RIAs, and Ajax, make the WSJ

14 Mar 2005 - 1:27pm
9 years ago
5 replies
852 reads
Peter Merholz
2004

<http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB111075227698078072-
IFjgYNglah4oZymZ4GHcaiGm4,00.html>

--peter

Comments

15 Mar 2005 - 4:09am
Mike Baxter
2004

Hi Peter

Couldn't get your WSJ link to work but am interested in current thinking on
RIAs and Ajax - can you give any more details or a flavour of the article.

Cheers

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From:
discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.com
[mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigners.
com]On Behalf Of Peter Merholz
Sent: 14 March 2005 18:28
To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
Subject: [ID Discuss] RIAs, and Ajax, make the WSJ

[Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]

<http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB111075227698078072-
IFjgYNglah4oZymZ4GHcaiGm4,00.html>

--peter

_______________________________________________
Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
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15 Mar 2005 - 7:19am
Kevin Cheng
2004

:: Hi Peter
::
:: Couldn't get your WSJ link to work but am interested in current
:: thinking on
:: RIAs and Ajax - can you give any more details or a flavour of the
:: article.

Google Pioneers Use
Old Microsoft Tools
In New Web Programs
March 14, 2005; Page B1

Meet Ajax, the technology powerhouse. For years, it has been living
indolently on your computer, never really doing much of anything.

In the past few months, though, computer programmers, most notably
those at Google, have begun to wake up Ajax and put it to work. And as
a result, the computer industry may never be the same.

Ajax is a recently coined name for a dense mouthful of software
technologies that are built into Web browsers. The most important of
them are JavaScript, a computer-programming language; dynamic HTML,
which is a way of displaying information on a screen; and XMLHTTP, a
procedure a Web browser can use to very quickly get information from a
central server.

To see what they are capable of, go to maps.google.com1, zoom into a
location, click inside the map and then drag the image around. It's
Ajax that is moving the map for you, scrolling it much faster than
you're probably used to on the Web.

Browsers have been getting and displaying information since the Web
began. What's new is that Ajax lets them do so in a speedier way. In
the past, to change even a small part of a Web page required reloading
the entire page. But Ajax knows to fetch only the part of the screen
that needs changing -- like the edges of the Google map window as you
move around.

Because less information is being sent from the main server, things
move more quickly. That takes Ajax applications a big step toward the
Holy Grail of having the kinds of speed and responsiveness in
Web-based programs that's usually associated only with desktop
software, like Microsoft Office.

Sealing the Ajax deal for many programmers is the fact that everything
required for it is standard, generic software that isn't owned by any
company and that exists in every browser. It's as if someone
discovered how, just by doing a little welding in a car engine, you
could double the car's gasoline mileage.

The term Ajax was coined last month by Jesse James Garrett, of the San
Francisco Web consulting firm Adaptive Path. He came up with the
pseudo-acronym in the shower while searching for a shorthand way to
explain to clients how the recent offerings by Google can perform so
robustly.

Google, notes Mr. Garrett, isn't the first to use Ajax. Pieces can be
seen on Netflix, the film-rental site, and Flickr, a photo-sharing
site. But Google has done the most with it, betting the farm on Ajax
not only for Maps but also for its Gmail free e-mail service and
several other offerings. (Not all Google software uses Ajax; its
popular Toolbar, for example, doesn't.)

Google is also one of the most closely watched technology companies on
Earth, so now that it has shown that Ajax can result in powerful
applications used daily by millions of people, software programmers
everywhere are getting excited.

The winners here are anyone who wants to build a new generation of
Internet programs, especially Google, which hasn't been shy about
moving into areas previously connected with Microsoft.

Who loses? For one, Sun Microsystems, which has for years talked up
its Java programming language for precisely these sorts of jobs.
Instead of Java, Ajax-style programming uses JavaScript -- no relation
-- which is easier to work with and built free into every browser.

Another potential loser, of course, is Microsoft, which doesn't much
like the fact that its upstart rival Google is setting the agenda for
the world's computer programmers -- and in such an offhanded way at
that. (Google is way too cool for anything as gauche as news releases;
it usually just puts new programs on its Web site and waits for the
world to beat a path to its door. Much of the explication of Google's
innovative work was done by outside programmers like Jim Ley in London
and Philip Lindsay in New Zealand.)

