Naming, Semantics, Ownership (yes this is about "Ajax")
A friend asked me the other day what I thought about the whole "Ajax" (XMLHttpRequest and related technologies) discussion taking place in various niches around the web. I grimaced and mumbled something about how I hated that name, but that it was a good thing that people were discussing the underlying technologies. That seems to be a pretty common reaction for a lot of us who have been doing this for a long time.
That got me to thinking - why the negative reactions to this? Why do I (and a lot of others with hands-on familiarity with the technology) feel a gut-level negative reaction to Jesse James Garret's recent article
Again - why the negative reaction? For me, there are three reasons that I could see - attempting to be as honest with myself as possible. Hype, Trite reductionism, and ownership. But to be really honest, it's mostly about ownership.
People like me, who love to make browsers dance, who have spent years (some of us over a decade now) playing with the possibilities, running up against limitations, and having a great time with it daily, we (I) feel this is ours. This technology belongs to us. That's actually a load of crap - the technology doesn't belong to anyone, it just feels that way when one is passionate about working with it.
That leads me to the other two reasons for negativity. (The first was that someone else named my baby. Okay, whatever, I'm over that). Hype: there is so much chatter about this now - a little frustrating when the technology has been around for ages, yet, I will concede, Google has forced a tipping point as of late. It's still grating though.
So, I've already gone on far more than I wanted, but I feel good for having written this. I may, at some point in the future, be comfortable uttering the term "Ajax", but it'll be a bitter pill (I just don't like the term, but that's just a matter of taste, not the point of this screed).
I bear no animosity toward JJG or Adaptive Path - quite the contrary, I really am glad this is getting the attention it deserves, and frankly has been a little inspirational for me, apparently for others as well. All this is about is examining my (and apparently many others) knee-jerk animosity toward a fairly decent article - it's all about the naming.
Other writing in this vein: Ajax, promise or hype?
, Ajax: You're soaking in it
, and Ajax: The Verdict
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