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Microsoft Joins OpenAjax Alliance 104

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the conspiracy-theorists-activate dept.
Kurtz writes "Microsoft has joined The OpenAjax Alliance, which is focused on accelerating the use of Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, or Ajax, technologies. Microsoft said it agreed to join the alliance to work with other vendors to evolve Ajax."
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Microsoft Joins OpenAjax Alliance

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  • Only fitting... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Niten (201835) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:53AM (#18428875)

    Well it seems only fitting, since they're the ones who invented Ajax in the first place...

    • Not really (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      They developed parts of it. That the extension to http. That is it. They did not develop javascript, the browser, the web, etc. They, like others, stood on the shoulders of giants. But to say that they developed ajax it wrong.
      • Re:Not really (Score:5, Insightful)

        by bberens (965711) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:38AM (#18430317)
        Edison didn't invent glass, didn't discover electricity, etc. but he DID invent the light bulb while standing on the shoulders of giants. Microsoft invented ajax regardless of how blinded by hatred you are. What might infuriate you even more is that if they hadn't created active-x they would never have created ajax. Imagine that, active-x, famous security nightmare, responsible for the great and powerful ajax.
        • Imagine that, active-x, famous security nightmare, responsible for the great and powerful ajax.
          And the moral of this story is: don't blame the idea for the implimentation.
        • by AuMatar (183847)
          He didn't invent the lightbulb, he engineered a lightbulb with a reasonable lifespan. The first lightbulb was invented long before Edison started in on it.
  • by subl33t (739983) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @09:56AM (#18428911)
    "to work with other vendors to evolve Ajax."

    Hands up, everyone who thinks Ajax is now doomed...
    • by afidel (530433)
      Yep, I can feel the chants of embrace, extend, extinguish from here. Somehow I can't help but fear that MS will be adding proprietary COM addins to their XMLHTTPRequest implementation to "aid developers in promoting a more rich experience" which will of course tie most AJAX implementations to Windows and IE.
      • Nah, they'll just sit on some submarine patents around XmlHttpRequest, and then sue Firefox out of existence.
      • by smartfart (215944) *
        I think their big worry is web-based office applications, such as Google's. Maiming AJAX (undoubtedly their aim here) is the logical thing for them to do, IMHO.
    • *Raises Hand* (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      The reason why Ajax took off in the first place is because of techniques and libraries that have allowed for a *normalized* interface that strattles the inconsistencies between IE, Firefox and other browsers.

      Well, okay, mostly IE and everyone else. So count this AC in: I question Microsoft's involvement in anything that attempts to erode their hedgemony over any market space. From www.openajax.org:

      The prime objective is to accelerate customer success with Ajax by promoting a customer's ability to mix and

    • raises hand.

      Microsoft said it agreed to join the alliance to work with other vendors to embrace Ajax.

      There, I fixed the headline.

  • Microsoft said it agreed to join the alliance to work with other vendors to evolve Ajax.

    I can't wait for MS to release "Internet: Ajax Evolved".
  • How about a link? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Per Wigren (5315) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:07AM (#18429073) Homepage
    OpenAjax Alliance [openajax.org].

    That said, I have no idea why this alliance is needed, even after reading most of their site. We already have Prototype [prototypejs.org], MooTools [mootools.net], jQuery [jquery.com] and other great libraries. I'd be perfectly happy if Microsoft could just make IE fully support CSS instead of joining this buzzword-masturbating alliance...
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by kjamez (10960)
      don't forget the dojo toolkit, http://dojotoolkit.org/ [dojotoolkit.org]

    • by Darkforge (28199)
      The most important advantage we're hoping to get out of OpenAjax is JavaScript namespacing. Prototype, Dojo and others will all too happily clobber each other's functions and objects, rendering them useless when used together. A consistent naming standard is one of the most immediate tangible benefits of the alliance.
      • by Denney (947351)
        Mod parent up!! This is a very important benefit.
      • by zoips (576749)
        Right, so we need another group in order to push ECMAScript 4 (aka Javascript 2.0)?

