The History of XMLHTTP , and Patience

Microsoft alum Alex Hopmann writes today about creating XMLHTTP (which is the basis of “Ajax” for my less geeky readers). “XMLHTTP actually began its life out of the Exchange 2000 team. … That weekend I startup up Visual Studio and whipped up the first version of what would become XMLHTTP. The first verison (sic) didn’t have async support hooked up and was pretty crude, but it was enough to help Jim and Bob… .”

It’s an interesting read, both from a historical perspective interesting to those of us that pay rent based on work derived from it, and also to those interested in what makes a particular technology flourish.

Towards the end (it’s a long 2000-word piece), he shares this insight which I think it broadly-applicable:

“The lesson to take out of this thing is to appreciate the importance of shipping and having the patience to let something succeed. It feels like [people] measure [a new platform] by how many apps have adopted it on the launch day. That is just crazy and it doesn’t get the basics of how big a shift these sorts of things can be and how long it takes to move the mind-set, learning, and deployment of a big new platform.”

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