Grappling with Web 2.0 can be a bit daunting in that it has become an amalgamation of disparate trends and ideas. Equal parts buzzword, technology standard, aesthetic ideal, business model and social movement, Web 2.0 may become a phrase we come to mock as “so 2006.”
But this lack of an easy definition doesn’t diminish the importance of what Web 2.0 seeks to describe. The evolution of how we use the Web and the technologies that drive that evolution are no less important for being saddled with such a jargony name.
The Web’s movement from an information repository to an application platform and global collaboration tool is full of great promise for changing business models and new methods of delivering services. But what are the drivers of this change? Here are a few key ingredients of what is being called Web 2.0.
AJAX encapsulates a few technologies and techniques that together have produced huge gains in the functionality of Web applications, making them respond and operate like desktop-installed software.
Essentially, AJAX breaks the frustrating Web interaction of “click, wait, read, click, wait, read” to which we’ve become so begrudgingly accustomed. With AJAX, your browser can be continuously getting information from the server while you’re reading. When you ask for the next set of bytes, it’s already there.
The obvious result of AJAX (combined with better connection speeds) is exponentially faster Web applications. This has led to Web apps that can viably replace desktop applications.