OK. I might be the only one but I think people need to think beyond what is cool in Ajax. Take ajaxWrite for example. (BTW, it is worth reading Alex Russell‘s take on ajaxWrite from a pure Ajax perspective in his post titled ajaxWrong).
Here is the basic premise of ajaxWrite quoted below from their website (or other such applications sprouting on the web every hour):
- Global access, all you need is an internet connection
- Platform independent, you can use it with any operating system
- Automatic updates and upgrades, no more computer restarts or missed patches/updates
- Server side management — all the busywork is done for you
In many cases where we use a word processing application, we are operating from places where we don’t have an internet connection. Regarding platform independent, i couldn’t care less about it for a word processing application because most users have already chosen a platform (Windows or Mac or Linux or …) and aren’t likely to have multiple platforms floating around them at home or at work. While I can see the benefit of automatic updates and upgrades, it is not enough to convince me to abandon my favorite word processor. And as a user, who cares about server side management? I don’t have to worry about the server side management with my word processor because there is no friggin server! If I want free word processor, I would go for open source favorite Open Office which continues to improve with every release.
And now I see there is an ajaxSketch by the same developers. Same idea, different application, I can use it to generate an SVG diagram. Big deal. I like Gimp and Inkscape, and both are free and have a lot more features than ajaxSketch can ever incorporate.
Besides the obvious cool factor of rich applications on the browser, I need to know what is the business value of any such new applications. Can someone convince me that these applications have any value besides being toys to showcase what Ajax can do?