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Ajax is Born

In February 2005, Jesse James Garrett of Adaptive Path, LLC published an online article entitled, "Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications" (still available at In this essay, Garrett explained how he believed web applications were closing the gap between the Web and traditional desktop applications. He cited new technologies and several of the Google projects as examples of how traditionally desktop-based user interaction models were now being used on the Web. Then came the two sentences that would ignite a firestorm of interest, excitement, and controversy:


Google Suggest and Google Maps are two examples of a new approach to web applications that we at Adaptive Path have been calling Ajax. The name is shorthand for Asynchronous JavaScript + XML, and it represents a fundamental shift in what's possible on the Web.

From that point forward, a tidal wave of Ajax articles, code samples, and debates began popping up all over the Web. Developers blogged about it, technology magazines wrote about it, and companies began hitching their products to it. But to understand what Ajax is, you first must understand how the evolution of several web technologies led to its development.

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