Using AJAX to do word processing on the web

You may not have heard of this, but we are now starting to see quite decent word processing applications implemented directly in the browser, using a technique that has become known as "AJAX" - Asyncrhonous Javascript And XML. As usual there is debate about what AJAX really means, who invented it (Microsoft claims that they had it like 5 years ago - which everyone scoffs at.) Here's a good article about Ajax and how it's being used to build word processing applications that run directly in the browser:

"None of these methods, however, are as simple to set up as a standard Web browser, which can quickly access a file from anywhere in the world. That's the promise that AJAX brings to the party." (from AJAX: the way word processing will be)

One very impressive example cited in the article is Writely. It's (of course) free and easy to try. It really seems to work. Of course when it comes to word processing, features matter, but reliability matters a lot too. Last thing I want is to lose the 10 page term paper and not be able to retrieve it. Check it out.

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Posted on December 10, 2005 and filed under Technology.