        AJAX: The latest masturbatory buzzword for the clueless and stupid.
    • by klept (895849)
      Who said the alliance is needed. Microsoft is merely following the old mob maxim "Keep your friends close. Keep your enemies closer".
  • boon and bane (Score:3, Insightful)

    by j.metasyntactic (1074486) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:07AM (#18429075) Homepage
    How could this be bad? It is a good thing that Microsoft is working with an Open Alliance, in that Microsoft will be the better able to contribute to the developments and innovations. That Microsoft money will assist in any Open system. And do it in a way that works the technologies that are already out there, and that the community has already embraced- instead of developing a proprietary system that does things in a Microsoft way, and does not play nice with others. And since it is an Open Alliance, Microsoft cannot steer the technology in a direction that would benefit Microsoft solely.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      How could this be bad?

      Do you remember how they supported Java? Lots of stalling, equivocating and Windows-only Java extensions, all while promoting ActiveX over Java. Eventually, all these actions prompted a lawsuit from Sun which Sun won. After this, Microsoft totally dropped support of their JVM in a fit of spite.

      Let's face it: Microsoft doesn't promote or like standards. What they like are proprietary technologies that only they can effcetively use.
      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by ClosedSource (238333)
        "Do you remember how they supported Java? Lots of stalling, equivocating and Windows-only Java extensions, all while promoting ActiveX over Java. Eventually, all these actions prompted a lawsuit from Sun which Sun won. After this, Microsoft totally dropped support of their JVM in a fit of spite."

        Actually MS was a rather early adopter of Java. Yes, they made a JVM that ran 100% pure Java apps better on Windows than Sun's could and they added extensions to the Java language (in the form of J++) that made Java
        • "Sun's license for Java insists that all implementations be "compatible". This resulted in a legal dispute with Microsoft after Sun claimed that the Microsoft implementation did not support the RMI and JNI interfaces and had added platform-specific features of their own. Sun sued and won both damages (some $20 million) and a court order enforcing the terms of the license from Sun. As a result, Microsoft no longer ships Java with Windows, and in recent versions of Windows, Internet Explorer cannot support Ja
          • "100% pure Java" was a logo program that Sun created that was supposed to certify that a qualifying application "conforms to the Java ideal of universal portability". I assume that the word "ideal" was used because Sun realized that Java apps couldn't actually achieve universal portability. Like many others, I suspected that its main purpose was to discredit MS's JVM and Java apps that were based on it.
    • How could this be bad?

      You must be new here. MS has a long history of polluting things with proprietary extensions. Java and Kerebos, for example.

      With Java they added two commands that Sun's version did not have. With Kerebos, they took a free implementation from MIT and changed it so that it is incompatible with every other Kerebos implementation.

      Then there are all those promises of MS in terms of interoperability. HTML, XML, CSS2, etc.

    • Read between the lines. Microsoft doesn't do anything to benefit humanity unless it benefits themselves more (or has the potential to benefit themselves more). This has been exemplified many times in the past. This is the first step of the 'embrace, extend, extinguish' strategy. I admit that I may be quick to call foul on Microsoft, but given their reputation, can you blame me and others for doing so?
  • The news should be that they are joining this existing group so they can subvert it, slow it down, or just plain make sure their stuff doesn't work well on MS Windows.

    LoB
    • Microsoft wants stuff to only work Better in windows. Notworse. Remember when they "helped" Java. deadkevin
      • by Locutus (9039)
        And it just so happens that EVERY TIME they do this, they make their version incompatible with the others.

        So you think they are doing it to make it run better on Windows? Can I interest you in a piece of land on the moon?

        Don't kid yourself, EVERYTHING Microsoft does is tweaked to act as a protection mechanism for the Microsoft Windows monopoly. And unfortunately, these tweaks always make the developers job more difficult and customer experience confusing in a heterogeneous environment.

