My reaction on the fad of Ajax is posted in a comment to an O'Reilly article
Is AJAX Here to Stay?
When people boast with the term 'ajax framework' I sneer. There is no
framework in software development sense, no library, no API, no
references. Ajax is primary a web applications look and feel. Part of it
is a technique to overcome the page by page look and feel of regular web
applications. Another part is a lot of client side coding to update the
screen and simulate desktop widgets.
Before 'ajax' is coined, we have another term to describe these client
dom, event, css, etc. As any DHTML partitioner can tell you, it is lots
of hard work, trials and error, and hair pulling to get these trickery
done. Ajax suggests we do this in a massive scale. Adding cross browser,
cross platform support into the equation and you'll find it is not
really for the faint of heart.
Now we have some very smart people pushing the envelope of existing
primitives and built some very cool applications. Everybody else is
trying to follow suit. What we really need is a higher level web
application and widget framework to make this sustainable.
Two developments come into my radar screen. Both are browser
independent. XForm poise to be the next generation of web forms and it
could form the basis of richer user interface. The
allows developers to create applications with the rich user interface.
Although it currently requires Flash as the runtime engine.
As much as I like to see a rich user interface, it is also important to
keep in the balance with simplicity. I'm rather weary of sending
efficiency as suggested in the article that concerns me. It is the
complexity of those code that makes me feel uncomfortable.