What has Ajax done for us anyway?

James Edwards (brothercake)

Screenshot from Monty Python's Life of Brian, 
				showing The People's Front of Judea engaged in deep discourse

“Web 2.0” is all bullshit...

Many developers have siezed on the “new technology” of Ajax in order to wallow in self-indulgence, and re-hash all the same DHTML crap that was so painfully prevelant during the first boom era.

“Web 2.0” is not all bullshit!

The best ideas in Web 2.0 are conceptual, not technological, and we don't need Ajax or any other specific techniques to make it work.

What's wrong with Ajax?

Good / necessary uses of Ajax

Use Ajax for things that really need and benefit from it — where it's the only way to make something work.

A screenshot of the twitter user-interface

Bad / pointless uses of Ajax

Don't use Ajax for things that don't need it — where conventional form functionality is fine.

A screenshot of the flickr user-interface

Don't believe the hype!

Flava Flav, grinning broadly and pointing at you

New innovations often inspire us to do things that we don't really need the new technology for, it's simply that the change in approach and easy-capability inspires new ideas.

I'm not saying don't use Ajax...

(though I may do in future)

I am saying, consider every instance of its use very carefully, beginning with the premise of not using it at all.

So what has Ajax done for us?

No really, what has Ajax done for us?

Probably the biggest thing Ajax has done for us is to make JavaScript cool again. But is that really such a good thing? Let's look at the kind of people who write JavaScript...

Chris Heilmann, wearing a t-shirt that reads "My Mom Says I'm A Catch"

That's all folks!


Cartoon character of a pink bunny, used to represent me in Transcending CSS (by Andy Clarke)

A thousand thanks to Andrew Krespanis for the slide graphics