        LoB
  • Thing is, they had a hand in starting the async. xml and javascript story. Another thing is, they don't really have a good record on standards compliance. Add them together, what do you get ? Yep, innovation at it's best: going backwards.

    On the other hand, MS just has to be in there, like in everything else, since it;s harder to influence and/or control if you're not inside. That's all. All the rest about great innovations and lotsa tall blondes and free beers is just a bedside story.

    to ensure interoperabil
  • Sweet (Score:3, Funny)

    by loafing_oaf (1054200) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:21AM (#18429281)

    Sweet, now I don't have to learn AJAX. I can't wait for AJAX#.

  • They have announced that they will "improve" and "enhance" Ajax to give it "new" and "exciting" features. Too bad IE7 is the only browser that will support these features. And the API and documentation will be known only within MSFT. There will be bugs in the server side which IE7 will work around, and there will be bugs in IE7 side that the server will work around. But the new and exciting OOAjax will be "new industry standard".

    Embrace. Check

    Extend. pending.

    Extinguish. soon

    ...

    ...

    profit. forever.

  • MS could come out tomorrow and say that they will be donating $100 million dollars a day to the development and enhancement of Ubuntu as a replacement for the failed Windows Vista and everyone would still be filling up the /. comments sections with "on noes" and ??? > profit! all day long. Not that I would not agree and then wrap foil over my unbuntu distro CDs, I'm just saying it is about time MS just give up and embrace their evilness.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stratjakt (596332)
      Maybe /. should grow up and quit personifying corporations?

      Seriously, this website serves absolutely no purpose, and has no weight in the industry. It's a place for geeks to verbally masturbate.

      Nobody goes to their boss with a proposal or idea that begins with "I read on slashdot..."
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by value_added (719364)
        ... quit personifying corporations?

        They hate it when you do that.
      • Nobody goes to their boss with a proposal or idea that begins with "I read on slashdot..."

        That kind of depends.... You're probably on safe ground if your boss is wearing a shirt that says: "I'm CowboyNeal's Lovechild", has a poster of Chuck Norris, or repeatedly says: "I'm your boss, you insensitive clod..."

        For other bosses, I suppose "I read in the blogosphere..." will have to do.
      • Nobody goes to their boss with a proposal or idea that begins with "I read on slashdot..."

        Not necessarily so. I don't bother mentioning the source but I have incorporated lots of technologies that I've heard about on /. into our products and/or processes. Perhaps 99% of the content here is sophomoric but the remaining 1% is pure gold and worth every minute of sifting through the same old tired jokes repeated endlessly.

      • by dubbreak (623656)
        "Nobody goes to their boss with a proposal or idea that begins with "I read on slashdot..."

        Your exactly right. When they go to their boss the proposal goes, "I came up with a great new solution.." or, "I was doing some research into tools.." I.E. they'll just claim the idea came from them.

        Slashdot isn't a reputable source for anything, however it is a great hydrant of various ideas, software and hardware. As with any source you have to do your own research and sift through the misinformation and/or use
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by aeoo (568706)

        Seriously, this website serves absolutely no purpose,

        The purpose is to communicate.

        and has no weight in the industry.

        It has the same weight as any other communication -- no more, no less. When you participate in a group discussion, you are probably going to respect some people and not others. Those that you respect will influence you and that influence will carry through to your day job.

        It's a place for geeks to verbally masturbate.

        Communication venues are what you make of them. Since you say that, I hav

      • >It's a place for geeks to verbally masturbate.

        So was it good for you too?
  • Control (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Archangel Michael (180766) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:23AM (#18429299) Journal
    Microsoft only seeks to control that which threatens its bread and butter.

    In this case, the concept that AJAX presents is a killer app to the bread and butter business of Productivity Software. With AJAX one can create the software one needs, and there is no restrictions on client OS other than a browser that properly displays AJAX components.

    Combine this with the idea from Adobe on sandboxing this in a wrapper for distribution away from Client/Server architecture which is completely platform independant, and you have a huge problem for Microsoft.

