First, a little quiz. "Ajax" is:
a) a powdered cleanser
b) the other name for Aspen Mountain
c) a Web technology
d) all of the above
Turns out the answer is (d), all of the above. Okay, in this context it's actually a composite of several Web technologies, as described by Jesse James Garrett in his article Ajax: a New Approach to Web Applications. Citing current development work by Google and others as examples of its use, Garrett introduces Ajax and describes how this fusion of five current Web technologies comprises a new and different model for delivering improved interactive experiences over the Web. It's a quick but challenging read, virtually guaranteed to get you thinking about new possibilities.