My business partner and I were recently discussing the next edition of our healthcare web platform. Instinctively, Akash said that, “The next version should be more AJAXie.” I replied with a, “Sure we can do that… what exactly do you mean?”
We jumped into LiveMeeting where Akash showed me the web based CRM software he was using.
“See how when I mouse over these items, a menu pops up,” said Akash, “Can we do that?”
“Sure,” I said, “though that isn’t AJAX.”
“Ah. Well, see how this form has a tabbed interface. Is that AJAX?”
“Nope,” I said, “but we can do that too.”
“Well,” said Akash, “how about this, when someone requests a report and it displays a ‘Please Wait’ note on the screen while the report is being generated. Is that AJAX?”
“Maybe,” I said, “though again you could do that without AJAX as well.”
“Ahh,” said Akash.
I first used AJAX-like techniques in 1998 in a web based version of Galcon. Since then I haven’t. Haven’t had the need for it. And as this conversation realizes, even the term AJAX is unclear to fairly technical people – it has become a synonym for “nifty”.