Ajax, Dojo, Ajaxian, Sajax, etc.

1 minute read

With the advent of modern “version 6″ browsers such as IE6 and Firefox, web developers found that the implementations of JavaScript, XML, DHTML, and the DOM (Document Object Model) were good enough to support some serious client-side programming without the need for a plethora of hacks or code specific to one particular browser.

Building on this, applications such as GMail, Zuggest, Google Suggest and Google Maps use a new interaction style that people are calling Ajax, short for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML. Despite the fact that this is a trademark, the term seems likely to stick. There’s been some controversy about the name, and a proposal to call it CADEX (also a trademark).

It appears that Ajax is the name of choice, and that’s fine. From what I can tell, the term was coined by Jesse James Garrett, in this article. It has already been turned into an adjective, with the advent of the Ajaxian blog.

There are already some useful toolkits to simplify this style of programming:

For PHP Perl, and Python, SAJAX is the way to go. SAJAX exports marked server-side functions into JavaScript that can be called from the page, in effect creating bindings to go from JavaScript to PHP, Perl, or Python.

There’ also Dojo, which looks flexible, but a bit more abstract.