There is a barn-sized irony in all this. Many of the Ajax technologies
were developed by Microsoft, back when it was fighting Sun over Java.
At the time, Microsoft was beefing up Internet Explorer to make it a
rival to Java. Now those tools exist everywhere, even in the hands of
Microsoft rivals.

The obvious question is how far programmers at Google or elsewhere can
go with Ajax. Specifically, can they build Ajax versions of Word or
Excel, thus threatening half of Microsoft's revenue? Of course,
schemes to take down Microsoft are as old as the hills. And Microsoft
has long argued that it has so many years of intense development in
Office that a newcomer couldn't easily duplicate the familiar Office
user experience, certainly not in a Web application, even a newfangled
one.

Maybe this time, though, the technology pieces for a successful
challenge are finally in place. Disk storage, for one, is now so cheap
that it would cost Google mere pennies to store all of the average
person's word-processing files.

Google, naturally, isn't saying what it will do next. And when you
talk to its programmers, like Paul Buchheit, the brains behind Gmail,
they say all they're doing is writing cool programs, the sort they
themselves enjoy using.

It's as though any discussion of the larger strategic uses of their
software would be somehow, well, unseemly. You can bet, though, that
Bill Gates wouldn't be so coy.

Kevin Cheng (KC)
OK/Cancel: Interface Your Fears
kc at ok-cancel.com
www.ok-cancel.com

--
No virus found in this outgoing message.
Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.7.2 - Release Date: 3/11/2005

15 Mar 2005 - 9:52am
Anjali Arora, NYU
2004

Here's a link to an essay on Ajax on the Adaptive Path website:
http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php

-Anjali
---------------------------------------------------------------------
Anjali Arora,
Interactive Telecommunications Program,
Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
aa917 at nyu.edu
http://www.artbrush.net/

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kevin Cheng" <jobs at ok-cancel.com>
To: "'Mike Baxter'" <mike at saleslogiq.com>; "'Peter Merholz'"
<peterme at peterme.com>; <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:19 AM
Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] RIAs, and Ajax, make the WSJ

