“Innovation has nothing to do with how many R&D dollars you have. When Apple came up with the Mac, IBM was spending at least 100 times more on R&D. It's not about money. It's about the people you have, how you're led, and how much you get it.” - Steve Jobs

AJAX for Designers

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For some AJAX is marketing speak for something that has been around for years. For others, it is the salvation they have been looking for, for seemingly centuries. I would tell the former group that the latter group finally caught up, and you should revel in the growth of your
new community and accept them with open arms. Snobbery really won’t help anyone.

Recently Jesse James Garrett from Adaptive Path wrote an article for the duo at Ok-Cancel called “Why AJAX Matters Now”. As usual Jesse is insightful and dead on about why AJAX has arrived. More aptly I would say that Jesse describes well why the world is now ready for
AJAX where earlier uses of the same technology had really no chance of taking off. Jesse does still speak of AJAX’s arrival in his article, and while it is not such an important distinction, I would like to correct him and say that AJAX (as our former group notes above) has been around for a while, and that other environmental variables have been put in place to make AJAX consumable.

That is just the opener and teaser to this article.

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  • http://silentrant.com Jed Wood

    Just read through your article (linked via FunctioningForm), and this paragraph is a little unclear to me:

    To cut to the chase, AJAX is NOT good if your answer to
    question #1 is fairly complex and deep. AJAX still plays
    by the rules of the web browser. It just creates a
    wormhole in a web-page so that it can pretend a
    subsection of a page is well a page of its own like a
    frame. Flash also has the same problems. Java, ActiveX
    and .NET are the only solutions here.

    Can you clarify? I’m trying to understand what “a fairly complex and deep answer to #1” might be, and specifically how “Flash also has the same problems.” Which same problems? And how do the other technologies overcome these problems?

    Made for an interesting read- thanks.


  • http://synapticburn.com dave

    Hi Jed,
    sorry I wasn’t clear.
    #1 was referring to this issue.
    <blockquote>How much integration do I need to add between the browser and the rest of a user’s local desktop environment?</blockquote>

    You are right that I didn’t make my antecedent clear. One of my edits had that list of issues numbered. My bad.

    But what I’m preferring to is how connected your application needs to be to the resources available on the desktoop beyond what the web browser on its own allows. Examples are:

    * drag & drop of objects from desktop interface to browser interface

    * interfaces to other applications like office apps, Outlook or Notes, Other client apps

    * creating a tray icon for status purposes

    You inquired about Flash. Not sure if it is clear without adding any more detail now. But to put it short, the secruity model and object model of Flash do not allow for communication to the local system beyond what the browser allows. It does allow access to media and card control (sound/video), but not to the registry, the file system beyond single file at a time, and only through manual intervention, and finally does not allow for application API communication. (this may not be the case when run as a Central application. so I want to put in that disclaimer.)

    I hope this clears it up.

    For many solutions AJAX is more than good enough b/c this issue is not relevant. For most if not all enterprise level applications this almost always comes up.

  • http://silentrant.com Jed Wood

    Yep, that clears it up perfectly thanks!


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