AJAX browser wishlist call goes unanswered

Apathy 2.0

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The OpenAjax Alliance is trying to gee up the AJAX community after a disappointing response to its call for a wish list of features vendors should add to browsers.

The Alliance - a cross-industry group whose goal is interoperability between AJAX technologies and to drive uptake of AJAX - issued the call at the start of April 2008.

It invited interested parties to cast votes on the features they would most like to see, with a report to be presented to developers of browser technology later this year.

Two months later, and with June billed as “phase II review time” just 13 people have bothered to cast their votes and several of these are members of the Alliance's Runtime Advocacy Task Force - the group behind the original features list. The Alliance boasts members from more than 100 companies, organizations and projects.

This all poses a problem for the Alliance, as it’s committed to next month produce its report. With 13 responses, those making browsers such as Microsoft, Mozilla and Opera - Alliance members - are unlikely to take the report seriously. Interestingly, Microsoft's OpenAjax member Bertrand Le Roy did actually bother to vote.

Announcing the effort in April, the Alliance said it’s main purpose was to: “To inform the browser vendors about what future features are most important to the AJAX community and why.”

As a result, the Alliance this week published a white paper heralding a return of the browser wars and, once more, encouraging "technical experts in AJAX application development" to vote.

The paper declared: "The alliance also wants to reach out beyond the AJAX toolkit providers to leading AJAX developers, particularly enterprise developers. Anyone from the community can participate in this effort, whether a member of OpenAjax Alliance or not."

The features attracting the most votes from the 13 people who actually bothered to vote in the first round focus on security and include better protection against cross-site scripting (five votes) and forgery (five votes). Most features attracted only three or four votes, which raises questions about the validity of the exercise and the level of enthusiasm among developers for AJAX in the first place.

At the same time, the Alliance also published a guide to AJAX development for mobile devices. Perhaps it will have more luck in this market.®

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