Google Delivers New AJAX APIs

The new Google tools will make AJAX development faster, officials say.

SAN FRANCISCO-Google announced a new set of APIs to make AJAX development faster and easier.

At its Google I/O developer conference here May 28, Google showed off its Google AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) Libraries API, which exists to make AJAX applications that use popular frameworks such as Prototype,, jQuery, Dojo and MooTools faster and easier for developers, said Dion Almaer, a Google engineer who worked on the technology.

"When you take a look at the effort that it takes to set up work that should be simple, such as caching shared JavaScript libraries, you quickly realize that the Web could be faster than it currently is," Almaer said. "The AJAX Libraries API is an attempt to make Web applications faster for developers in simple ways: Developers won't have to worry about getting caching set up correctly, as we will do that for you; if another application uses the same library [much more likely], then there is a much better chance that it will be already caching on the user's machine; and the network and bandwidth of the user's systems will not be taxed."

He said such things may look small.

"So, what, you host some files," Almaer said. "But when you run the numbers, you quickly see that this could make the Web a lot faster, and is the start of something even bigger if you look at what could happen in the future."

He said Google will add more AJAX libraries as developers find them useful.

"The bottom line, and what I am really excited about, is what this could all mean for Web developers," Almaer said. "We could be removed of the constant burden of having to re-download our standard libraries all the time. What other platform makes you do this? Imagine if you had to download the JRE [Java Runtime Environment] every time you ran a Java app. If we can remove this burden, we can spend more time flushing out functionality that we need, and less time worrying about the actual download bits."

During the opening keynote session at Google I/O, Mark Lucovsky, Google's technical director for the Google AJAX Search API, demonstrated the Google Data APIs, which provide read/write access to Google services such as YouTube Spreadsheet, Calendar and others. He also demonstrated the use of Google AJAX APIs and controls, which are similar to the Google Data APIs except they work against the open, public Web.

With these APIs, "you can sprinkle the Web onto your apps," Lucovsky said.