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
material.]
>
> :: Hi Peter
> ::
> :: Couldn't get your WSJ link to work but am interested in current
> :: thinking on
> :: RIAs and Ajax - can you give any more details or a flavour of the
> :: article.
>
> Google Pioneers Use
> Old Microsoft Tools
> In New Web Programs
> March 14, 2005; Page B1
>
> Meet Ajax, the technology powerhouse. For years, it has been living
> indolently on your computer, never really doing much of anything.
>
> In the past few months, though, computer programmers, most notably
> those at Google, have begun to wake up Ajax and put it to work. And as
> a result, the computer industry may never be the same.
>
> Ajax is a recently coined name for a dense mouthful of software
> technologies that are built into Web browsers. The most important of
> them are JavaScript, a computer-programming language; dynamic HTML,
> which is a way of displaying information on a screen; and XMLHTTP, a
> procedure a Web browser can use to very quickly get information from a
> central server.
>
> To see what they are capable of, go to maps.google.com1, zoom into a
> location, click inside the map and then drag the image around. It's
> Ajax that is moving the map for you, scrolling it much faster than
> you're probably used to on the Web.
>
> Browsers have been getting and displaying information since the Web
> began. What's new is that Ajax lets them do so in a speedier way. In
> the past, to change even a small part of a Web page required reloading
> the entire page. But Ajax knows to fetch only the part of the screen
> that needs changing -- like the edges of the Google map window as you
> move around.
>
> Because less information is being sent from the main server, things
> move more quickly. That takes Ajax applications a big step toward the
> Holy Grail of having the kinds of speed and responsiveness in
> Web-based programs that's usually associated only with desktop
> software, like Microsoft Office.
>
> Sealing the Ajax deal for many programmers is the fact that everything
> required for it is standard, generic software that isn't owned by any
> company and that exists in every browser. It's as if someone
> discovered how, just by doing a little welding in a car engine, you
> could double the car's gasoline mileage.
>
> The term Ajax was coined last month by Jesse James Garrett, of the San
> Francisco Web consulting firm Adaptive Path. He came up with the
> pseudo-acronym in the shower while searching for a shorthand way to
> explain to clients how the recent offerings by Google can perform so
> robustly.
>
> Google, notes Mr. Garrett, isn't the first to use Ajax. Pieces can be
> seen on Netflix, the film-rental site, and Flickr, a photo-sharing
> site. But Google has done the most with it, betting the farm on Ajax
> not only for Maps but also for its Gmail free e-mail service and
> several other offerings. (Not all Google software uses Ajax; its
> popular Toolbar, for example, doesn't.)
>
> Google is also one of the most closely watched technology companies on
> Earth, so now that it has shown that Ajax can result in powerful
> applications used daily by millions of people, software programmers
> everywhere are getting excited.
>
> The winners here are anyone who wants to build a new generation of
> Internet programs, especially Google, which hasn't been shy about
> moving into areas previously connected with Microsoft.
>
> Who loses? For one, Sun Microsystems, which has for years talked up
> its Java programming language for precisely these sorts of jobs.
> Instead of Java, Ajax-style programming uses JavaScript -- no relation
> -- which is easier to work with and built free into every browser.
>
> Another potential loser, of course, is Microsoft, which doesn't much
> like the fact that its upstart rival Google is setting the agenda for
> the world's computer programmers -- and in such an offhanded way at
> that. (Google is way too cool for anything as gauche as news releases;
> it usually just puts new programs on its Web site and waits for the
> world to beat a path to its door. Much of the explication of Google's
> innovative work was done by outside programmers like Jim Ley in London
> and Philip Lindsay in New Zealand.)
>
> There is a barn-sized irony in all this. Many of the Ajax technologies
> were developed by Microsoft, back when it was fighting Sun over Java.
> At the time, Microsoft was beefing up Internet Explorer to make it a
> rival to Java. Now those tools exist everywhere, even in the hands of
> Microsoft rivals.
>
> The obvious question is how far programmers at Google or elsewhere can
> go with Ajax. Specifically, can they build Ajax versions of Word or
> Excel, thus threatening half of Microsoft's revenue? Of course,
> schemes to take down Microsoft are as old as the hills. And Microsoft
> has long argued that it has so many years of intense development in
> Office that a newcomer couldn't easily duplicate the familiar Office
> user experience, certainly not in a Web application, even a newfangled
> one.
>
> Maybe this time, though, the technology pieces for a successful
> challenge are finally in place. Disk storage, for one, is now so cheap
> that it would cost Google mere pennies to store all of the average
> person's word-processing files.
>
> Google, naturally, isn't saying what it will do next. And when you
> talk to its programmers, like Paul Buchheit, the brains behind Gmail,
> they say all they're doing is writing cool programs, the sort they
> themselves enjoy using.
>
> It's as though any discussion of the larger strategic uses of their
> software would be somehow, well, unseemly. You can bet, though, that
> Bill Gates wouldn't be so coy.
>
>
> Kevin Cheng (KC)
> OK/Cancel: Interface Your Fears
> kc at ok-cancel.com
> www.ok-cancel.com
>
> --
> No virus found in this outgoing message.
> Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
> Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.7.2 - Release Date: 3/11/2005
>
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/

24 Mar 2005 - 9:31am
Anastasia Fischer
2004

Is there any way to tell from source code in the HTML pages whether a site
is using Ajax?

