While reading a slashdot post regarding a developerWorks article on Ajax, the following comment from a slashdot reader really struck a cord with me. I'll quote it in its entirety (I've corrected a few typos):
I'm glad to see another serious technical article on the pros and cons of implementing an AJAX solution. Most everyone who says the acronym "AJAX" usually falls into one of two camps - either the "OMFG AJAX is so amazing! It will change the interweb!" How? Oh, it allows parts of the page to be updated without a refresh. How interesting. Perhaps you could go a little more in-depth? No? Thanks...
The other camp... too many Slashdotters, IMO... feel the need to flex their superior understanding of the fundamental dynamics of the internet and development and offer this gem: "AJAX is just an assortment of pre-existing technologies. Nothing to see here".
The automobile was just an assortment of pre-existing technologies, and it radically changed the world. It also introduced a whole bevy of new challenges, both technical and otherwise, that we still haven't fully figured out yet. It was not a transportation panacea, and AJAX is no cure-all. But just because it doesn't solve every problem doesn't mean it doesn't have the power to be revolutionary.
Since I'm a person prone to categorization, this post really crystalized the three mindsets we see when a technology or technique catches on fire:
- Cynics - the 'nothing new here, move along' crowd that the slashdot reader mentioned.
- Little kids playing soccer - as in, 'Ooh, the ball went over there, lets all run over there! Oh wait, now the ball's heading over there, let's all run over there!'
- Pragmatists - who believe that although the hype may be a tad much, the technology is interesting, and, more importantly, the technology's new found popularity will suck in a lot of smart people's brainpower and resources.
I admit, for a long time I was a pretty bad cynic, especially during 2004 with regards to service-oriented architecture. But I'm attempting to become a pragmatist in order to take advantage of the growing community and advances surrounding these hot technologies and techniques.
contact me: email@example.com