3/26/2005

Firefox and AJAX - my BUTT! Gimme a BREAK!

Yup. They've done it again. Asynchronous XMLHTTPRequest and javascript to load an XML Document "behind the scenes" in a web page and use it to update the UI. It's so absolutely innovative as a programming concept that they've even given the technique a new Acronymn - AJAX! Just like they gave REST it's name when all it really boils down to is simple RPC over http on the querystring, essentially. (Actually, Ajax was the son of Telamon king of Salamis. After Achilles, he was the mightiest of the Greek heroes in the Trojan War.)

Why do these people with their SOA's and their AJAX's and God knows what else feel compelled to do this crap? Sell more magazines, perhaps? Sell more software?

The problem is, XMLHTTP has been around for Internet Explorer since version 3.0. By Internet standards, that's ancient history. So now people have resorted to "reinventing" it to gain marketing hype and notoriety. In fact, the first "big" use of it was in Outlook Web Access, and it was written by the MS Exchange team. But, oh no! These Moz and Firefox people are gonna give it a brand new name -- as if they invented it. I only bring this up because I've been working on an all client-side RSS aggregator that I may roll into an ASP.NET server control, and I wanted to
see if I could offer support for Firefox in it.

Well, surprise! Turns out, they've shot themselves right in the foot: With Firefox, you can't even make a damned XMLHTTP request for a lousy RSS feed that's not in the same domain because they consider it a security risk.

Jeesh! Take your AJAX and shove it up your foaming cleanser guys! Boris sez, "Vee don't need no Steenking Acro-neems! Vee need PLAN dat VORKS!"