Wednesday, November 19, 2008

AJAX Uniformity?

With no Microsoft or Adobe-type of entity funding and fueling it, AJAX has taken a long time to mature, according to Dave Meeker, an enterprise RIA developer with Roundarch. Meeker said he has yet to see any entities that are looking to bring AJAX to a whole new level of maturity.

There are certain AJAX libraries out there that are being adopted and followed by developers, like Meeker said is good for UI design and "making things look and feel like Flash." Microsoft has an AJAX library on for creating Web applications that can work across all browsers. There are many others of course, like Dojo and AjaxAnywhere, but none have really risen above the others as of yet.

"There's a pro and con of that," Meeker said. "The pro of someone kind taking it under their umbrella is that now we've got one place for all information and to have an official keeper of AJAX. The con is that it might prohibit some of the innovation out there. If no one owns it, then there's more of psychological willingness to take it on yourself and improve it. So I like the open source aspect of AJAX."

With Microsoft Silverlight and Adobe Flex giving AJAX some competition when it comes to creating RIAs, maybe that freedom of innovation is what AJAX needs to keep its luster. Maybe its strength lies in the large amount of different AJAX libraries cranking away new applications in different avenues of creativity and experimentation, without the hand of a corporate giant tinkering. I guess we'll see if that's what will make AJAX stand out.

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