Saturday, June 4, 2005

Ajax

Internet Explorer 4 was the first popular browser that let you build really dynamic HTML pages, which I thought was just jaw-dropping at the time. Netscape had some extremely limited support with replacing images, but that was about it, and Netscape 4 didn't do enough to catch up. Internet Explorer was also the first popular browser to support XML RPCs (as seen in Google Suggest and Gmail), as far as I can remember. Now, nearly a decade later (!), people are finally starting to take advantage of these things. I wonder how things would have been different if Microsoft would have shown people what sorts of cool things they could have done to combine these technologies. Some really awesome sample app, instead of a dozens of little silly things that change the colors of boxes. Maybe if they would have done that, the idea would have caught on much sooner, and the internet would be a very different place by now. Maybe we'd have better ways of doing these sorts of things instead of writing it all by hand like you generally have to now. I'm starting to see products show up on the market that make working with RPCs easier, but it's ridiculously late for these thigns to just be showing up, it seems. Maybe the hip, new name "AJaX" that it has gotten recently would have already become passé, just like "dHTML" did many years ago.

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