[wp-hackers] AJAX

Computer Guru computerguru at neosmart.net
Thu Jun 29 18:03:58 GMT 2006

Hash: SHA1

I have to disagree with you entirely then...

Decoration most certainly isn't useless, and every point you make is 100%
valid - but I don't see why you need AJAX to do it.
Certainly - the widgets plugin would be a lot less comfortable to use
without AJAX, but how much harder are drop-down boxes with numbers in them
that determine the order (the same forums are ordered in IPB, phpBB, etc.)

Decoration doesn't need AJAX: it never has, and it never will solely rely
on it.
Some of the best designed sites don't use AJAX - I never said design wasn't
important, nor did I ever think that, but I don't think _AJAX_ is important
for design.

CPanel, Helm, Plesk, whatnot: none use AJAX, yet some are easy to use while
others aren't. Nothing to do with AJAX, but everything to do with how much
time the Devs wanted to spend on planning the design and making it easy to

But I _do_ see your point, very well too. Look at Digg.com: the only reason
it's more popular than the other user-provided and rated services before it
is that it makes it all easier: no need to reload a page to "digg" and
item: just click as many buttons as you want. (compare that to ratings on
Slashdot - eugh!)

So, yeah, Decoration isn't useless, but 99.9% of the time using AJAX for
decoration is. 

Computer Guru
NeoSmart Technologies


-----Original Message-----
From: wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com [mailto:wp-hackers-bounces at lists.automattic.com] On Behalf Of Elliott Franklin Cable
Sent: Thursday, June 29, 2006 8:53 PM
To: wp-hackers at lists.automattic.com
Subject: Re: [wp-hackers] AJAX

Yeah... i actually must say I do stray a TAD toward the use-ajax extreme, if only for two reasons:

1) I disagree with you - I'd say that in 99.9% of cases, AJAX is 40-50% useless. Decoration is *not* useless - a good user experience is essential to any application, any site, any... anything. I used to host on MediaTemple - then switched to DreamHost because they were cheaper. As soon as I got in, I looked at the control panel and though *euck* - but I put up with it, hell it was cheaper and everything else in the features seemed better. Guess what? The support SUCKED. At least, compared to (mt)'s unofficial 10-minute rule. I go back to mediatemple, notice how well designed and clean the control panel is - easy to find anything, fun to use - and the overall hosting experience was BETTER! Ever used Plesk? It is TORTURE. Because it is so horribly designed and laid out. My point is that good design, an *enjoyable* interface is not only AN element of a good service - it is an _ESSENTIAL_ element of a good service! So using AJAX for decoration isn't not only a bad thing, it can be a good thing (this works the other way around, however - you can use too much AJAX, make the user sick of it, and WORSEN their experience; and again, AJAX is only an element, and a relatively new one at that, of that elusive creature _good design_)

2) I am a Rails developer. Adding AJAX effects in rails is like wearing a different pair of pants, you know, the cool jeans, instead of those old stuffy khakis. No extra work really, just a decision.

The only real PROBLEM with AJAX is when people use it and *DON'T* provide obvious alternatives. It's the rule of developers, if you use a technology to make a task easier for your user, make sure that task can be done (albeit a bit less easy, perhaps) WITHOUT the technology.  
When people fail to do this, AJAX is blamed. It's a techie case of 'Guns don't shoot people, people shoot people', nothing more.

On Jun 29, 2006, at 9:36 AM, Computer Guru wrote:
> It would help if you replied directly to the messages ;P
> But yes, I agree. AJAX isn't the be-all end-all it's made out to be, 
> but nevertheless, it is the _only_ way the web can represent a true 
> application platform.
> AJAX provides a (theoretically) seamless way for data-streaming of 
> GET/POST without refreshing or reloading a page - but in 99.9% of the 
> circumstances it's 100% un-necessary.
> Look at where AJAX is used in WP (fading boxes for messages, and the 
> widgets bar - nothing else AFAIK).
> The first is useless: pretty, but useless The second is broken in many 
> browsers - rendering it useless.
>> I don't understand people like this >.<
>> Sure, AJAX isn't *everything* people crack it up to be, but...  
>> it's not useless, it's still pretty cool, it's worth integrating in a 
>> tasteful measure... i jsut don't understand people who fall in with 
>> either extreme on most subjects....
>> On Jun 29, 2006, at 8:44 AM, Robert Deaton wrote:
>>> Sounds like more useless Web 2.0 OMGAJAX bloat to me.
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