AJAX is recognized as the glue that holds together cool new services such as Google Maps and Flickr, but there’s still a lot of confusion about what is the best way to develop new applications using AJAX, and how major technology vendors, including Google and Microsoft, plan to support it in their products. To get to the bottom of those questions and others, InfoWorld Editor at Large Paul Krill sat down with David Boloker, chairman of the OpenAjax Alliance, at the recent AJAXWorld Conference in Santa Clara, Calif., to talk about these issues and others.
InfoWorld: What’s the attraction of AJAX?
AJAX enables you, in a Web browser, to actually have some of the same qualities of an interaction that you used to have only in a fat-client setting.
IW: How does it do that?
IW: What about the issues of security around AJAX? What are you doing about that?
IW: So what are you going to do to address that problem?
DB: Well, the first thing we started doing is we’re attacking the problem as you said, not one at a time. We’re doing it on multiple fronts. The first thing was, “How do we basically build AJAX and how do we debug AJAX?” And, “How do we see what’s going from the client side of this to the server?” The second side of this is we needed to get the knowledge out about, “What are the issues?” The third side of this is a document that people [would] write to give to AJAX programmers. And then the fourth thing is you look for the technology side of it. “How can we basically start securing the technology?” And that work is under way right now.
IW: Has Microsoft made any commitments to joining OpenAjax at this point?
DB: None. They’re thinking about it at this point.
IW: Are there any other major companies on the sidelines?
DB: Well there’s plenty of people that are in discussions with us, and those people in discussions with us are folks like Apple. … The other companies are mostly in Asia, which we’re actually making overtures to, as well as more open source projects.