Monday, May 9th, 2005

Ajax Summit: Bill Scott of Sabre Airline Solutions

Category: Ajax

Bill comes at us from the corporate environment of Sabre (Travelocity, Airline Solutions, and more).

Scalability Challenge

Rich table with inline editing, but what about if you have 10,000 flights in there?

What about paging?

  Page Load Page/Data Refresh
Scrolling 20 sec real time
Paging 3 sec 2 sec
Ajax+Paging 3 sec milli-seconds

Sable Strategy: Looking at parts of the app that need a speed boost. Find the bottlenecks, and fix with Ajax if applicable.

Usability Refactoring

Paging is an artifact of not getting the data quickly. Sable took this to the next level and added a smart scrollbar. They update the elements when you release from the scrollbar. Is this the best UI? Do users expect this behaviour?

Rich Interaction

Analysis was done on a rich client flow (AirCrews Training). This application was ported to a web interface, and they demo the nice cinematic effects, and drag and drop transitions.

Opensourcing the Ajax piece as Rico, which allows you to register Ajax actions and handlers.

Posted by Dion Almaer at 4:08 pm
2 Comments

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3 rating from 5 votes

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Updating when the scrollbar is released is an interesting idea, and while it may be unexpected by the user, there is a precedent for it. Browsers allow you to scroll pages while they are still loading, but specifically I’m thinking of Acrobat Reader, which will show text on pages which have not yet loaded but omits the graphics til they show up.

I could see a bit of code that tells the client how many rows there are and draws the scrollbar appropriately for the number of rows, but then loads them only as needed.

Comment by Josh Santangelo — May 9, 2005

Yes, that is exactly what I was trying to get at in the talk.

The scrollbar is the affordance that most user’s are looking for when moving through data. By making the scrollbar elevator match the the amount of data (visually) the effect to the user is as if the data is in the client.

See my blog entry for a discussion of my talk:

http://looksgoodworkswell.blogspot.com

I will get a working demo and the presentation up over at this spot in the next few days.

Comment by Bill Scott — May 11, 2005

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