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AJAX as Clever Browser Hackery

Posted: December 31st, 1969 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | No Comments »

AJAX as Clever Browser Hackery

Picture of IrvinThe statement by Ray Ozzie, if indeed he intended for it to sound like it did is inflammatory but true.

The question of how much support Microsoft intends to give JavaScript as a Web development language became murkier yesterday, perhaps inadvertently, when a statement made by the company's chief software architect, Ray Ozzie, was cited out of context by press sources. The citation by itself made it appear that Silverlight, Microsoft's new cross-platform runtime environment for Web applications, would at some point be competing with AJAX as though that technology were exclusively Google's.Ozzie: Silverlight Supports AJAX…To a Point – Beta News

OK, so he thinks AJAX is a rude hack. I think its a rude hack too, but its a useful one. JavaScript is limited, so what. It solves the need at hand. The important thing to remember with all programming is that its important to use the right tool for the job. Sometimes that tool will be JavaScript, sometimes it will be Java, and sometimes it will be something else, like PHP, Ruby, and Python. I don't believe in a programming language that does everything.

I think that is some of what is ailing Java today. I don't think that web applications should be written in Java. Not that it isn't capable, its sort of like hitting a fly with a sledgehammer. I do not say that I think web applications shouldn't use Java. Service Oriented Architectures are great for this. PHP is currently the best web application development language. Not because it is the most capable, but because it is incredibly flexible / dynamic.

When Ozzie describes JavaScript in that way, he is correct. But that isn't to say that there isn't a place for JavaScript, and I think that Microsoft is doing the right thing in creating a CLR and a DLR. Its the abstraction layer that we all have been looking for that will allow us to ultimately use the right tool for the job.