Scott Isaacs gives the skinny behind the naming of AJAX

Scott Isaacs is the guy who wrote the original DHTML draft specification. Says "Naming was never my specialty." Don't know DHTML? That's what you call AJAX today (mostly).

Tim Bray puts it well: "Scott, how could you ever expect to hit the memescape big-time with a dorky name like "Dynamic HTML?""

Don't know who Isaacs is? You will. He wrote the framework behind the next Hotmail. Live.com. MSN Spaces. And lots of other things.

Why do I love Scott? Cause he keeps fighting for what he believes. He loses sometimes. Wins sometimes. But he's always interesting. I wish I could follow him around all day long but then what makes him interesting is he ships stuff that makes the Web better and I don't wanna mess with that at all.

He's a Microsoft treasure. Keep it up Scott!

24 thoughts on “Scott Isaacs gives the skinny behind the naming of AJAX

  1. AJAX is a superset of DHTML. It’s not the same thing.

    If you’re bored with the term, just be patient. As with “DHTML,” in a few years “AJAX” will simply be known as “web development”.

  2. AJAX is a superset of DHTML. It’s not the same thing.

    If you’re bored with the term, just be patient. As with “DHTML,” in a few years “AJAX” will simply be known as “web development”.

  3. AJAX is a superset of DHTML. It’s not the same thing.

    If you’re bored with the term, just be patient. As with “DHTML,” in a few years “AJAX” will simply be known as “web development”.

  4. @Farhan: It’s just the thing you’ll always see once something “new” has popped up, a massive flood of services trying to bring in something new, become popular and in a lot of occasions, make money out of it.

    Only a very limited amount of those services which pop out actually survive. Besides that there’s just a large amount of developers, whether amateur or pro’s, which are thinking up new ways of using it, “creating” more possibilities.

    Within several years AJAX will probably be integrated better within the web, how it will look like exactly will be hard to say right now, but I don’t think that much will have changed. Just a difference in what way pages will be handled.

    In the end though it’ll be up to the visitor on what a page will look like, since if they don’t like it most will stay away. For a lot of people the looks of a site have become just about as important, or even more important, as the content.

  5. @Farhan: It’s just the thing you’ll always see once something “new” has popped up, a massive flood of services trying to bring in something new, become popular and in a lot of occasions, make money out of it.

    Only a very limited amount of those services which pop out actually survive. Besides that there’s just a large amount of developers, whether amateur or pro’s, which are thinking up new ways of using it, “creating” more possibilities.

    Within several years AJAX will probably be integrated better within the web, how it will look like exactly will be hard to say right now, but I don’t think that much will have changed. Just a difference in what way pages will be handled.

    In the end though it’ll be up to the visitor on what a page will look like, since if they don’t like it most will stay away. For a lot of people the looks of a site have become just about as important, or even more important, as the content.

  6. @Farhan: It’s just the thing you’ll always see once something “new” has popped up, a massive flood of services trying to bring in something new, become popular and in a lot of occasions, make money out of it.

    Only a very limited amount of those services which pop out actually survive. Besides that there’s just a large amount of developers, whether amateur or pro’s, which are thinking up new ways of using it, “creating” more possibilities.

    Within several years AJAX will probably be integrated better within the web, how it will look like exactly will be hard to say right now, but I don’t think that much will have changed. Just a difference in what way pages will be handled.

    In the end though it’ll be up to the visitor on what a page will look like, since if they don’t like it most will stay away. For a lot of people the looks of a site have become just about as important, or even more important, as the content.

  7. Slightly off topic, but definitely related.

    My name is *also* Scott Isaacs, and I’m the president of the WI .NET Users Group. We are having a free conference in Milwaukee this weekend, and one of the presentations is on building AJAX applications with ASP.NET and Atlas. Sign up for free here: http://www.wi-ineta.org/didn/06.

    Five great speakers, five great topics, and it’s free.

  8. Slightly off topic, but definitely related.

    My name is *also* Scott Isaacs, and I’m the president of the WI .NET Users Group. We are having a free conference in Milwaukee this weekend, and one of the presentations is on building AJAX applications with ASP.NET and Atlas. Sign up for free here: http://www.wi-ineta.org/didn/06.

    Five great speakers, five great topics, and it’s free.

  9. Robert add Live Clipboard to the list of things Scott is working on that will change the web. Ray Ozzie’s recent post references a piece of XML code that Scott has developed that will enable the Live Clipboard to detect Microformats automagically.

    “Scott Isaacs, the architect responsible for the AJAX bindings framework used by the Windows Live and MSN sites, showed some amazing Live Clipboard capabilities that he’s adding to that framework. Essentially, as a result of Scott’s work, you just need to add a small bit of XML to any page that uses his framework and the Live Clipboard icon/control is automatically added to any microformat on the page.”

  10. Robert add Live Clipboard to the list of things Scott is working on that will change the web. Ray Ozzie’s recent post references a piece of XML code that Scott has developed that will enable the Live Clipboard to detect Microformats automagically.

    “Scott Isaacs, the architect responsible for the AJAX bindings framework used by the Windows Live and MSN sites, showed some amazing Live Clipboard capabilities that he’s adding to that framework. Essentially, as a result of Scott’s work, you just need to add a small bit of XML to any page that uses his framework and the Live Clipboard icon/control is automatically added to any microformat on the page.”

  11. Robert add Live Clipboard to the list of things Scott is working on that will change the web. Ray Ozzie’s recent post references a piece of XML code that Scott has developed that will enable the Live Clipboard to detect Microformats automagically.

    “Scott Isaacs, the architect responsible for the AJAX bindings framework used by the Windows Live and MSN sites, showed some amazing Live Clipboard capabilities that he’s adding to that framework. Essentially, as a result of Scott’s work, you just need to add a small bit of XML to any page that uses his framework and the Live Clipboard icon/control is automatically added to any microformat on the page.”

  12. i personally am getting a little fed up with all the “AJAX” and “Web 2.0″ talk floating around. call me a pessimist, but i think it stinks of the dot com bubble – have you seen the number of these “web 2.0″ services popping up all over the place?

    but anyway, kudos to scott for bringing DHTML to us mere mortals.

    cribot.com

  13. i personally am getting a little fed up with all the “AJAX” and “Web 2.0″ talk floating around. call me a pessimist, but i think it stinks of the dot com bubble – have you seen the number of these “web 2.0″ services popping up all over the place?

    but anyway, kudos to scott for bringing DHTML to us mere mortals.

    cribot.com

  14. i personally am getting a little fed up with all the “AJAX” and “Web 2.0″ talk floating around. call me a pessimist, but i think it stinks of the dot com bubble – have you seen the number of these “web 2.0″ services popping up all over the place?

    but anyway, kudos to scott for bringing DHTML to us mere mortals.

    cribot.com

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