Any hopes anyone may have had about the buzzword “Ajax” becoming dead and gone are, well, dead and gone.

What confuses me is what people mean when they say “Ajax”? Are the referring to:

  • The actual XMLHTTPRequest object?
  • Any method of using JavaScript to retrieve data from the server?
  • A whole new web application paradigm involving use of the XMLHTTPRequest object (or something similar) to retrieve small bits of data from the server without reloading the whole page?

Please, denizens of Web 2.0, clarify exactly what it is you mean by “Ajax” when you use it or don’t use it at all.