Everyone knows AJAX (Asynchronous Java and XML) is the Next Big Thing.
By combining programming with tagging, you can do amazing things. You can embed applications inside tiny bits of hypertext, and get a lot done in the background with minimal user action.
Right now there's a rush to make all this open source. We know Java itself is moving toward an open source model. IBM is now pushing heavily on this front, proposing an open source AJAX project to Eclipse, and donating some code.
This is where it gets hairy.
Everyone wants their code in the standard platform because that makes them the author of the standard. But for a platform to be a standard, it has to be standardized.
There used to be two ways to create a standard. There was the Microsoft way and the committee way. Windows is a standard done the Microsoft way. WiFi is a standard done the committee way.
Trouble is, the commitee way does not move quickly. We have seen this with WiFi, where "preliminary" designs for new standards are out before the ink on those standards is dry.
This is what we need to do with AJAX. The question I have to ask is, simply, does the committee have the resources to address this quickly and keep AJAX uniform?
I hope so.