The web has been wonderful for reading information but not so good for more complex tasks such as filling in forms or handling email. That's because everything has to be sent from the remote web server: booking holidays, online banking and similar applications often involve filling in the boxes, clicking a button, waiting for a result ... then filling in all the boxes again.Read on for what AJAX means for the future - and a little scoopette on what it means for Microsoft's Longhorn and its Avalon user interface...
But this is starting to change with the arrival of responsive new systems such as Google Maps and Flickr. These are, effectively, applications which run inside your web browser, meaning you don't have to refresh the whole page to get the information you want.
[as always you can find an archive of my Guardian features here.]
I'm actually quite amused that I've got what's essentially a developer piece into a national newspaper