firefox for the most part, which is why MS dropped built in support for Java from IE - to kill it. Now you can go ahead and write your Java applet, but less than 10% of users will have a browser that supports it.
 
Thank you MS - now that they've beaten up Java a bit, they can copy it from top to bottom in the most blatant ripoff in software history, rename it .NET, and use their OS and browser monopoly to shove it down everyone's throat.

Article had no substance. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002219)

Sounds like SearchOpenSource.com was having a slow day and decide to do some random interview w/ Julie Hanna Farris, who appears to be simply excited for been interviewed.

drag 'n drop (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002223)

drag 'n drop

I can't recall, in almost 10 years of using browsers, ever comming across a website which used 'Drag and Drop' Other than as a Toy, have there been any?

Re:drag 'n drop (1)

limabone (174795) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002258)

Yes, my former company used drag and drop to let users design office interiors (cubicles, racks, shelves, etc) before ordering online. It was very useful!

Re:drag 'n drop (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002304)

Yes, my former company used drag and drop to let users design office interiors (cubicles, racks, shelves, etc) before ordering online. It was very useful!

Sounds like something we used to use from Herman Miller, but in that case it was an actual application. This would probably be better accomplished in something like Flash.

Re:drag 'n drop (1)

Speedbrusher (919261) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002331)

You're obviously forgetting all the phishing websites, using Drag&Drop exploits in MSIE ;)

Sad that AJAX is the only way (2, Interesting)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002229)

What is it with this EVERYTHING on the Internet is a webpage. The browser is the only client these days outside IM and P2P warez trading for 95% of users. And even though Javascript was never intended for 'real' programming it is the only language all browsers implement so it is what everyone is forced to use. It wasn't supposed to be this way and it doesn't have to BE this way.

If nothing else, if we want to download clients and run them in the browser, having them talk to a backend server for the data, why not get a more appropriate language? Java would be perfect if Sun weren't a bunch of asshats, but just because it won't ever be truly Free or cross platform is no reason to reject other candidates. Tcl/Tk has had a fully sandboxed browser plugin for a decade and it is 100% Free Software. It runs on every known platform where IE or Mozilla runs and could be ported anywhere else needed. I'm sure it isn't the only one. Or do we continue shoehorning everything into html?

AJAX: Almost Just like an Application! (5, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002233)

AJAX is great. It means that web deployed applications are now almost as good as the regular applications we've been using for over 10 years! Just imagine: We can enhance Javascript to support more OO features and reflection and add JIT and it will become just like Java! Yaaay! Then we can add support for stronger typing and compiling to native code, and then it will be just like C! Yaay!

It is funny to watch technology reinvent itself in fast-forward.

I work for a company that did AJAX long before it was called AJAX. And now that it is the next hot thing they are moving away from it. Why? Because they already learned the lesson that everyone else is about to figure out: AJAX is a b*stard to code and maintain. It is easier to write a client-server application in a traditional language and web deploy it than to write this crazy JavaScript + XML + HTML + DHTML + CSS stuff.

Java and .NET natively support this. For other languages there are plenty of frameworks that will add that capability.

Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002235)

I am tired of these idiots knowing nothing about asynchronous javascript or its history, and still pretending to write "insightful" articles. There is so much f'ing garbage these days.

AJAX = Suckjax (2, Insightful)

autopr0n (534291) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002241)

I just don't get the hype. What can you do with an AJAX interface that you can't do better with a native client application?

Sure, browsers work on every platform, and AJAX apps don't need a download, that's great. But the same thing could be done with java if everyone had a JVM, or anything else.

AJAXs means reinventing the GUI, only with a more difficult to use, hacked together API

Re:AJAX = Suckjax (1)

psykocrime (61037) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002299)

Sure, browsers work on every platform, and AJAX apps don't need a download, that's great. But the same thing could be done with java if everyone had a JVM, or anything else.

You could do the same stuff with XUL also, if everybody ran a Mozilla based browser, or if XUL became a standard and other vendors started supporting it...

