[thelist] Flash experts? Flash and Ajax?

Matt Warden mwarden at gmail.com
Sat Dec 24 08:22:28 CST 2005

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Ian Anderson wrote:
> Matt Warden wrote:
>>"AJAX" has been around for seven years. Don't let the recent uproar make
>>you think it's something new.
> Well, of couse the capability has been around for ages, but the term was 
> coined only last year, wasn't it? By someone at Adaptive Path, I think. 
> Too Lazy To Google (tm)

You are correct.

> The point is that only recently has the installed base of browsers been 
> such that deploying such applications made any sense, whereas with Flash 
> as soon as the relevant version of the Flash player had been in the wild 
> for a month, it was a solid deployment option for live projects.

Out of curiosity, do you have numbers on the % of clients with the Flash
plugin installed? Is it really higher than IE's 90% marketshare during
the relevant time period?

Also, not to belabor the point, but just as a point of trivia, install
base really doesn't have much to do with it. Mozilla had its version of
IE's XMLHTTP interface since just before their 1.0 release. Their 1.0
release was on June 5, 2002.

Some people point to the term allowing developers to talk about the
technology. I don't really think this is it, either. If you search
thelist's archives, you will find at least as many references to
"xmlhttprequest" as you will to "ajax".

The big influence was its use by Google. It got a lot of press on places
like slashdot (where apparently I can't hide!), and developers
everywhere saw it, thought it was very cool, and wanted to know how it
worked. It was in use *way* before then, but its applications were never
so obvious and never so accessible to the developer population (and the
client population -- I don't think I've ever tried to explain ajax to a
non-technical person without opening up GMail or at least mentioning
some of Google's applications).

You'll have to pardon the history lesson. I did a lot of research for a
book (published earlier this month, actually), and I have a lot of facts
in my head with very few opportunities to make use of them :)

- --
Matt Warden
Miami University
Oxford, OH, USA

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