Archive for the ‘Ajax’ Category

Google Ajax Search for Bloggers

Friday, July 13th, 2007

Google has added new dimension to blog search: “Search your blog world”. The
new blogger search, which is in the draft stage, uses Google Ajax Search
powered by Linked Custom Search Engine. It searches your own blogs
content as well as anything you have linked to in your blog posts, including
link lists and blogrolls. The search results follows the CSS rules of the blog
itself.

This search widget can be configured in your blog’s Template | Page Elements
tab, in the “Add a Page Element” popup.

 

JAX India 2007: Day 1: Web2.0? But I am Barely keeping up with Web 1.0 Right Now !

Monday, May 28th, 2007

Its been an exciting day on the inaugural day of JAX India 2007. The day was
meant for workshops and I attended half a day workshop on
“Web 2.0? But I am Barely keeping up with Web 1.0 Right Now !”
by Craig R McClanahan. Here is extract from the session:

The session covered from history of web to what is Next Generation web (Web 2.0) and what we should do towards it. Here is extract from his presentation:

HISTORY OF WEB

He started with his experience of Web way back when he started in 1975. From Lonely computers, which were self-absorbed applications to telephone lines (part lines to kids line) which lead to evolution of Internet and standards like HTTP and HTML.

MAINSTREAM WEB APPLICATIONS TODAY

This section of the presentation covered about how the current web applications are. Few main highlighting points are:

  • Increasing support for cross browsers
  • Key area of development happening around Mobile space
  • Server side capabilities are growing
  • Programming understanding in multi-threaded environment
  • Storage capacity is effectively free, CPU nearly so
  • Network infrastructure improving
  • Development technologies maturity at a much slower pace and challenges are in coming up with a framework like Struts and IDEs for JS-DHTML developments
  • More and more user personalization
  • Standardization at different scales and complexities

NEXT GENERATION WEB DRIVERS

Craig stressed on using next generation web rather than Web 2.0 with emphasis on 4 key drivers:

Enhanced User Interfaces

The driving force is the limited usability of web applications compared to applications installed locally. Ajax and DHTML are the immediate solutions.

Lightweight Programming Models

  • Strong preference towards simplicity; less code = less initial work, less update work
  • Scripting languages again gaining popularity with many large application built with php, perl etc.
  • Loose coupling and layer based design
  • Increasing preference for quick, iterative approach (Agile model)
  • Programming models  
    • Ajax and DHTML (server side business logic)
    • Ajax and DHTML (client side business logic ) i.e. making web applications
      available offline 
    • Browser plugins (Flash/ Flex/ Java FX etc)

Web as a Platform

  • Web applications to become more of a service
  • Web platform providing Social network effect
  • Reducing “local islands” of important data
  • Users looking something bigger
    • Identity
    • Flexibility
    • Ubiquity 

The read/write web 

  • Web as a Bulletin Board

WHAT SHOULD WE DO

Craigs Top Ten Suggestion List

10 – Expose Data/Logic as services

9 – Incorporate External Content

8 – Seek QOS (Quality of Service) deals from Sources

7 – Give QOS Deals to users

6 – Adopt Agile Processes

5 – Test Driven Development

4 – Architect for Scalability

3 – Embrace Heterogeneity

2 – Reach out to Mobile Clients

1 – Enable User Provided Content

The session turned out to be good for users who do not have exposure to Web 2.0. The first 45 minutes where Craig covered History of web and existing applications was bit too extended and I was looking for more on Web 2.0. Let’s hope the other sessions lined up around Web 2.0 will be able to provide more insight.

Is Ajax making sites less reachable?

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

We have been talking about Ajax and Web 2.0 technologies for sometime now. At one end Ajax becoming an asset from usability point of view but on the other hand it is making sites less search engine friendly. Search engines for now are not intelligent enough to make a server side request and retrieve the information to index. So it boils down to Usability Vs Search-ability? Which one to achieve?

