Alternatives to ajax
Applets are used to append Java programs to an HTML web page. Thus it can be used for the same purpose of AJAX, Applets, like Flash have also long been used to create a solution for efficient dynamic web pages before AJAX, however, Applets also consume a lot of memory and can temporarily 'freeze' browser while the Java plugin kicks in among other inefficiencies, however it is still heavily used in websites, including large brands like Facebook.com and RefinanceMortgages.com.
- SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
SVG is a web standard based on XML and maybe used for dynamic or static text and images thus can be used to serve dynamic web pages without the refresh of a page. Unfortunately, by default, Internet Explorer, the leader in the browser market has no support for SVG. Several Plugins are available though, to render SVG content. The incompatibility with Internet Explorer is a major reason behind choosing AJAX over SVG.
Those are three of the main alternatives to AJAX, there are other alternatives that can be considered like Adobe Flex and XAML (used in Silverlight), but AJAX is still the technology of choice for most developers where dynamic web pages are concerned.