Friday, July 28th, 2006

Is Ajax development slowing down?

Category: Ajax, Editorial

In his latest blog post, Eric Pascarello asks the question “Is Ajax development slowing down?” Is the shiny new coating of this revolution in web development finally wearing a bit thin, causing people to move on or not innovate like they used to?

I was asked an interesting question by a friend the other day. “Is Ajax development slowing down?”

I noticed the same trend; I just did not really think that it was a big issue. It seems that there is a slow down in the amount of information that is coming out on the net.

He doesn’t seem to think that there is a real slowdown in Ajax development, it’s just a perception. He gives four reasons why this seems so:

  • It is SUMMER in the northern hemisphere! (more outside, less inside = less code)
  • Seems like frameworks are maturing and that people are fully developing applications before they release them.
  • Seems like people are focusing on more of the technical issues of Ajax now and not the wow factors.
  • It really seems like new developers in the realm of Ajax are taking their time looking at what Ajax has to offer. They are looking at frameworks versus a custom solution.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 8:42 am

3.6 rating from 29 votes


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My hope is that this perceived slow down in AJAX development is just the fade hunters losing interest, so that (as the article says) the technique can mature. JavaScript comes to mind as an example, thankfully it’s been a while since my mouse had a train.

Comment by kim3er — July 28, 2006

That should say fad, not fade.

Comment by kim3er — July 28, 2006

I think Ajax needs to consolidate gains before try to go for rapid expansion. I think existing Ajax frameworks are too complex and yet offer incomplete solution.

I believe Ajax will be successful, if we try to replace traditional GUI paradigm by a superior web based distributed GUI paradigm (, instead of try to imitate traditional GUI applications).

We must address two issues together:
(i). Better 2D/3D GUI components for even complex applications such as games and simulations.
(ii). Ability to dynamically mashup such 2D/3D components from many servers and assemble custom applications per user, based on his preferences and profile. Here, web page is assembled dynamically by fetching 2D/3D components from many servers (e.g. portlets). This is uniquely suited for the web paradigm. We cannot assemble applets or Windows applications by fetching parts of the code from many sources at real-time.

We are working towards the goals. We wanted to create a simple process, one can learn in few minutes: Wish us good luck!

Comment by Venkatram — July 28, 2006

Umm … couldn’t it just be that Ajax is getting normalized? Who talks about Word or Excel or Mail or any other app that mature?

Maybe Ajax is just normal now, just vanilla, and hardly worth buzzing about.

Comment by John Koetsier — July 28, 2006

Venkatram, is that page you’re linking to, for real? I mean no disrespect but is it some kind of parody or something?

Comment by Gonzalo — July 28, 2006

I think there’s more of a web 2.0 hype slowdown than there is an AJAX slow-down. ;)

Comment by method — July 28, 2006

A slow down of articles does not equal less people working with JavaScript and Ajax. If the initial flood of articles was caused by a lack of information perhaps that lack of information has been fulfilled. If so, in future you will see a steady stream of articles, rather than a flood. There is only so much to write about anyway.

If anything, the slowdown indicates acceptance and less hype. Both are a good thing.

Frankly, the whole issue is a storm in a teacup.


Comment by Stephen Kellett — July 28, 2006

I agree with Eric’s conclusion:
So is Ajax development slowing down? I say no, I say it is maturing!
At Backbase we have also seen a shift from people who say ‘wow, Ajax, me too’ to serious companies that want to solve real business problems.
From a framework perspective there is now more focus on refining the functionality rather than introducing spectacular new features. For example, back-button support is now fairly standard in the more comprehensive frameworks.

Comment by Jep Castelein — July 28, 2006

Another explanation would be the lack of innovation from those who “pretend” knowing something about Ajax. Seems like everyone who can spell Ajax and Javascript is writing a book, yet they are either showing really boring examples that already been done to death or utilizing frameworks, and thereby not writing single line of code themselves. Even this Backbase-bunch are using WordPress in their blogs…I mean, if you have done this amazing framework, why the heck are you using the same packages as non-programmers?

Wanna-bees, I say…

Comment by Joseph N. — July 28, 2006

Even if, I wouldn’t mind it. We can go on with Ajax development, the hype has created a strong community.. And honestly, I am sick of those new projects that want to make everything even better and the worst thing is they thing they did because the use Ajax.

