Are we still at the point where a talk on ajax must start with the "What is ajax?" question? Well, at least the explanations seem to be getting shorter 🙂
Justin spent the majority of the presentation showing uncluttered examples of various Rails/Ajax/Prototype capabilities. Auto-complete search, drag-drop, and the like. These were delivered in a "if you haven't played with this yet" sort of way but he also managed to keep it quick enough – and drop in enough 'even if you've done this before you may not know about this' tidbits to keep the more experienced portion of the audience interested.
The presentation ended with a bang as he demo'd creating an application with the soon to be released Streamlined. Streamlined is an open source framework, developed by Relevance LLC, to bring the simplicity of ActiveRecord to the view layer (coincidentally, this is #2 of the "3 Unsolved Problems" posed in Dave Thomas keynote yesterday). This is really slick – a lot of functionality – good looking (although they are looking for a designer to contribute some improvements) – and best of all: _very_ quick and powerful. I'm definitely looking forward to this being released at OSCON.