Ajax = No Installation

About every article about Ajax starts with some mediocre explanation of what Ajax stands for and the author’s best guess on what it actually means. A common misconception is that the technology is new. The term is new however and is causing long debates what it should or shouldn’t be used for.

The acronym Ajax has long lost its technical meaning and is being used to describe the interaction model rather than the underlying technologies. Which got me thinking… In my world Ajax means:

Enhanced website providing an application like user experience

Which implies:

  • Accessed using a web browser (IE and FF a must, other browsers a plus)
  • No software installation, no explicit download
  • Allows for more interesting user interaction than just clicking on links (think drag-n-drop, keyboard shortcuts)
  • No page-to-page transitions

The use of Ajax in the name of the following two products is debatable using the above interpretation:


[via Ajaxian] requires you to download and install a WinAMP plugin. Note that this seems to be required for the server side only though. You can then access the interface remotely from a browser (IE and FF).


[via Ajaxian] uses XUL and therefore requires Firefox. Very impressive though!