There is something insidiously cool about Ajax. As a nonprogramming-type, I will always be on the periphery of new technologies; however, when I see loads and loads of sites hyping a new web development tool, I take an interest. For months now, I’ve been observing a lot of chatter about Ajax. I could tell it was a revolutionary application, but I didn’t really know what it did. If you look at this chart* from Technorati, you will see how mentions of ‘Ajax’ went up from around a hundred per day in March of 2005 to roughly five or six hundred per day in March of 2006. That’s a trend worth noticing.
So, what is Ajax? Even after a bit of background reading, I am not quite sure what it is or what it does. From what I gather, Ajax is a programming language, like java or flash, but it allows you to build complicated applications that run in a webbrowser. Somehow, these applications take seconds to load and don’t strain the CPU.
Today, I took an Ajax application for a test drive. The application is called Ajax Write 0.9 [via]. The site loads in seconds. It took me a moment to get my bearings because I really didn’t believe that Ajax Write looked exactly like Microsoft Word, but it does. And even though its a little buggy, some of the functionality is missing, and their are not a lot of fonts to choose from, I believe Ajax Write will become a popular and robust word processor. Its great to know that if I’m every jonesing for a word processor (like when I’m using a public computer terminal), there’s a familiar interface I can use. Also, since one of my computers is running Microsoft Windows 95, I welcome the free upgrade.
*chart updates daily, so this will not longer be relevant in 2007.