Ajax is Mine! No Mine!

James Fallows has an unintentionally (I think) funny piece in the weekend N.Y. Times where various folks alternately take credit for Ajax, or pretend that they invented it under another name earlier, or say that it doesn’t really exist:

Company We invented Ajax, and it’s Really …
Macromedia …Rich Internet Applications
Google …Rich Web Application
Microsoft …Not even worth naming


  1. I didn’t listen to what David Mendels actually said to James Fallows, but I don’t think he would actually say that “Macromedia staffers invented AJaX”… it’s pretty clear that the good folks at Adaptive Path coined that label.
    Rather, I suspect the emphasis was on how the new, more-capable JavaScript techniques help surpass the old page-request “web applications” model, as defined in those “Rich Internet Applications” papers back towards 2002. RIAs have a number of traits, but handling interactivity on *both* server and client, as appropriate, is a hallmark that both Flash and AJaX meet.
    It’s great that many of the popular browsers can now request and display text data without having to refresh the entire page — that text data can now be separated from presentation and local logic. JavaScript is now closer to becoming an RIA client.
    (I think the Microsoft quibble with the AJaX party line is that they were the ones who actually invented XmlHttpRequest, and then they’ve been pummelled with the “non-standard” and “proprietary” lines for the last five years, only to see the same technology applauded when touted by someone else.)
    tx, jd/mm