Santa Clara - Ajax isn't the most prominent technology on display at EclipseCon 2006 this week but it's there sort
of sneaking around the corners of the Santa Clara Convention Center like an unexpected guest at a party.
It may seem odd for a conference drawing upwards of 1,500 mostly Java coders talking mostly about Web service applications to not be focusing more openly on the hottest technology idea of the past year, but the Eclipse Foundation is just getting to know Ajax as it mulls over proposals for bringing it into the framework.
One of those proposals comes from IBM, the Eclipse progenitor and major contributor of expertise and money. When John Kellerman, IBM strategy manager for Eclipse Initiatives, is asked if there is room for Ajax in Eclipse, he says, "The answer is yes, most definitively yes." But having worked with Eclipse since 1999 when it was just a gleam in Big Blue's eye, he explains that the Ajax proposals now being considered are very new, dating back only to the first of this year.
The main IBM proposal is the Ajax Tools Framework, which Kellerman said has drawn interest from other vendors including BEA Systems Inc. and Oracle Corp.
"The idea is to present a set of extensible framework tools to allow you to build Ajax applications in Eclipse," Kellerman said. "That project was created in the past month."
So Ajax fans will have to be patient while the proposed Ajax Tools Framework and other initiatives work their way through the Eclipse process.
Among the attendees and speakers at EclipseCon there are ambiguous feelings about Ajax.
On the exhibition floor, only Innoopract Informationssysteme Gmbh is openly promoting its "Rich Ajax Platform" (RAP). Innopract announced this week a proposal to put RAP into the Eclipse process.
Others were enthusiastic but more cautious.
"Whether or not it's a good solution is yet to be seen," he told his audience.
Other EclipseCon attendees were heard to muse that Ajax may be a "transitional technology."
Considering that Ajax technology is not standards-based, a slow deliberate movement through Eclipse seems likely.