Anastasia

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigner
> s.com
> [mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interaction
> designers.com]On Behalf Of Anjali Arora, NYU
> Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 9:53 AM
> To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
> Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] RIAs, and Ajax, make the WSJ
>
>
> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
>
> Here's a link to an essay on Ajax on the Adaptive Path website:
> http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php
>
> -Anjali
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
> Anjali Arora,
> Interactive Telecommunications Program,
> Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
> aa917 at nyu.edu
> http://www.artbrush.net/
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Kevin Cheng" <jobs at ok-cancel.com>
> To: "'Mike Baxter'" <mike at saleslogiq.com>; "'Peter Merholz'"
> <peterme at peterme.com>; <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
> Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:19 AM
> Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] RIAs, and Ajax, make the WSJ
>
>
> > [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
> material.]
> >
> > :: Hi Peter
> > ::
> > :: Couldn't get your WSJ link to work but am interested in current
> > :: thinking on
> > :: RIAs and Ajax - can you give any more details or a flavour of the
> > :: article.
> >
> > Google Pioneers Use
> > Old Microsoft Tools
> > In New Web Programs
> > March 14, 2005; Page B1
> >
> > Meet Ajax, the technology powerhouse. For years, it has been living
> > indolently on your computer, never really doing much of anything.
> >
> > In the past few months, though, computer programmers, most notably
> > those at Google, have begun to wake up Ajax and put it to work. And as
> > a result, the computer industry may never be the same.
> >
> > Ajax is a recently coined name for a dense mouthful of software
> > technologies that are built into Web browsers. The most important of
> > them are JavaScript, a computer-programming language; dynamic HTML,
> > which is a way of displaying information on a screen; and XMLHTTP, a
> > procedure a Web browser can use to very quickly get information from a
> > central server.
> >
> > To see what they are capable of, go to maps.google.com1, zoom into a
> > location, click inside the map and then drag the image around. It's
> > Ajax that is moving the map for you, scrolling it much faster than
> > you're probably used to on the Web.
> >
> > Browsers have been getting and displaying information since the Web
> > began. What's new is that Ajax lets them do so in a speedier way. In
> > the past, to change even a small part of a Web page required reloading
> > the entire page. But Ajax knows to fetch only the part of the screen
> > that needs changing -- like the edges of the Google map window as you
> > move around.
> >
> > Because less information is being sent from the main server, things
> > move more quickly. That takes Ajax applications a big step toward the
> > Holy Grail of having the kinds of speed and responsiveness in
> > Web-based programs that's usually associated only with desktop
> > software, like Microsoft Office.
> >
> > Sealing the Ajax deal for many programmers is the fact that everything
> > required for it is standard, generic software that isn't owned by any
> > company and that exists in every browser. It's as if someone
> > discovered how, just by doing a little welding in a car engine, you
> > could double the car's gasoline mileage.
> >
> > The term Ajax was coined last month by Jesse James Garrett, of the San
> > Francisco Web consulting firm Adaptive Path. He came up with the
> > pseudo-acronym in the shower while searching for a shorthand way to
> > explain to clients how the recent offerings by Google can perform so
> > robustly.
> >
> > Google, notes Mr. Garrett, isn't the first to use Ajax. Pieces can be
> > seen on Netflix, the film-rental site, and Flickr, a photo-sharing
> > site. But Google has done the most with it, betting the farm on Ajax
> > not only for Maps but also for its Gmail free e-mail service and
> > several other offerings. (Not all Google software uses Ajax; its
> > popular Toolbar, for example, doesn't.)
> >
> > Google is also one of the most closely watched technology companies on
> > Earth, so now that it has shown that Ajax can result in powerful
> > applications used daily by millions of people, software programmers
> > everywhere are getting excited.
> >
> > The winners here are anyone who wants to build a new generation of
> > Internet programs, especially Google, which hasn't been shy about
> > moving into areas previously connected with Microsoft.
> >
> > Who loses? For one, Sun Microsystems, which has for years talked up
> > its Java programming language for precisely these sorts of jobs.
> > Instead of Java, Ajax-style programming uses JavaScript -- no relation
> > -- which is easier to work with and built free into every browser.
> >
> > Another potential loser, of course, is Microsoft, which doesn't much
> > like the fact that its upstart rival Google is setting the agenda for
> > the world's computer programmers -- and in such an offhanded way at
> > that. (Google is way too cool for anything as gauche as news releases;
> > it usually just puts new programs on its Web site and waits for the
> > world to beat a path to its door. Much of the explication of Google's
> > innovative work was done by outside programmers like Jim Ley in London
> > and Philip Lindsay in New Zealand.)
> >
> > There is a barn-sized irony in all this. Many of the Ajax technologies
> > were developed by Microsoft, back when it was fighting Sun over Java.
> > At the time, Microsoft was beefing up Internet Explorer to make it a
> > rival to Java. Now those tools exist everywhere, even in the hands of
> > Microsoft rivals.
> >
> > The obvious question is how far programmers at Google or elsewhere can
> > go with Ajax. Specifically, can they build Ajax versions of Word or
> > Excel, thus threatening half of Microsoft's revenue? Of course,
> > schemes to take down Microsoft are as old as the hills. And Microsoft
> > has long argued that it has so many years of intense development in
> > Office that a newcomer couldn't easily duplicate the familiar Office
> > user experience, certainly not in a Web application, even a newfangled
> > one.
> >
> > Maybe this time, though, the technology pieces for a successful
> > challenge are finally in place. Disk storage, for one, is now so cheap
> > that it would cost Google mere pennies to store all of the average
> > person's word-processing files.
> >
> > Google, naturally, isn't saying what it will do next. And when you
> > talk to its programmers, like Paul Buchheit, the brains behind Gmail,
> > they say all they're doing is writing cool programs, the sort they
> > themselves enjoy using.
> >
> > It's as though any discussion of the larger strategic uses of their
> > software would be somehow, well, unseemly. You can bet, though, that
> > Bill Gates wouldn't be so coy.
> >
> >
> > Kevin Cheng (KC)
> > OK/Cancel: Interface Your Fears
> > kc at ok-cancel.com
> > www.ok-cancel.com
> >
> > --
> > No virus found in this outgoing message.
> > Checked by AVG Anti-Virus.
> > Version: 7.0.308 / Virus Database: 266.7.2 - Release Date: 3/11/2005
> >
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> > To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> > (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> > Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> > Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> > Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>
> _______________________________________________
> Welcome to the Interaction Design Group!
> To post to this list ....... discuss at ixdg.org
> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
> Announcements List ......... http://subscribe-announce.ixdg.org/
> Questions .................. lists at ixdg.org
> Home ....................... http://ixdg.org/
>

