Sunday, June 11, 2006

Buzzwords, 'cool' technologies, and finding a real use for things

It seems to me, that despite IT being loosely based on science, there is a massive amount of hype over some not so recently emerging concepts, (Ajax for example), and that we sometimes invent too many ways to do the same thing (relational DB versus LDAP. I am not by nature a procrastinator... but I spent a lot of time recently trying to find a use for Ajax within our many varied websites at work, and in trying to decide whether LDAP is better for a registration project than a simple relational DB.

So first, lets look at Ajax. Firstly, we all already know that what was coined as a marvellous new technology has been around for an eternity with varied different names. But Ajax 'sounds cool'. Ajax removes the need for the page to refresh, hmm, provided you pages are quick in the loading... not much of a biggie there I reckon. Don't get me wrong, I can see a place for Ajax in very specialised online 'tools', and I love the stuff the Dojo boys are doing, but it is really hard to find really really real useful uses for this stuff. If I got a quid every time someone said 'and now we really want to use Ajax on our sites', I would be able to give up working... well OK, maybe not, but I would be able to buy myself plenty of beer :-)

Now on to LDAP. Simply... why? Why use this instead of a relational DB? I am no expert on the LDAP spec, I have a great deal of reading to do, but I am already fully aware that nobody seems to be able to give me a concrete answer on why we should use LDAP for our registration project. Can anyone convince me that LDAP is not like an overelaborate and doomed to failure death trap designed by a super villain from a Bond movie? If I ever figure this out, I will be sure to revisit this blog post!

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