I did a little continuing professional development this afternoon, and encountered the newest WebDev buzzphrase – AJAX.
Apart from the technical details, it’s interesting to me for two reasons:
- It’s yet another example of the power of names. This “sort of thing” has been in use for a while now, but only when given the acronym AJAX is it easily conceptualisable. Apparently, it’s taken off like wildfire.
- It’s an example of how buzzword-driven IT is. As implied above, I was doing AJAX back in 2000, but with a custom browser tool rather than the method used now. It’s only because Google started using it that people started noticing.
It’s also a good example of how much more can be ‘wrung’ out of the web. Never assume that things have ‘matured’ or are settling down – this technique will probably get as widespread as CSS, and the contribution it’ll make to the web will be profound. For example- back in that 2000, blogs/journals were called ‘everything/nothing’ sites and barely existed, and now they’re a large chunk of Internet culture, community infrastructure/plumbing, content generation, and so on. (However I think calling it “Web 2.0″ is a bit overkill).
I have two concerns though: accessibility (must be careful not to veer off standards hunting some cool effect) and the content separation that the webdev community has fought so hard to achieve (aside: I see so many developer’s sites shouting “I DO WEB STANDARDS!” it’s become more of a statement not to say it, like not having a mobile phone) may be jeopardised by – yes! – mixing in app code with HTML…