Tuesday, May 10th, 2005

Ajax Summit: Jonathan Boutelle from Uzanto Consulting

Category: Ajax

Jonathan’s presentation is called “Making Magic Happen: Predicting User Behavior in AJAX Applications.” He started out by talking about his consultancy, which does user interaction stuff.

He point to his blog, jonathanboutelle.com, where he says he’s blogged a lot about how RIAs and ajax are more similar than different.

Jonathan’s talked a bit about prefetching; he sees it as a potential business justification for having fun doing ajax. He then talked about how ajax is like magic tricks. You grab the audiences attention, put it somewhere, do something while they aren’t watching, and then bring their attention back, and the audience feels as though its magic.

He says this is like ajax because we can control the attention of the user by making their eyes go where we want on the page, and then do something in the background while they aren’t paying attention.

He then showed yet another ajax architecture slide and spent a bit of time talking about the whole request/response yadda yadda stuff and otherwise spent a good deal of time explaining how prefetching is done in the form of a high-level technical overview.

Jonathan then advocated that we track a prefetch metric that states how often the user’s request was serviced from a cache. The obvious problem I see with that approach is that Firefox probably doesn’t formulate a request differently when *it* prefetches content. This idea will become hard to implement as prefetching in the browser becomes ubiquitous.

Jonathan went on to talk about how prefetching should be implemented on a decisioning continuum based on the amount of bandwidth you want to spend.

Posted by Ben Galbraith at 12:16 pm
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