Analyst Hyperbole Of The Day: Go AJAX Or Die

from the oh-please dept

When you go to a supposed expert, such as an analyst, they should help you to cut through the hype -- not puff up the hype even more. Unfortunately, all too often we see that analyst firms are simply a big part of the hype cycle. Take, for example, this article about AJAX technology (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) which is all the rage these days among Web 2.0 companies. A Gartner analyst has now been quoted saying that websites need to use AJAX or they won't get traffic any more. Specifically, he says that sites that don't use AJAX, "will simply not be cool enough to use." This is from someone who is supposedly an expert, who others look to for advice. Obviously the various technologies that make up AJAX can be quite useful, but whatever happened to not focusing on the technology, but what the technology actually does? Sure, some sites are probably going to be better off using AJAX in one way or another, but it really depends on what the application or service is supposed to do. To give a blanket recommendation to use AJAX in all cases doesn't seem particularly analytical -- but does pump up the hype.
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  1. identicon
    PB Joe, 16 Jun 2006 @ 7:50am

    Re: Of all the things to not like about AJAX

    You make some good points in comparing an AJAX implementation to the use of Flex. However, there are a few things that need to be pointed out. First, users do not need to have flex "installed." They only require flash. The point of Flex is that it returns pure flash content, so no client tools outside of the current version of flash are required.

    It is true that most everything Flex can do AJAX can do as well. I believe that the advantages people point to is the ease and speed of development when using flex, along with flash's cross-browser compatibility. Generally speaking, if it works on a mac, it works on a PC (or Linux, etc.) when you're talking about flash. This really cuts down on the workload, especially in regard to testing.

    I agree that it is a baseless argument to state that there's no point to AJAX, simply because some users might have javascript disabled. The vast majority of users will have these features on, just as most browsers out there have the flash plugin (between 95-98% ubiquity for flash v6 or higher). If we built all of our sites with the lowest common denominator as our benchmark, our end product would be garbage.

    One other side note to make: There is no need to pick one over the other. A flex app can implement AJAX, and vice versa. This guy has some interesting examples of running the two technologies side by side.

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