Ajax – the dancing dog of software development


Ajax is the dancing dog of software development. Creating platform-independent, highly interactive, installation-free applications is a noble aim, and Ajax is a very clever solution, but it is not a solid foundation for the applications of the future.

Writing thousands of lines of Javascript, running as an interpreted language inside incompatible web browsers, communicating with web servers using slow and verbose data streams via stateless protocols designed for text-based hypertext systems is an absurd solution to the problem.

Abstractions will be developed to eliminate some of the pain. Frameworks such as Atlas will help ASP.NET programmers, and the Google Web Toolkit will help people using Java. But the underlying foundations will still be on sand.

Ajax might be the only – and a very clever – solution to the problem given current constraints, but rather than trying to create more and more hacks to overcome the constraints, shouldn’t we be removing the constraints?

There’s a lot of hype about Web 2.0 at the moment. Currently, it’s just a meaningless label stuck on a meaningless bubble of technology and marketing hype. Why not make it a real Web 2.0, rather than just a pointless naming exercise? Bin HTTP, HTML, XML, the web browser, and Javascript. Web 1.0 was a prototype. Throw it away and let’s do the next version properly.

4 responses to “Ajax – the dancing dog of software development”

  1. Santiago says:

    What do you think of Flash/Flex? That seems to have take the web as the single-use widget language choice.

  2. Ron Hudson says:

    Thank you Neal for starting this topic that I am very-interested in as a SQL/web architect. I look forward to reading yours and others’ thoughts on this and related subjects.

  3. Ron Hudson says:

    I am an experienced .NET developer, but I had the opportunity to spend some time exploring Flex last year. Personally, I think it’s largely the same as Visual Studio .NET. I think that most would agree Flex is Adobe’s challenge to Microsofts VS.NET products.
    Perhaps the next few years of “rich” web development will be Microsoft Silverlight/VStudio vs. Adobe Flash/Flex. Just as people say that Microsoft copied Windows from Apple and Java with .NET, people say that they are now copying Flash with Silverlight.
    To see the kinds of web sites people build with Flash/Flex, visit http://www.sirius.com . Right-click anywhere on the page and you will see that it’s 100% Flash. This is how “Silverlight” web apps might work in the future when developed using Visual Studio. This is what I’m expecting my future to be about as a .NET web developer.

  4. I agree that Ajax has changed the look of the new websites!! However I think from the end users point of view that they will go where they will be comfortable with using the product.
    It’s the user’s choice to use Flash or silverlight.
    We have used Flash and ajax in our website – http://www.cygnet-infotech.com