Why will AJAX win?

AJAX Info writes about the network effects that are driving AJAX adoption in the enterprise and consumer space.
Programming languages in general benefit from network effects. To boil this down we could say that as more people use a particular language, the value derrived from using it increases exponentially. An example of this might be that as more people start using Ajax, more resources, information, and 3rd party components become available.
Another key point is that AJAX is a continuous, rather than a discontinuous technology. It builds on existing skillsets that web developers have in a way that some other technologies don’t.

Ajax offers something else too. It`s a way for web developers to leverage their current skill sets to achieve the first goal: build better applications. JavaScript and DHTML aren`t new, and more importantly: corporations are loath to acquiring 3rd party software components that use technologies their in house developers have no skills with. It doesn`t make business sense to jump into technologies that have rarified skill sets unless you have to because it`s expensive to be retraining your employees or outsourcing development work to specialized consultants.

He also presents a nice comparison of AJAX to some alternative rich client technologies. The upshot? Vendor Independence and Skill Set Transferrance are the major differentiators. Read the whole thing!

5 thoughts on “Why will AJAX win?

  1. John Dowdell October 17, 2005 / 2:47 pm

    Better: “Why will something-or-other help the public win?”
    Otherwise, you’ve got to wonder about the assumptions behind such stances…. šŸ˜‰
    jd/mm

  2. Jonathan Boutelle October 17, 2005 / 3:26 pm

    touche.
    Would love to hear your thoughts on the analysis in that article, John (specifically the matrix with attributes for the different technologies) . Do you agree that Vendor Independence and (partial) Skill Set Transferrance are the main what sets AJAX apart? Or does Vendor Independence just mean bad tools? ;->

  3. Scott Barnes October 17, 2005 / 3:46 pm

    I vote Vendor Independence.
    The thing about online delivery channels is they are extremly disparate, if not at times worse then legacy backend systems.
    DHTML has always been there, but people have been reluctant to use it? so that would be my first quesiton out loud… AJAX has been there for years? why didn’t you use it?
    Answer: Because GMAIL / GMAPS wasn’t doing it.
    It took Google in many ways to shape the the existnace of what we now know as AJAX as a “Proof of concept”.
    So again, the whole community “driving the success of it” doesn’t wash with folks like me, as we used to try the DHTML approach and it failed.
    It takes a lot of marketng power to make a technology useful, and without it, its put into the “good ideas bin” and left at that.
    I treat online languages like I treat McDonalds… tell the world its healthy and they’ll eat it, its only after people start getting fat and diabetic (even liver shutdowns) that people start going “wait on…they lied? its not healthy!”…
    Then they release a new “Salads Menu” and a second wave of promises about health are issued, and again, its been proven wrong.
    Point is this: With enough marketing power you can make crap into gold, and GTALK was a classic example of that. When Google released it, it made headlines around the world “Google Now allows you VOIP!!!!!”… yet everyone knows its got sweet f-k all new, and MSN wipes it off the floor”.
    AJAX is a one trick poney, and people won’t realise the futile approach taken with it until its too late.
    Its browser dependent, and technologies are changing too rapidly to simply sit back and assume the browsers as we know it will be around 4-5 years.
    Not when people are now more focused on content syndication and aggregation, and treat technologies like FLASH as the browser in many ways.

  4. John Dowdell October 17, 2005 / 4:50 pm

    Glad I tickled your sense of humor there, Jon…. šŸ˜‰
    I had a take on that essay on the 13th:
    http://weblogs.macromedia.com/jd/archives/2005/10/comparing_web_t.cfm
    At first I thought of going point-by-point, the whole usenet quote/counter routine, but that risks elevating tangential points to main points. Other people were handling individual statements anyway. Instead I focused on core realities: how browser improvement is a good thing, the social dynamics of writing about things we like, that kind of stuff.
    (For the matrix, I countered with a two-item matrix of my own: how much does it cost to develop & maintain, how much does it cost to use? Those choices are a little less arguable than others, I think.)
    cu, jd

  5. John Dowdell October 17, 2005 / 4:51 pm

    Glad I tickled your sense of humor there, Jon…. šŸ˜‰
    I had a take on that essay on the 13th:
    http://weblogs.macromedia.com/jd/archives/2005/10/comparing_web_t.cfm
    At first I thought of going point-by-point, the whole usenet quote/counter routine, but that risks elevating tangential points to main points. Other people were handling individual statements anyway. Instead I focused on core realities: how browser improvement is a good thing, the social dynamics of writing about things we like, that kind of stuff.
    (For the matrix, I countered with a two-item matrix of my own: how much does it cost to develop & maintain, how much does it cost to use? Those choices are a little less arguable than others, I think.)
    cu, jd

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