Thursday, August 3rd, 2006

Too Much AJAX?

Category: Ajax, Editorial

Matthew Miller wonders, in his latest blog post, if there’s a point when there’s just too much Ajax involved with a site. Where is that tipping point for a normally developed site?

I am one of those people that thinks there is a point where one uses too much AJAX. When a site reaches this point it breaks the way a browser operated, by destroying the back/forward button, printing functions, and other basic browser concepts. AJAX to me is another tool that can be used to make the browsing experience better in some areas, but when used in comparison to an all Flash site things start to annoy me.

He notes that he thinks applications are a bit different (like his example, Writely). They require that much Ajax to function and be useful. It’s more of the “fluff” that he’s talking about. When using Ajax interferes with things like the navigation of the site or use it to pull all/most of the content from a backend (with no degradation built in) , you might want to reconsider something a bit simpler.

He also includes what he sees as his “perfect example” of Ajax’s use on a site – enhancing a file upload. It’s simple, clean, and something that visitors want to see anyway.

Posted by Chris Cornutt at 7:40 am

3.6 rating from 21 votes


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The good news is that next-generation AJAX tools such as Morfik don’t have these issues as they go out of their way to behave well with the browser. The bad news is that all of them are still in beta.

Comment by Aardvark Face — August 3, 2006

Isn’t this more of a sign that the browsers need to be reworked in order to keep up with web development? The back/forward,print, etc buttons were created when Al Gore ran the internet, I think its about time the browser buttons begin to keep up with functionality that the browser allows.

Comment by Brian — August 3, 2006

Also, who the f*ck is Matthew Miller and why does Ajaxian post peoples preferences? And why should Miller the one to say what shold be implemented and what not?

Come on Ajaxian…really boring post.

Comment by Ned B — August 3, 2006

Wow, simmer down, Ned.

I think there’s definitely a risk of too much Ajax but not because it’s not accessible or breaks the back button or printing.

The problem with unnecessary Ajax is that it’s more prone to bugs, harder to develop and maintain, etc. We have all tehse first generation Ajaxian web sites that are going to crap a twinky when their developers move on and they are stuck with a mess.

Comment by pwb — August 3, 2006


I am Matthew R. Miller, and I must say I never stated I should be the one to state what should be implemented and what shouldn’t. I do a lot of website development on the side, and have had a lot of customers want to implement AJAX not because it serves a function, just because it’s the hot new thing to do (not so new anymore). I must explain to them that there is a thin line that is often cross where it actually hinders a sites usability just because someone wants AJAX.

Second, I did not know you needed to be somebody just to have an opinion on the web. If you look at the last line “Obviously this is just my opinion, and I know there are a lot of people out there that have the opposite feelings which I respect.” The topic was posted because I wanted to see how many others out there felt the same, obviously you have strong opinions… and I respect them: I just do not feel an attack is necessary.

Comment by Matthew R. Miller — August 3, 2006

Hey Ned:

Any more personal attacks and we’ll just start blocking your comments.

– Rob

Comment by Rob Sanheim — August 5, 2006

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