Uptonian Thoughts


· ·

Am I the only one who thinks that AjaxWrite is not only the least impressive Ajax app out there, but one of the worst ideas for a webapp, period? Probably not, but it seems to have generated a huge amount of buzz recently. Alex Russel shares my sentiments, and I’m glad for it.

First of all, yes, it uses Javascript, so technically it can be called an Ajax app, but maybe the acronym should be changed to Asynchronous Javascript and XUL. It requires one, specific version _of one specific browser! Does that not go against much of the purpose for which Ajax is to be used? The fact that a webapp that competes with a _ubiquitous Microsoft product doesn’t work in 90% of the browsers on the market speaks volumes.

Not to mention that the webapp sucks. You have a limited number of layout options, nowhere near enough features ported over from Word to make it a viable competitor, and it’s not intuitive enough from the get-go. All of the “theory” and the “demonstration of what can be done with Ajax today” only goes so far. Those benefits don’t hold water in a webapp that replicates what you could do by opening a text editor that comes with nearly every operating system. I see a need for mail that is accessible from anywhere and a calendar that can be edited and subscribed to online, but I don’t think a webapp needs to or even can be the saving grace of text editors / word processors.

Apparently, AjaxLaunch.com will launch a new Ajax app every week, replicating many PC applications. Why? We don’t need watered down versions of Office applications; we need Microsoft to reslease Office 2007 with more of the features we want, and we need projects like Open Office to keep the competiton fresh by matching what MS does. Adding an emasculated word processor to the mix doesn’t make much sense to me.