AJAX, this relatively new Web technology is going to change the lives of Web developers in the next several years. That might be the greatest understatement that I make this year.

AJAX applications are popping out of the woodwork and that’s not likely to change anytime soon. Why? Usability. AJAX is not only a more engaging interface, it’s the closest that Web applications have gotten to mimicking desktop applications since the dawning of DHTML in 1997.

As more AJAX application are built and displayed on the Web, users, executives, everyone will take note. When business execs are taking note they are going to want to take advantage of these technologies also. The implementation of these features into corporate America and abroad will lead the the rapid spreading of this technology and a mainstream market for AJAX, and the people who can create these complex projects.

So with that said, JavaScripter’s wanted! JavaScript is the main component of the AJAX core of technologies and the most complex. With the predicted explosion of AJAX applications you would be doing yourself more then a favor learning this language that was once though of as a quirky language that was used for numerous annoying tricks that were randomly added to Web pages. With a solid knowledge of JavaScript, you have the largest piece of the puzzle. As much as 90% of your time in an AJAX application will more then likely deal with the JavaScript programming of events that might transpire during the users session.

The Web has always aspired to do things that the desktop application can do. Until now, there has never been a mechanism that allows the Web to seamlessly interact with the server without letting the user know something has happened. With AJAX this is no longer that case. So the only thing that a Web application can no longer do that a desktop application can is have the same response time. However this will also change in the future, and with some nifty programming work, the delays in response times on the internet can be very small, and not affect the users experience and what they are doing.

Three keys to AJAX’s survival in the mainstream markets:

  1. Error Free Programming
    There is not much more aggravating then when you have an application give you scripting errors and the application dies because of them. This is a huge pitfall that will turn off users in a hurry.
  2. Baby Steps
    As with anything people are resistant to change. So you need to take them along the path slowly. Show them the basics of what AJAX might do for them. Once they are invested in a part it will be easier to get them to dive in head first.
  3. Awareness
    This well known term is not so well known outside the Web industry. Before it’s globally accepted, that needs to change. Applications need to be developed and it needs to be seen by the masses. The term may never fully come to be well known, but the pages that are based on it need to be.