YDN Theater — Douglas Crockford: “The State of Ajax”

By YUI TeamNovember 6th, 2007

Dougls Crockford presents "The State of Ajax"

We’ve been posting Douglas’s talks here on YUIBlog for awhile now, and we’re happy to carry on this tradition with his latest presentation, “The State of Ajax”. In this session, Douglas looks at Ajax in its historical context to help focus attention on the trends and traditions out of which Ajax has grown. He then turns to the virtues and vulnerabilities of Ajax as it’s currently embodied on the web, including in manifestations like mashups:

One of the things that Ajax has enabled are mashups, and mashups are the most interesting innovation in software development in at least 20 years. Mashups are the fulfillment of the promise of compenent architecture and highly reusable modules. Mashups are great, providing a whole new class of interactivity and value. Unfortunately, mashups are insecure, so when we’re designing mashups now we have to be careful that the mashups not have access to any confidential information. And it turns out every page contains confidential information, so mashups as currently practiced in the browser are inherently insecure. Security is a big problem in the web. I think it’s our no. 1 big problem. The web is an exploit waiting to happen.

In short, Douglas argues, the browser needs to go forward for the web to go forward. And we have a long way to go: “We’re so far from state of the art,” he says, “we can’t even see the state of the art from here.” Without further ado:

Special thanks to Ricky Montalvo, videographer for the new YDN Theater (a successor to YUI Theater), for shooting and editing Douglas’s talk.

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  1. [...] Douglas Crockford, purveyor of the JSONRequest spec, is cranky in a polite sort of way. He also happens to be right! Check out the video of his recent talk on The State of AJAX. [...]

  2. Yahoo couldn’t setup a redirect to get me here? Ok, maybe the world is going to hell.

    Nonetheless I still feel like this guy missed the point of Ajax or what is going on. Thing are interconnected in greater ways than they used to be. I’m not sure why he would decide to give a talk on AJAX? Why would talk about computer imagery in the same sentence? Lifelike skin? Putting things into holes? A little computer history but sheesh.

    The great thing about the internet is you put someting in a whole and something pretty decent comes out. It’s not high fidelity. It’s stupid protocols which are simply an amazing delivery system. AJAX is simply one of the myriad of ways to get there. It’s never going to be dead until Javascript and it’s friends leave.

    Like asking Obey One to teach us about light sabers or something.

    Peace on brothers and sisters.

  3. Suprising like always.
    Maybe could you says some words into your historical part about the french Minitel (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minitel)

  4. [...] YDN Theater — Douglas Crockford: “The State of Ajax” » Yahoo! User Interface Blog In short, Douglas argues, the browser needs to go forward for the web to go forward. And we have a long way to go: “We’re so far from state of the art,” he says, “we can’t even see the state of the art from here.” Without further ado: (tags: yuiblog.com 2007 mes10 dia11 ajax video mashup yahoo! webservices) [...]

  5. I’m interested that he said CSS is crap, what are the alternatives?

  6. [...] on the YUI blog I found a presentation by Douglas Crockford who was talking about The State of Ajax -and the news isn’t good, or to put it more precisely there aren’t actually any news. [...]

  7. Fabian Vercuiel said:
    December 14, 2007 at 8:50 am

    pete b,

    I think what he meant when he flamed css was that when you look at CSS in terms of how browsers treat it.. it is crap. That does not necessarily mean that CSS cant be applied to your websites. The only way you can use CSS today and not worry about browser compatibility is by using Flex which compiles the CSS into bytecode that gets run by Flash (which works on every platform and browser)

    If it weren’t for Adobe though CSS would have had the same fate as the rest of the web technologies.

  8. [...] 15, 2007 A little over a month ago, Yahoo’s Douglas Crawford gave a great presentation on “The State of Ajax.” His opening was brilliant. He started with a brief history of computing ending with some of the [...]

  9. [...] you haven’t seen it already, I recommend you watch this presentation by Douglas Crockford. Douglas Crockford, love him or hate him, knows a lot about internet technologies.  Even if there [...]

  10. He is amazing guy. I have never heard so many valuable information.

  11. A very interesting talk, but i’m not sure i agree with the conclusion.

    I programmed using punched cards back at the beginning of the 80s. I also did development on a multi user IBM 370 (later upgraded to a 4340) and on a multi user Vax 11/780 – and i definitely agree that IBM was crap at multi user stuff!

    I programmed graphics on early home computers in 81-82, as well – and they were unbelievably primitive!

    I also used to work with cut and paste (paper) layout for printing.

    I agree that CSS is a bit clunky, but i don’t agree that it’s crap. I think CSS is brilliant. It’s hard to envision a replacement that could have the incredible flexibility of CSS, while being significantly different.

    And, having worked with paper tape, punched cards, teletypes, 6560 graphics chips, and HTML 1, i think the future is fantastic. I’m constantly amazed that this stuff has developed so far in such a short time! There’s definitely plenty of room for improvement, but what’s been achieved so far is incredible.

  12. I should just clarify my above comment… Digital Equipment Corp’s Vax 11/780 was excellent at multi-user – i mentioned it as a contrast to the crapness of the IBM, but i didn’t make that clear.

  13. liked the talk ,but I since m a web designer ,I don’t think css is a crap….