The marketplace of ideas is an amazing place. When Microsoft came up with the notion of Remote Scripting (many years ago), the Netscape folks scoffed. At the time, folks looked at MS and said, “This is a war, and I won’t use a feature from the big bad wolf!” The notion of asynchronously updating part of a web page, while powerful, lay dormant for years.
Sure, IE has kept the feature alive, but few folks used it. Then, as soon as the Mozilla/Firefox folks decided to go ahead and embrace the notion, then it becomes safe for the public to use. Only then is it “cross platform.” Alas, the key was not to add the feature to our browser, but to add it to every browser. (interesting).
The success of Gmail, and a marketing campaign by a consulting company, have led to some visibility. There’s a new marketing term for this long-existing technique: Ajax. Nice name. Marketing, they get.
The great thing for MS platform developers: Just as the term will be gaining steam, Microsoft will release ASP.Net 2.0, which looks to have built-in support for it. The product groups have come up with a competing name: Atlas.
So, special thanks to Jesse James Garrett for publicizing a feature of our new platform. If you want to know more about implementing Ajax, both in ASP.Net 2.0 and in .Net 1.1, see this paper by Dino Esposito on the MSDN site.
If you want to know more about Atlas, see this blog entry from scottgu
It is nice to be ahead of the curve.