24 Mar 2005 - 9:33am
Dave Malouf
2005

You might have to dig, if it is done right, but the core of AJAX is a
framework, not really a technology. But that framework is built around a
single piece of the Document Object Model: XMLHttpRequest

If the javascript references that method then it is "using" AJAX.
But again, as Jesse pointed out when he described this, AJAX is a framework
and not a technology.

The same framework can be used in non-HTML-based examples. One of the great
advances of Flash between MX and MX 2004 is its ability to work with XML
requests like those described with AJAX and it is one better b/c he has
handlers not just for XML but for Web Services SOAP as well.

-- dave

On 3/24/05 9:31 AM, "Anastasia Fischer" <afischer at eemedia.com> wrote:

> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted material.]
>
> Is there any way to tell from source code in the HTML pages whether a site
> is using Ajax?
>
> Anastasia
>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From:
>> discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interactiondesigner
>> s.com
>> [mailto:discuss-interactiondesigners.com-bounces at lists.interaction
>> designers.com]On Behalf Of Anjali Arora, NYU
>> Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 9:53 AM
>> To: discuss at interactiondesigners.com
>> Subject: Re: [ID Discuss] RIAs, and Ajax, make the WSJ
>>
>>
>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>>
>> Here's a link to an essay on Ajax on the Adaptive Path website:
>> http://www.adaptivepath.com/publications/essays/archives/000385.php
>>
>> -Anjali
>> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Anjali Arora,
>> Interactive Telecommunications Program,
>> Tisch School of the Arts, New York University
>> aa917 at nyu.edu
>> http://www.artbrush.net/
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Kevin Cheng" <jobs at ok-cancel.com>
>> To: "'Mike Baxter'" <mike at saleslogiq.com>; "'Peter Merholz'"
>> <peterme at peterme.com>; <discuss at interactiondesigners.com>
>> Sent: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 7:19 AM
>> Subject: RE: [ID Discuss] RIAs, and Ajax, make the WSJ
>>
>>
>>> [Please voluntarily trim replies to include only relevant quoted
>> material.]
>>>
>>> :: Hi Peter
>>> ::
>>> :: Couldn't get your WSJ link to work but am interested in current
>>> :: thinking on
>>> :: RIAs and Ajax - can you give any more details or a flavour of the
>>> :: article.
>>>
>>> Google Pioneers Use
>>> Old Microsoft Tools
>>> In New Web Programs
>>> March 14, 2005; Page B1
>>>
>>> Meet Ajax, the technology powerhouse. For years, it has been living
>>> indolently on your computer, never really doing much of anything.
>>>
>>> In the past few months, though, computer programmers, most notably
>>> those at Google, have begun to wake up Ajax and put it to work. And as
>>> a result, the computer industry may never be the same.
>>>
>>> Ajax is a recently coined name for a dense mouthful of software
>>> technologies that are built into Web browsers. The most important of
>>> them are JavaScript, a computer-programming language; dynamic HTML,
>>> which is a way of displaying information on a screen; and XMLHTTP, a
>>> procedure a Web browser can use to very quickly get information from a
>>> central server.
>>>
>>> To see what they are capable of, go to maps.google.com1, zoom into a
>>> location, click inside the map and then drag the image around. It's
>>> Ajax that is moving the map for you, scrolling it much faster than
>>> you're probably used to on the Web.
>>>
>>> Browsers have been getting and displaying information since the Web
>>> began. What's new is that Ajax lets them do so in a speedier way. In
>>> the past, to change even a small part of a Web page required reloading
>>> the entire page. But Ajax knows to fetch only the part of the screen
>>> that needs changing -- like the edges of the Google map window as you
>>> move around.
>>>
>>> Because less information is being sent from the main server, things
>>> move more quickly. That takes Ajax applications a big step toward the
>>> Holy Grail of having the kinds of speed and responsiveness in
>>> Web-based programs that's usually associated only with desktop
>>> software, like Microsoft Office.
>>>
>>> Sealing the Ajax deal for many programmers is the fact that everything
>>> required for it is standard, generic software that isn't owned by any
>>> company and that exists in every browser. It's as if someone
