Ajax Makes the WSJ

Monday’s Wall Street Journal includes a paean to the wonders of Ajax. While the piece is mostly old news, it is interesting to see a mainstream publication like the WSJ chase a blogosphere meme so quickly.

Does writer Lee Gomes have it straight? Mostly. After breezing through a quick description, he lays out the merits of Ajax apps — lightweight, relatively standard, and responsive — and describes some of the companies taking this approach, from Google to Flickr.

That’s fine, as far as it goes. Where the piece is most useful, however, is in pointing out how the arrival of solid cross-browser apps from major firms taking this approach has legitimized a way of programming:

Google is also one of the most closely watched technology companies on Earth, so now that it has shown that Ajax can result in powerful applications used daily by millions of people, software programmers everywhere are getting excited.

Right. It is not that the technologies underlying Web 2.0 apps like Google Maps and its ilk are new, they are not. Javascript, XML, etc., have been around for ages. What is new is having major companies go to the trouble of building high-quality Ajax apps that don’t require a specific browser. That is new and exciting.

Of course, there is a more cynical upshot: There are a whole bunch of companies busily adjusting their PowerPoints tonight. The WSJ has added Ajax to the venture vernacular, so said companies just became Ajax outfits.


  1. Hilarious post…spit out my coffee laughing thinking about hundreds of Powerpoints getting Ajaxed…

  2. You’re welcome Michael!