Be Careful (2, Informative)

dmh20002 (637819) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002252)

If you are typing on a web page that uses XMLHTTPRequest, then you should treat it as if you were running a live program remotely. I.E. the web page could forward information about everything you type, how you move your mouse, etc, without an explicit 'submit'. Example : it if were an email app, and you typed 'my boss is a dick and my SSN is 555-55-5555' in an edit control, and then thought better of it and erased what you typed and killed the browser window without submitting, the contents could already have been captured and forwarded to the host with XMLHTTPRequest and you never knew it. Looks like a good cross site scripting opportunity.

Of course, you usually don't know if a page is using XMLHTTPRequest in a hidden frame unless you look really hard, so I guess the bottom line is never type anything on a web page you don't want the world to see. On the other hand, AFAIK (which doesn't mean much) this hasn't shown up in practice, so maybe it isn't that big a deal.

AJAX has accessibility problems. (1)

BrianH (13460) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002257)

Many of us do web development in environments that REQUIRE accessibility and nonvisual functionality. Most major corporations and media sites, all government sites, and most non-profits require that their web properties be open and functional for all of the webs users. Unlike traditional websites...or even traditional applications...AJAX webapps are typically unusuable for anyone with any kind of disability that requires assistive software. Even worse, there appears to be very little interest among the major players in correcting these problems despite the fact that a rapidly increasing number of websites are making use of AJAX.

AJAX has potential, but it isn't mature enough to be used on mass market websites that provide essential services or information that is intended for a global audience. Microsoft knows this, which is why their AJAX apps typically have a non-AJAX clone that can be used instead. Google, OTOH, simply slams the door on noncompatible users. Neither model is particularly efficient or acceptable for most companies.

Cleaning up with Ajax (1)

88NoSoup4U88 (721233) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002271)

Wasn't Ajax [ajax-schoonmaak.nl] meant for cleaning up anyways ?

Web Apps are still a ways from 'usable'. (1)

frostfreek (647009) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002289)

A significant advancement ... in Web Applications.

Thank God, because most web apps are atrocious.
  • slow
  • unreliable
  • Can't or don't take advantage of UI elements available on the desktop
  • Did I mention, slow Slow SLOW!

Google maps shows that an interface can be fast.
We are still missing 'reliable', and 'more UI elements'.

On an aside, XUL brings more UI elements to the (moz) browser. BUT, have you tried to program the treeview? Crap, it takes me back to the horrid GTK1.0 treeview which was implemented on a listview. I pretty much had to give up on XUL for my current project.

Why writes this crap? (1)

dex.pdx (923011) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002316)

Ooh it's AJAX, OMG it's going to change the world!!! Is it just me or did this post feel like an advertisement for a bunch of organizations that like to sell simple things packaged in a fancy wrapper?

From the department of redundancy department: (1)

ThaFooz (900535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14002317)

AJAX brings together some hot properties, Javascript, HTML/DHTML and HTML, according to Julie Hanna Farris

Translation: Asynchronous Javascript and (x)(ht)ml bring together some hot properties: Javascript, HTML and HTML with Javascript, and HTML, according to Julie Hanna Farris.

AJAX why google will win, MS fail (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14002324)

Remember when Java came out? Well the Wordperfect suite was rewritten in Java to be cross-platform blah blah blah. So much for Wordperfect.

Considering the huge rise in personal storage space and computing power in smaller and smaller packages, re-writing things like office suites so they run on the web (instead of in your own hand) is a retarded waste of time. The real benefit of AJAX will be some intelligent use of it for some new, exciting purpose that does not make sense on one's own laptop, pocketpc, etc. One of those would be to access databases too huge for local storage (hm, google anyone? archived mailing lists?) or things that change rapidly and are large (weather maps?) or things that need to be accessed rapidly from different locations by multiple people at different times using powerful equipment... you get the idea.

as for MS Office and Outlook... HA! Suites will be a commodity that come on USB keys as a value-add the way photo editing software comes with cameras and scanners and firewire cards, etc.
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