>>> discovered how, just by doing a little welding in a car engine, you
>>> could double the car's gasoline mileage.
>>>
>>> The term Ajax was coined last month by Jesse James Garrett, of the San
>>> Francisco Web consulting firm Adaptive Path. He came up with the
>>> pseudo-acronym in the shower while searching for a shorthand way to
>>> explain to clients how the recent offerings by Google can perform so
>>> robustly.
>>>
>>> Google, notes Mr. Garrett, isn't the first to use Ajax. Pieces can be
>>> seen on Netflix, the film-rental site, and Flickr, a photo-sharing
>>> site. But Google has done the most with it, betting the farm on Ajax
>>> not only for Maps but also for its Gmail free e-mail service and
>>> several other offerings. (Not all Google software uses Ajax; its
>>> popular Toolbar, for example, doesn't.)
>>>
>>> Google is also one of the most closely watched technology companies on
>>> Earth, so now that it has shown that Ajax can result in powerful
>>> applications used daily by millions of people, software programmers
>>> everywhere are getting excited.
>>>
>>> The winners here are anyone who wants to build a new generation of
>>> Internet programs, especially Google, which hasn't been shy about
>>> moving into areas previously connected with Microsoft.
>>>
>>> Who loses? For one, Sun Microsystems, which has for years talked up
>>> its Java programming language for precisely these sorts of jobs.
>>> Instead of Java, Ajax-style programming uses JavaScript -- no relation
>>> -- which is easier to work with and built free into every browser.
>>>
>>> Another potential loser, of course, is Microsoft, which doesn't much
>>> like the fact that its upstart rival Google is setting the agenda for
>>> the world's computer programmers -- and in such an offhanded way at
>>> that. (Google is way too cool for anything as gauche as news releases;
>>> it usually just puts new programs on its Web site and waits for the
>>> world to beat a path to its door. Much of the explication of Google's
>>> innovative work was done by outside programmers like Jim Ley in London
>>> and Philip Lindsay in New Zealand.)
>>>
>>> There is a barn-sized irony in all this. Many of the Ajax technologies
>>> were developed by Microsoft, back when it was fighting Sun over Java.
>>> At the time, Microsoft was beefing up Internet Explorer to make it a
>>> rival to Java. Now those tools exist everywhere, even in the hands of
>>> Microsoft rivals.
>>>
>>> The obvious question is how far programmers at Google or elsewhere can
>>> go with Ajax. Specifically, can they build Ajax versions of Word or
>>> Excel, thus threatening half of Microsoft's revenue? Of course,
>>> schemes to take down Microsoft are as old as the hills. And Microsoft
>>> has long argued that it has so many years of intense development in
>>> Office that a newcomer couldn't easily duplicate the familiar Office
>>> user experience, certainly not in a Web application, even a newfangled
>>> one.
>>>
>>> Maybe this time, though, the technology pieces for a successful
>>> challenge are finally in place. Disk storage, for one, is now so cheap
>>> that it would cost Google mere pennies to store all of the average
>>> person's word-processing files.
>>>
>>> Google, naturally, isn't saying what it will do next. And when you
>>> talk to its programmers, like Paul Buchheit, the brains behind Gmail,
>>> they say all they're doing is writing cool programs, the sort they
>>> themselves enjoy using.
>>>
>>> It's as though any discussion of the larger strategic uses of their
>>> software would be somehow, well, unseemly. You can bet, though, that
>>> Bill Gates wouldn't be so coy.
>>>
>>>
>>> Kevin Cheng (KC)
>>> OK/Cancel: Interface Your Fears
>>> kc at ok-cancel.com
>>> www.ok-cancel.com
>>>
>>> --
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>>>
>>>
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>>
>> _______________________________________________
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>>
>
>
> _______________________________________________
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> (Un)Subscription Options ... http://discuss.ixdg.org/
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-- dave

David Heller
http://synapticburn.com/
http://ixdg.org
dave at ixdg.org
dave at synapticburn.com
AIM: bolinhanyc || Y!: dave_ux || MSN: hippiefunk at hotmail.com

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