Ajax is cool – no matter how many people use it. And a slow down is not necessarily a bad thing. :)

Comment by Dominik Hahn — July 28, 2006

The birth of AJAX is just like the birth of your child – for the first 6 months you’re all excited and attentive; then the interest wanes. AJAX has matured and still has a long way to go. Anyway, AJAX, just like the baby, is still there; it’s just that that we don’t go so goo-goo every time it goes gaga.

Comment by shejaxmeoff — July 28, 2006

What’s with this blank page every time I post. I’m using FF1.5.0.5 on a Mac.

Comment by shejaxmeoff — July 28, 2006

Gonzalo, it is not a parody. If you want to varify, you can create your own GUI Classes today. SVG Samples are given at:

We are planning to create a GUI-API for XAML/WPF/E and (we haven’t decided about MXML/Flex and SVG+XUL).

If you like to create custom reusable GUI-API, the process we think is simple, as illustrated at: (But we want to make it even simpler): and

The following webpage shows, how one may use custom reusable GUI class to build online application:

There is lot of other information in the website, if you like to know. We wanted to make Ajax programming simpler than VB programming. Hope we will be successful.

Comment by Venkatram — July 29, 2006

I think Jep hit the nail on the head when he said, “we have also seen a shift from people who say ‘wow, Ajax, me too’ to serious companies that want to solve real business problems.”

Ajax has been an excellent source of fuel for the Web 2.0 fire, but can provide so much more value for corporations. This value goes far beyond simple widgets like accordians and navpanels or other ‘wow’ inducing features. The real revolution of Ajax is that companies can now combine the best aspects of clients server with the best aspects of web applications. In order to do this, however, you must be using a next generation framework that supports ALL of the top 8 Ajax evaluation criteria (

Comment by Steve Akers — July 29, 2006

Not sure what happened with the link: top 8 Ajax evaluation criteria.

Comment by Steve Akers — July 29, 2006

One word – Hype. Although many “Web 2.0” nullifiers use the word negativily, I still think that even the supporters should take it into account.

I agree with shejaxmeoff about the firsst child thing. Ajax was something very refreshing to most web developers. But maybe it’s just becoming more of every day life, rather than slowing down.

I, personally use some form of Ajax on all of my projects. I’ve completed 6 since I found this site, yet I have never felt like I should report any to this site.

It’s simply merging with our development principles, nothing more.

Comment by Muppsy — July 29, 2006

Jep Castelein: I guess the Backbase frameswork can not be mentioned among the “serious” and “comprehensive” frameworks…since your claim of having back-button functionality isn’t true.

I wonder what else is not working, that you “claim” is working. You are a sorry bunch of developers, stating untruths to make developer choosing your framework…

Comment by Ned — July 30, 2006

sorry you’re having trouble with the back button; I can assure that it is fully suppported in Backbase – we’ve been using it for some time quite successfully and its easy to add. The examples in the docs showing how to set it up are fairly simple. Maybe if you post your code on the Backbase forum they can help you to get it working.

Comment by Richard Kernahan — July 30, 2006

[…] Abschließen möche ich mit dem Wort zum Sonntag Abend mit einem schönen Kommentar der zu diesem Thema auf Ajaxian gepostet wurde: The birth of AJAX is just like the birth of your child – for the first 6 months you’re all excited and attentive; then the interest wanes. AJAX has matured and still has a long way to go. […]

Pingback by » Ajax Sommerpause oder das Ende des Hypes? — July 30, 2006

Aha, I think I am one of those who are in the stage of

Seems like frameworks are maturing and that people are fully developing applications before they release them.

Comment by Josson Smith — July 30, 2006

personally, i think the ajax dev has never slowed down. Its just got more pratical.
With all the wistles and bells around (the cool affects), it’s time for these toys to play in the real applications, not just sit in showcases.
it’s not an easy move for the web sites that have previously built purely based on server-side scripting. Little widgets are popping up everywhere little by little. AND eventually, yes, eventually, our browsers will support xhr better and more natively, ajax will dominate.

Comment by Simon — August 1, 2006

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