AJAX: Not Just for Maps and Email Anymore

Album Cover: Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace

"Time will turn us into statues, eventually."
Foo Fighters / Statues

Posted on September 17, 2005 1:50 AM in Web Development
Warning: This blog entry was written two or more years ago. Therefore, it may contain broken links, out-dated or misleading content, or information that is just plain wrong. Please read on with caution.

While the talkers are out there talking (about things like thick and thin clients), the doers are out there doing.

Meebo and Writely are just two of the latest AJAX apps to storm the web (as apparent at del.icio.us).

At this point it's hard to deny that AJAX provides an excellent method for emulating a traditional desktop application in a web browser. It allows web developers to do things that only "hard core" programmers could do in the past. A few years ago if someone asked me to create a web application to compete with the likes of Trillian I would have politely laughed in their face. Then I probably would have sat around thinking about how cool it would be if you actually could. Well, the time has come.

The one thing that scares me about AJAX is the same thing that scares me about blogging and the latest wave of social software – longevity. Sure, I'll admit that certain aspects like tagging aren't going anywhere for quite a while, but with the sheer number of people blogging, I can't help but feel like the overall novelty of it will at some point wash away. As bandwidth becomes more and more transparent, I don't see any reason why people would continue to write their thoughts when they can speak them and share them in a aural or visual fashion. At that point the Internet becomes something like a seemingly endless channel lineup with everyone running their own personal radio or TV show (or both). Isn't TV bad enough already? :)

I can't help but wonder how long AJAX will remain in the spotlight when so much effort is being put into making web-related applications easier to create with things like XUL and XAML. Then you throw in something like Sparkle for the not-so-technical crowd and you can begin to comprehend how "development" on the web is evolving.

I guess the fundamental pillars of web and application development will always be there. Until the power grid goes down of course, but that is a fatalist theory for another time. There will continue to be smart people doing smart things in smart new ways. I guess that is what makes the web so exciting. I just wish I had some conception of the things we will see over the coming years.


No one has added any comments.

Post Comments

If you feel like commenting on the above item, use the form below. Your email address will be used for personal contact reasons only, and will not be shown on this website.


Email Address:



Check this box if you hate spam.