Submitted by amit on Wed, 2005-10-19 12:43
AJAX stands for Asynchronus Javascript and XML.
It's a web application development technique. Traditional web applications had many limitations because of restrictions of the browser capabilities. Today however browsers like IE5 and FireFox can run Javascript natively and fetch arbitrary data through XMLRPC interface (which is not supported by all browers). This allows a web application to update only certain parts of the web page wihout the need to refresh the whole page again and again when something changes.

A very popular example of AJAX technology is google maps. However there are many others.

  1. Flickr (by Yahoo!) is a Web based photo album application. Very nice and user friendly interface.
  2. AJAX word processor
  3. AJAX spreadsheet
  4. AJAX calendar
  5. AJAX presentation-building software
  6. Besides Google Mail There are several webmail clients in the pipeline. Yahoo!, MSN have both announced AJAX based webmail. There is another company called RoundCube offering webmail application. Also, there is Zimbra who claim to have a Open Source Exchange client using AJAX. Check out their Demo.
  7. FCKEditor. This site uses FCKEditor too. If you want to see a live demo, just click on add new comment on this page and see for yourself.
  8. Bindows is a webbased application framework.
  9. Meebo which currently lets you login to your MSN Messenger/Yahoo! or AIM from a web browser, which is kind of pointless right now, but the applications shows potential.
  10. gOFFice has rudimentrary office applications on the web with some collaboration features.
  11. thinkfree is yet another office suite
There is a lot of euphoria around AJAX and some are calling AJAX+Web 2.0 as the next dot-com. As you can see most of the above examples (Meebo, gOffice, thinkfree, bindows, zimbra) are startups. Silicon Valley's venture capitalists are also taking notice.

If you ask me, there's only so much you can do with web based apps. The direction we are moving in (multi-media, video, audio, on demand gaming, movies, IP TV, IP Phone) requres a lot of computing power. Web based applications will be very nice for remote collaboration, online meetings, online multi-user editing etc. But don't even think that think clients will soon replace your desktops or laptops.

What do you think? Please post your comments.