Friday, April 13th, 2007

The true meaning behind Apollo, Atlas, Ajax, and Dionysius

Category: Editorial, Fun

It is appropriate that the answer to the toughest riddle since the Davinci Code has been solved on Friday the 13th.

John Eckman has written about Rich Internet Applications and Greek Mythology and uncovers the reasons why Adobe named their project Apollo, and Microsoft named theirs Atlas.

It even gets to the conclusion that Dionysus is next. Well, you got me. My sheparding of is an act to bring back the great days of Dionysus, or Dion for short.

Ajax, in Greek mythology, was not a god, but a human hero and King. Interestingly, in the Illiad, he is the only major warrior who receives no assistance from the gods, suggesting “the virtues of hard work and perseverance.”

Microsoft called their Ajax platform (now more prosaicly known as ASP.NET AJAX) Atlas – a Titan and brother to Prometheus who held heaven and earth on his shoulders as a punishment from Zeus for leading the Titans in a revolt against the gods.

So why does Adobe choose Apollo? Well, the god Apollo unites art and reason, and is the god of beauty, the sun, music, light, truth – the ideal of beauty. Perhaps Apollo plays in both senses here – rather than holding up the earth (like Atlas) Adobe’s Apollo is taking us to the moon and back, and providing beauty. Ajax was merely human, Apollo divine. Atlas tried to usurp the gods and was punished; Apollo brought order, music, and poetry.

Perhaps it’s time for an open source web/desktop framework named after Dionysus? (See Apollonian and Dionysian)

True Apollo

Posted by Dion Almaer at 11:23 am

4.1 rating from 25 votes


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And I thought Ajax was all about cleaning products!

Comment by Dean Edwards — April 13, 2007

“And I thought Ajax was all about cleaning products!”

Ivory towers view:
Ajax, Atlas, Apollo

In the trenches view:
Ajax, Flash, Comet


Comment by Michael Mahemoff — April 13, 2007

Ajax was _merely_ human? Bah! Being human and overcoming adversity or doing the impossible is much more appealing than being a god who has an intrinsic nature that automatically affords him a position obtained without a challenge. On the other hand, that Ajax killed himself because he didn’t get a prize isn’t a position to aspire to.

Comment by Andy — April 13, 2007

You guys take this stuff way too seriously! ;)

Besides, check out the logo. I think it’s more likely we’ll be seeing stuff like Voyager and Discovery.

Comment by Keith Peters — April 13, 2007

Doesn’t Xulrunner count as web-desktop framework?

Comment by Rizqi Ahmad — April 13, 2007

How about Ajax 2.0?

Comment by Venkat — April 15, 2007

In the same vein I named my software company Salamis Software. (In The Iliad, Salamis is the island where Ajax was king.) As expected, it’s completely lost on everyone. So much for being a smart-ass.

Comment by Bernard — April 15, 2007

Apollo helped Hector to fight Ajax during Trojan war…
If now Ajax & Apollo are competitive technologies, what/who is Hector? ;)


Comment by Valery Silaev — April 16, 2007

So, what’s the next?

– An OOP language named ‘Thor’?
– Another framework, named ‘Persaeus’?
– Zeus, Olympus, Diana, Prometheus… and so on.

Let the greeks rest in peace!
I purpose using pharaoh’s names.

I’ll write a PERL module nam’d ‘Tuthankhamon’. Or ‘Amenophis’.
Or even ‘Imhotep’ (‘Mummy, the movie’ ?! Save us, Rachel Weiss.).

Hey, friends, don’t stole *my* brand new ideas! (May I register them after someone do it?)

(When BASIC and COBOL were the *only* options, we weren’t worried about names… Just to code…)

Comment by Prof Paulo Maximo — April 16, 2007

What about Leonidas? We know he kicked ass in 300.

Comment by halans — April 17, 2007

Dionysus (Dionysian): intoxication, celebration of nature, instinctual, intuitive, pain, individuality dissolved and hence destroyed, wholeness of existence, orgiastic passion, dissolution of all boundaries, excess, human being(s) as the work and glorification of art, destruction.

Sounds more like the coming back of Front Page than anything worth maintaining to me! I’ve never woken up covered in vomit the day after a debauchery, but I would expect the code of this application’s to smell just about the same.

So, yeah, having PHP on the server side would appear to be an appropriate choice…

Comment by Luis' Parenthesis — April 25, 2007

Hey, hey!

No more interest in naming frameworks using greek mythology?
I told you: let´s use name of pharaohs!
Hmmm… could you imagine yourself using ‘Imhotep’ or even ‘Tutmea’ libraries?

BTW, is anyone using YUI or Dojo or Zapatec´s Suite? What are your impressions?


Comment by Prof Paulo Maximo — July 2, 2007

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