AJAX Without the Buzz

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Source Title:
AJAX - beyond the buzzwords
Story Text:

Changing times in web development. Not for everyone of course, but slowly and surely AJAX is becoming more mainstream. Of course, you can't move for blogpuppies jumping up and down and wetting themselves with excitement every time you mention the word, and most of them couldn't write a single line of even html so it's nice to see an unvarnished commentary on the AJAX technologies from K5 member k8f8

Using AJAX is a tradeoff. You gain greater control over a document and reduce the amount of information that must be passed from client to server. You also avoid the annoying flicker of page refreshes on pages that need to be frequently updated. Unfortunately, you also increase the complexity of the application and risk browser incompatibilities. Instead of simply printing text back at the request of a client browser you now have to script the interaction back and forth between the client and server. These drawbacks and not ignorance, as some articles have implied, have caused developers to shy away from AJAX. Developers want to maximize the number of people who can see their pages. But times have changed. The vast majority of web surfers now use browsers that support AJAX.

This stuff makes me feel a bit outdated - time i brushed up a bit on some of this stuff i guees...

Comments

It's pretty, but dev. and

It's pretty, but dev. and testing costs are still prohibitive. It's a big step better than Java though, I'll give it that.

You get all the same

You get all the same accessibility problems JS usually throws up as well. It amazes me that some of the same people who have been standards evangelising, and using accessibility as part of the reason for it are also one of the "blogpuppies jumping up and down and wetting themselves with excitement every time you mention the word".

I've stayed well away from JS so far, I'll stick with server side stuff for now.
May have changed, but there was a figure of something like 10% of people browsing either without JS, or with JS turned off. Using AJAX to power a website is like telling that 10% "go use my competitor".

I think I said in a previous

I think I said in a previous post that this wasn't for ordinary sites - but there are a ton of things to use it for on particularly tech savvy sites - google maps being the most easy example.

For ecom, or general info - i'd not touch it with a 10ft barge poll - but it surely has it's uses.

I'd like to know if theres a way to cut out the JS and use server-side stuff...

Rich clients

Yup, this is about maximum user experience for those who can experience it. Look at Flickr - blows the other similar sites out of the water simply because they have worked hard on the "application" rather than "site"

It's good if you've got

It's good if you've got something to use it for, and it can't be done better server side. But the way some people go on, it's like they have to use AJAX for everything because it's so wonderful and they are so trendy and 'with it'.

Use it because it's the right tool for the job, not just because some blogger told you to and you think it's cool.

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