Have you fathered an acronym yet?

The laurels of Jesse James Garrett who created a popular acronym AJAX make some people uncomfortable. How come, he did it and I did not?

John Lam from Microsoft also wants to father of something nice. His (or Microsoft “s?) baby will be called ARAX. The eWeek magazine published an article called “Move Over, AJAX, ARAX is Here rdquo;, where R stands for Ruby.

Unfortunately, John Lam was not able to articulate why would developers want to write the client portion of the Silverlight RIA in IronRuby other than mentioning the ability to reuse some handy utility that you might have created in Ruby on the server side. I “m sure, there is a lot more handy utilities written in VB.Net or C#.

As per eWeek, besides other questionable statements, Lam said,

“If we do our jobs right and we get Silverlight to play very widely, then all of a sudden for folks that are interested in doing some ARAX, they can. They have to ask, Do we want to take a dependency on this thing? It ‘s pretty brain-dead to take a dependency on Flash, because Flash is everywhere already. So this becomes a more compelling scenario over time, ” he said, noting that as Silverlight adoption grows the opportunity for ARAX development increases.

And this is the first time in many years when I have no idea what this paragraph means. Long time ago, when I was studying English and my vocabulary was about 500 words, I often did not know the meaning of a half of the words from any given paragraph. This time I have another challenge ndash; I know the meaning of every word from the above, but I have no idea what these words mean if put together in this particular order.

I don “t think that the acronym ARAX can go as far as AJAX did. The thing is that by the time of creation, AJAX was already a very popular detergent, a household name familiar to any housewife. But when I hear ARAX, the only thing that comes to mind is a river that flows somewhere along the borders of Iran, Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan, which does not really help in spreading this term in the USA given the tense relations with Iran and the Borat movie. Remember infamous Chevy Nova automobile that was not selling well in the Spanish-speaking countries because it meant “doesn “t go rdquo; in Spanish?

I don “t know how Jesse was able to come up with his creation, but in case of ARAX, the lack of adequate preparation and marketing research is pretty obvious.

Similarly to the popular detergent, JavaScript is available on every computer connected to the Web – just add a bit DHTML and an XMLHttpRequest and you are set. But this is not the case with Ruby, and especially with its Microsoft “s version called IronRuby.

The IronRuby will be supported by Silverlight 2.0 (currently in Beta) that includes Dynamic Language Runtime (DLR). In general, it “s a good sign that Microsoft is quietly moving away from relying just on the Web browser as a runtime environment for RIA. It “s even better that they finally realized that there are people who do not use Windows, and Silverlight will be offered on other platforms too. The more languages DLR will support, the better. But first, the install base of the Silverlight runtime should reach some serious numbers (at least 50%), which definitely won “t happen this year, and when it does, Microsoft should offer really good reasons of why someone would write a Silverlight client application in IronRuby.

John Lam should start working on the whitepaper that would clearly show the benefits of using IronRuby. A benchmarking site similar to the one created by James Ward would not hurt either. Meanwhile, let “s see if ARAX will become as strong as one of the largest rivers of Caucasus.


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