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Re: Whither AJAX?

Posted by Mango on 02/01/08 00:20

I currently make my living with AJAX, so you'll get some excitement from
me :)

Most of my life I've been fairly anti-JavaScript...for the simple reason
that I want my sites to be as accessible as possible...and there's STILL
the odd hit we get from someone with Netscape 4 or even 3. So even now,
on public websites at least, I use Javascript only when necessary.

My anti-JavaScriptness changed when I got given a project about two
years ago. "Write a program to keep track of our company's customers,
let staff make changes to name/address details, and have it accept
credit cards to act as a POS if a customer wants to buy something."

The company in question had relatively decent computer equipment, all
running Windows with Firefox/IE...a perfect situation in which to use
all the JavaScript tricks I'd had hidden away. Here are the advantages
to my program:

- It's just as usable and responsive as a desktop application and in
some cases is faster due to having a powerful web server.
- It's easily scalable. If they get a new employee, all they need is a
computer with internet access. There's no special software to install.
And if I wish to make an upgrade, I need only do it on the server.
- Since the application is online, remote access is a non-issue.
Employees may work from home or a branch office.
- It's inexpensive to maintain. My program currently runs off a shared
hosting server that they pay $7/month for. Of course, it could just as
easily run off a setup with a dedicated database server, and
load-balanced web servers.
- Unlimited employees, one credit card processing account.
- Uses industry-standard database such as MySQL or PostgreSQL.

I don't agree with some who say that webapps are going to replace
desktop applications. For instance, I refuse to use webmail. But,
webapps definitely made the most sense for the kind of projects I do.

Hope my point of view helps :)


Jeff wrote:
> I've been busy hacking my way through my to do list and have come to
> writing an interactive help menu. I thought I'd use Ajax here in place
> of a popup window. I really dislike popups.
> Now, I can think of a handfull of uses for Ajax but since it operates
> in the background I'm not seeing much of it the real world.
> Who is using ajax in their work or using sites that use it? I'd like
> to know what all the excitement is about. I feel like I'm missing
> something...
> Jeff



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