Google is partly to blame for elevating AJAX to the forefront with Google Maps and Google Suggest. They’re both impressive examples of how interactive experiences make us absolutely giddy. Come to think of it, the hype arond AJAX in general is proof of how absolutely experience-deprived we’ve become using the Web. Microsoft Streets, a client-side mapping tool, is far richer and more impressive than Google Maps.
“But you’ve gotta download and install that. Google Maps is just on the Web!”
My response to that is: big whoop. The days of delivering the application, along with the information we want, are fast approaching. I’ve mentioned technologies like Macromedia’s Flex, Microsoft’s Longhorn platform and Mozilla’s XUL in the past. These platforms – designed from the ground up to deliver rich, interactive controls through the Web and onto your deskop – are the real deal.
I sincerely hope that the AJAX momentum doesn’t keep us in bed with web browsers for anymore than we have to. As far as I’m concerned, AJAX is little more than a band aid.