IBM promotes AJAX

A number of industry vendors are coming together to promote the emerging AJAX technology. Prominent among the members of the new industry forum, initially dubbed Open Ajax, are IBM, Google, BEA, Borland, Eclipse, Google, IBM, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla Corporation, Novell, Openwave Systems, Oracle, Red Hat and Yahoo!, among others.

AJAX, which stands for ‘Asynchronous JavaScript and XML’ is currently the hottest topic among web developers. By allowing data to flow between a browser and server ‘on demand’ without the user having to refresh a page, AJAX has led to a new generation of Internet based applications which allow, for example, to drag and drop objects such as file folders around a web page, or monitor user input in real time so that, for example, mistyped forms can be flagged up before they are submitted.

As the name suggests it is not so much a new working environment but more an idea of how various web technologies can work together.

As a first step, IBM is offering code to the Eclipse Foundation and Mozilla Corporation that will aid development of AJAX applications.

Of course IBM is not giving away its software entirely out of the goodness of its heart. Although Open AJAX is touted as a platform to make it ‘it easier for an open-source community to form and popularise Ajax’, Big Blue makes most of its money these days from services and custom application development. IBM will doubtless see the growth of AJAX-enabled applications as an opportunity to offer its expertise to companies wishing to add the latest usability features to their customer facing websites.

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