    They are going to try to tie specific implementations to Proprietary products (Windows, IE etc).

    Resistance is Futile.
    • by naoursla (99850)
      Meanwhile, Microsoft releases a new version of Visual Studio [microsoft.com] with JScript support and a library that makes AJAX programming [asp.net] dead simple.

      Microsoft has zero interest in killing AJAX, JScript, or the web.
    • by Ctrl-Z (28806)
      Yes, I remember when the very same thing happened ten years ago and all of Microsoft's productivity software was replaced by Java.

      Er, um, I guess that didn't really happen. Maybe it's because the software platform doesn't matter?
    • They are going to try to tie specific implementations to Proprietary products (Windows, IE etc).

      That is fact-free spin.
      The MS Ajax toolkit [asp.net] has a stated goal of "work with any browser [asp.net]".

  • Microsoft has turned the inherently open XML tech that is the "X" in XML into a battleground of propretary XML dialects to protect their MS Office formats. Just the latest in MS monkeywrenches in open format technologies like HTTP, HTML that force everyone to support the format that's best for MS. MS will surely turn AJAX into yet another "success" story.
    • by icepick72 (834363)
      If Microsoft is agreeing to evolve AJAX within an open standards body then inside that context they cannot introduce proprietary features. This is much better than Microsoft evolving AJAX all by itself -- of course Microsoft may do that regardless as another in-house development stream. Dismissing Microsoft's efforts is a common theme. As with anything you can always look at the negative aspects instead of the positive. I wanted to note a positive point.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        The point that MS "evolving" AJAX inside an open standards body at least offers some opportunities to keep AJAX "equal opportunity" for everyone, not just MS, is a good one.

        And discussing the need for that alternative to MS just hijacking the tech on its own is part of the way to ensure that the open groups are watching for MS tricks and manipulation.

        Together, the two competing interests can engage in the open group to help keep open the tech it produces.
  • Corporate rubbish? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Bogtha (906264) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @10:51AM (#18429647)

    John Resig, lead developer of the jQuery [jquery.com] library, has already written about [ejohn.org] this alliance. Choice quote:

    This is all (hopefully) an overreaction. But the very fact that no non-legally-backed entities exist in the alliance (and the fact that no good corporation would sign a legal agreement ambiguously defining the status of an "organization") leads me to believe that many of today's poplar JavaScript libraries are intended to be left out of the drafting of the OpenAjax requirements.

  • Ajax is currently supported on many browsers, even if a more standardized way would be welcome. What is really missing is a way for server to send data to the client, and this is often emulated using hidden iframe's that never load completely. Is there any plan to improve on this?
  • SOAP-ification (Score:3, Insightful)

    by hey (83763) on Wednesday March 21, 2007 @11:23AM (#18430095) Journal
    Right now AJAX is pretty simple.
    Just like XML-RPC was. Then Microsoft made it all complicated and called it SOAP. Now you need a library to use SOAP because its so complicated.
    I hope this doesn't happen to AJAX!!
    • by sconeu (64226)
      What do you mean complicated? SOAP can't be complicated, the name says it's simple! Simple Object Access Protocol!!!!
    • by giafly (926567)

      Now you need a library to use SOAP because its so complicated.
      No you don't. And no it's not. I support a product which includes a SOAP API and several clients access it using hand-crafted XML for their SOAP calls. This is pretty straightforward, certainly easier than e.g real-world CSS or XSL.

      To return to the original subject of this thread: if you think SOAP is complex, no way should you consider using AJAX!
  • How long will it be before Microsoft gets cranky, takes their ball, and goes home this time?
  • Whatever you do, don't sign up to sys-con.com's mailing lists unless you know for absolutely 100% positively certain that you want to be pestered about Ajax conferences for the rest of your life. They WILL NOT remove you from their mailing lists. TBH I've no idea how I actually got on their lists in the first place.

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