When Jesse James Garrett wrote ajax: a new approach to web applications, he was coining a new term, not creating a new technology. While the term is arguably inaccurate, it certainly has folks talking. This is good. But for now, the best advice I can give is to not pay attention until the current hoo-ha has subsided a bit. The signal to noise ratio is way off right now, because there are too many of us geeks jumping up and down screaming “What the hell? I’ve been doing this for years! This is just a fancy marketing term for stuff I wrote back in 2001!” Guess what, no one cares what we did then, or now for that matter, if it sucks.
What’s happening now is different. Talented, creative developers are discovering Ajax and doing amazing, useful things with it. Once the fervor dies down and the crybabies are dismissed, we can get to work on learning to make Ajax more accessible, usable and sensible while discovering where it fits into the big picture.
Ajax needed a fancy marketing term and a bit of hype or the whole suite of technologies could’ve continued flailing about in ugly little web admin areas behind corporate firewalls forever.