Technological Similes (e.g., Ajax is like…)


 As mentioned in a previous post, programmers typically explain one technology by referencing another more familiar technology.  What sometimes happens, however, is that the technology that was thought to be more familiar, and consequently believed to have explanatory power, in fact was simply originally explained by referencing some third vaguely understood technology; but time made the simile comfortable and vanity made it acceptable.  We only become aware of the semantic web we programmers weave when we are finally forced to use one of the referenced technologies and discover, once again, what a strange and incomprehensible thing programming is.  The experience is a bit like the shock felt by the woman who brought home a stray dog from Paris only to discover that it was really a large tailless rat.


To find out what one of the trendier new technologies is really like, I recently consulted Google.  A google search on “Ajax is like…” turns up the following results:



“Comparing Java and AJAX is like comparing apples and blue.”


“[U]sing Ajax is like consuming alcohol in public.”


“[A]jax is like instant messaging….”


“Customers asking for AJAX is like a prospective homeowner walking over to the contractors hired to do the building and handing them a saw.”


“AJAX is like Flash or HTML.”


“AJAX is like a javascript.”


“AJAX is like Javascript on steroids.”


“AJAX is like web services.”


“[A]jax is like everything else on line, it will be abused by various low lifes.”


“Ajax is like to partial update in Intraweb I am wrong?”


“Ajax is like ‘roller skates for the web.'”


“Ajax is like shell, Perl, Ruby. Ajax is like UNIX.”


“AJAX is like a Hooker turn School Teacher, it has a dirty secret and unless you get it alone and play with it, you won’t pickup on it’s secrets until it’s too late.”


“Ajax is, like stated in the essay, a new way to think about user interfaces on the web….”


“AJAX is like wearing 70’s djeans with an Hugo Boss Shoes….”


“AJAX is like Dinosaur cloning in Jurassic park.”


“AJAX is like folding a web page origami-style into a Lego brick….”


“AJAX is like a house of cards, and when a browser vendor screws up on a revision it’ll all come tumbling down.”


“AJAX is like putting a tiny bandage on a gaping wound the size of a grapefruit.”


“Ajax is like DHTML was 4 years ago, like javascript was 6 years ago, like applets were 8 years ago.”


“AJAX is like the killer buzzword.”


One thought on “Technological Similes (e.g., Ajax is like…)”

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