June 14, 2005
Is Ajax the new Flash?

it seems so - at least when it comes to making the same mistakes that Flash developers were able to make for several years. For those who don't know what Ajax is about - it's a way to exchange data with the server without reloading the whole page by using Javascript - yes folks that pretty much all there is to it - something that Flash is able to accomplish since version 4.

So I find it very amusing to read this list of the most common Ajax mistakes - because lots of it reads like something that people have always bickered to be a problem of Flash sites:

- Breaking the back button
- Blinking and changing parts of the page unexpectedly
- Not using links one can pass to friends or bookmark
- Inventing new UI conventions
- Search bots not being able to index dynamic content

Hmm - maybe Robert Penner's good old back button workaround for Flash is also something that might work for you Ajax guys?

Posted at June 14, 2005 01:58 PM | Further reading
Comments

For the record, here's the historical link:

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/20001029.html

Man, those were dark days. Nice observation!

Posted by: Tim Scollick on June 14, 2005 02:53 PM

I was shocked by a recent article on AJAX, especially the "New Kind of App" part...
http://www.computerworld.com.au/index.php/id;982499014;fp;16;fpid;0

It never ceases to amaze me what can be touted as new and radical if you hit on a good acronym. Loading new content without having to load a new page? Incredible, just think of the implications. Now if only the technique were fully cross platform/browser compatible right out of the box, now that would be something. Wait a minute, that WOULD be Flash :O)

Posted by: Peter S on June 14, 2005 04:16 PM

What I think is blowing many people away with Ajax, is that they can suddenly produce much "richer" interfaces using their existing know-how of the HTML foundation with only a very small additional learning curve.

You can accomplish a lot with Ajax, and all the other recently re-surfaced javascript and DHTML stuff, like drag and drop, sortable lists, acordions etc etc, and it requires no additional software, players or server-based, it's free and it's very quick and easy to use.

Posted by: Jack D on June 14, 2005 04:36 PM

- Breaking the back button
- Not using links one can pass to friends or bookmark

here an excellent article that refer to flash tips :
Fixing the Back Button and Enabling Bookmarking for AJAX Apps
http://www.contentwithstyle.co.uk/Articles/38/fixing-the-back-button-and-enabling-bookmarking-for-ajax-apps

I think the term of debat is not "flash or ajax" but should be "flash and ajax interaction" :

http://weblogs.macromedia.com/mxna/reports/categoryFeedReport/
http://weblogs.macromedia.com/flashjavascript/

Posted by: Bundi on July 15, 2005 04:43 PM

Why would you mess with AJAX's back button breaking? You're creating a Web application, not catering to a static Web page experience. Other Web application frameworks break on back button clicks as well. Here's what I do: http://tom.gilki.org/programming/javascript/Login/

Posted by: Tom Gilkison on October 8, 2005 09:52 AM
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