I was reading Dare Obasanjo’s blog this morning waiting for an MSPAC speaker and hit the top of my “I feel so bad” meter: W3C Publishes XMLHttpRequest Object specification

First of all, I don’t like the W3C anymore. When the web was wild and Netscape was creating the BLINK tag and Microsoft was creating the MARQUEE tag, we needed a little bit of head knocking to get things cooled down and standardized. When XSLT was morphing and needed to be guided to help solve our dynamic view + data rendering, W3C was a great place to proactively brainstorm.

Their job is done.

As they continue to keep themselves busy, you get awful stuff like XSD – the very worse you can get from a design-by-committee specification that is so inelegant I regret everytime I have to crack a book to track down some obscure aspect of a naughty schema.

Now, they go and pull together a specification of the XMLHttpRequest object, something that’s the fundamental fun driving the AJAX / Web 2.0 world of re-enthusiasm about the web and dynamic solutions, and give zip zero zilch nods towards the original creators of the object.


Way back when (when as in when my beard wasn’t as grey… or grey at all) I worked on the NetDocs project, specifically on the group implementing the inbox, calendar, and contact views and the technology underneath to great the XML list data and render them. All that XML was grabbed via an XMLHttpRequest object instantiated as a WebDAV command. NetDocs was AJAX on steroids. Asynchronous, crazy, COM-loving steroids.

I sat down with my boss to hear an architectural review by Alex Hoppman on how the original OWA worked and their usage of this little object Alex helped to design: XMLHttpRequest object. Nifty!

Niftyness sticks in the programming world. When something is done well, it is duly appreciated and put to use. That’s what we did. Big time.

So I don’t want to go all Dave Winer here and demand attribution everytime XMLHttpRequest is glorified. But a specification? One with historical tracking and that points to other references on the subject? Yes. I expect due attribution here, even grudingly added later.


So I’ll go back to the “live” spec occasionally, perhaps even pop a pissy post to their alias. I think the W3C is ready to be shuttered and archived off. This is just another brick in the wall.