|You may have noticed a new buzzword lately. Web2.0. Everyone is talking about it. Is this just technohype? Is it simply an umbrella for the innovative collaborative tools I've been talking about, like Writely and Kiko? Or is it something new, some brand spanking new technology being brought to your browser?|
Is it my turn yet?
Up until now, web applications have required you to take turns. You read a page, then click next. Your turn is over until the browser gets the next page from the server. You fill out a form and click submit. Your turn is over until the server informs the browser your order is being processed. Server and browser do not keep up a running communication - they talk in bursts while you stop and wait for the hourglass. Its all because each communication with the server consists of a request for an entire new page to be transmitted - a page the browser then needs to render on your screen. This lack of intimacy between the server and browser give web applications their halting feeling, and have made them less suitable than desktop apps for complex business programming with high data entry requirements and complex business logic.
Are we there yet?
But the tools will mature now that developers are starting to build with them. Just yesterday my coworker Curtis and I were identifying places where Ajax would improve our online applications. I'm not ready to throw out the desktop when it comes to mission-critical inhouse applications - but Ajax will definitely have an impact wherever we need to put something in the browser.
A further look.
If you'd like to see a bit more, take a look at this - its a link to an exciting Ajax development tool called BINDOWS that we've been evaluating here at Members Only Software. Click on the "Click for a Quick Demo" link on the Bindows home page to see just how much like a desktop app these programs can be. And here is a cute little app for creating your personal web startpage that shows off Ajax drag and drop. That Writely collaborative word processor I talked about a few days ago? That's Ajax as well.