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Machine Learning : Article

First There Was Java, Then XML, Then AJAX; Now Comes...XJAX

"XJAX" Stands for Cross-domain JavaScript and XML

Daniel B. Markham, the most recent new contributor to AjaxWorld Magazine writes: First there was Java, then XML, then AJAX. Now I present to you: "XJAX."

XJAX stands for Cross-domain JavaScript and XML. It's a way of working with data sources from various sites inside a web page without having to have a dedicated server.

How do I know this new word, this new force majure of the industry? Well. I made it up.

I guess I should apologize to sombody. After all, perhaps you need a special certificate or something to create something as beautiful as awk, grep, RegEx (not to be confused with FedEx), LAN, WAN, and any of the other zillion catch phrases.

Let's face it, the computer industry has created its own version of English. Call it TechnoSpeak. Or call it Buzz-Word-orian. But whatever you call it, be sure you make it up. The rest of us do. Welcome to the club.

Seriously. I've worked at three large corporations on a CLAIMS system. One was for drugs, the other glasses, a third was for aliens. (Nope, not MIB aliens. The ones digging the tunnels.)

At first I tried to fight it. Use simple language, I told my staff. Try to talk to the user in terms they can understand. Remember that the computer must serve humanity, not the other way around.

It was all for naught. Year after year, project after project, we created reams of buzzword-encrusted reports and paperwork that would make any linguist cringe. And it wasn't just computer jargon. Heck no. That would have been too easy. We took industry jargon, the stuff that nobody else in any other field would recognize, and mixed it with computer jargon, the kind that the industry people themselves wouldn't understand. Then, just for some fun, we made up new acronyms and buzzwords and ladled them in there with the rest of them.

It was potent soup. I remember one of my first reports when I was contracting for the INS. My supervisor came around and told me my status report was insufficient.

"What's wrong?" I asked, "Didn't I work hard enough, accomplish the things you wanted for me, and put in a good week's effort?"

"No. It's not that," he confessed, "You're one of our best contractors. We love the work you do. But this report simply won't work."

"Wrong format?"

"It's too short. Put some more stuff in there. Tell them about the technology and problems you had in more, um, impressive terms. I'll need at least a couple pages a week from you from now on if you're going to work around here. After all, when I compile all 12 team members' reports together, it has to look daunting enough that there will be no questions."

He went away and I became a wiser man that day. From then on, I submitted 2 and 3 page reports, full of linguistic gobbledegook that would make a lawyer proud. People never knew what I did anymore, but they were certain I was doing a damn good job doing it.

So when you hear the term XJAX in the press (and hopefully you will! - the best jargon is stuff you can infect others with), remember you heard it here first. And also remember to use it on your status reports.

More Stories By Daniel B. Markham

Daniel Markham is a hands-on software architect who over the past several years has become a RUP mentor and Technology Strategist. Programming in all major languages and database platforms, his clients include Pitney Bowes, Ford, Charles Schwab, and the Department Of Defense. Daniel is the Principal Partner of Bedford Technology Group located in SW Virginia. He is the inventor of the only online multi-standard process evaluation system (www.MarkhamAssessmentTool.com) He is currently developing a free toolkit for bloggers using Web 2.0 technologies. batBack installs in seconds and requires no programming skills or special server configuration. It runs on all major blogging engines and browsers. It's also fully skinnable and extendable. You can find more about the batBack blog toolkit system at www.batBack.net You can reach Daniel at [email protected]

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Most Recent Comments
hi 02/29/08 03:20:10 AM EST

yes this is file

anon 04/07/06 03:14:05 PM EDT

What a waste of bits.

AlphabetSoup 04/07/06 12:37:13 PM EDT

The alphabet simply doesn't have enough letters any more. Whoever is running for President in 2008 should promise to increase it to 26-bit to 52! ;-)

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