Tuesday, May 30th, 2006

Responsible Asynchronous Scripting

Category: Ajax, Editorial

> On ThinkVitamin.com, there’s a new column that’s been written up by Shaun Inman, one of the brains behind Mint concerning “Responsible Asynchronous Scripting”.

Asynchronous or remote scripting has been lurking in the background of web app development for quite some time now. Originally dependent on proprietary technology like Java applets, ActiveX and Flash or clever combinations of disparate technologies like images and cookies, native support for the XMLHttpRequest (XHR) object in modern browsers has made it easier than ever to make web apps more responsive and more like their desktop counterparts. This lower barrier to entry also makes it easier to make poor decisions and inappropriate use of a powerful technology.

So what’s a well-intentioned web developer to do? Stop and think about the following before dropping that sudsy, lemon-scented bomb on unsuspecting users.

He suggests a few points developers should ponder before even taking the first step to adding Ajax functionality to their applications. This includes using the right tool for the right job (is it content you’re pulling or an action you’re doing?) and how to inform users that the applications is still doing something even when it can’t be seen. Be sure to check out the comments on this one as well – several great points are made.

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we brought up the same thing at JavaOne in our presentation with JSF– such that common approaches to development exist and are simple– the use of AJAX evolves as your needs arise. So you can take something like JSF and have it operate in ‘normal’ mode and then add event interception on the client to partially evaluate parts of the page without requiring you to necessarily ‘code’ for AJAX as with RoR or GWT.

Comment by Jacob — May 30, 2006

[...] Responsible Asynchronous Scripting: ” On ThinkVitamin.com, there’s a new column that’s been written up by Shaun Inman, one of the brains behind Mint concerning ‘Responsible Asynchronous Scripting’. [...]

Pingback by Responsible Asynchronous Scripting — May 30, 2006

The back button! The back button! Oh my God!!

It’s a wonder how we’ve been using desktop applications for decades without a back button. Why must we be imprisoned by the back button? I understand the browser brings certain behavioral expectations, but does that mean we’re enslaved to always maintain back button functionality? When will it be ok to stop?

Comment by zz — May 31, 2006

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