What is the best way to achieve a balance between the two – making my site usable as well as search-able.

Here is one of the possible approach:

Step 1: To design your site without any Ajax. Javascript
Step 2: Then modify your website to include small Ajax, Java scripts components making sure that the content that gets hidden is available else where in the site which does not deploy Ajax

Web Applications to be available offline

Friday, April 13th, 2007

Off late there has been lot of web sites that I came across which are trying to provide offline access for their Web applications. The basic idea is that the application can be worked with in a browser offline and automatically sync up whenever you get online.

Scrybe is one such online/offline calender and organizer service that provides offline web application service.
(more…)

Catchup with Open Ajax Project

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007

Open Ajax Project or better known as Open Ajax Alliance has added many more members to their alliance. The biggest name to add to the list is Microsoft. This makes a total count of 73 members working towards Ajax Globalization.

Alliance has come up with the term called “OpenAjax Conformance” which defines a set of conformance requirements on Ajax technologies, products and applications to promote Ajax interoperability.
An Ajax library will be with Open Ajax Conformance only when:

1) Supports OpenAjax Hub Specifications (OpenSource project)
2) Javascript objects with OpenAjax Registry
3) Support best practices defined within Open Ajax Conformance

These developments clearly indicates where the http domain moving on. This is also one of the talking points with Web 2.0 :)

Open Ajax Project

Friday, May 12th, 2006

Some days back I wrote an Article “Are we ready to adopt Ajax to improve usability? ” highlighting the various questions that need to be answered before we can really adopt it.

Here is one initiative called “Open Ajax Project” that aims to create a single framework that standardizes development and debugging on a common library of Ajax widgets that could run on multiple Ajax runtimes. Open Ajax is endorsed by IBM, BEA, Borland, the Dojo Foundation, Eclipse Foundation, Google, Laszlo Systems, Mozilla, Novell, Openwave, Oracle, Red Hat, Yahoo, Zend, and Zimbra.
(more…)

Ajax – Looking back at year’s old journey

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Ajax has come a long way in a year’s time. Last year around this time, we first heard about it. Ajax had brought about the a big difference in web applications which largely changed usability arena. Web Applications started looking like rich desktop applications. Let’s look at its journey from rebirth.

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Ajax Implementation – An Example

Thursday, January 19th, 2006

In my earlier post, “Are we ready to adopt Ajax to improve usability?“, I highlighted that best bet for the existing sites is to start small may be including an ajax based components or use ajax to validate form fields etc. Here is one of the example. (more…)

Are we ready to adopt Ajax to improve usability?

Sunday, January 15th, 2006

There has been lot of talks about Ajax and usability with Ajax all set to change the user experience all over the Web. Nothing comes for free, if it has various advantages there are several disadvantages along with it. Advantages are pretty well known but lets look at the various disadvantages in terms of usability:

  • One of the major complaint against Ajax is that it break the expected behavior of the browsers back button. Users are generally used to returning to last static page by use of this button but it might not be the case with Ajax implementation.

(more…)

Welcome 2006

Thursday, January 5th, 2006

Year 2005 had been a happening year in Portals and Content Management domain.

Google emerging and standing out from rest of the world growing many folds and exploring in different domains. We saw products like Google Talk, Google Desktop and side bar, Google earth etc. It has really picked up itself from now just being a search player but growing in portal space.

AJAX buzz word that took the world by storm, though its not something new in the market. Google has been pioneer in this as well with the products like Google mail and Google home customization. There have been lot of talk about security aspect and drawbacks but AJAX has come a long way.

Blogging is another area that really gained popularity across the world. There has been many more blogging sites then previous times. Its becoming more of a habit for people to blog and put forth the ideas.

This year there has been a tremendous growth in area of Usability. This has always been on chart for a pretty long time but this year saw a drastic change in the approach towards it.

Year also marked with lots of mergers with companies like Oracle , BEA , IBM etc buying the emerging smaller players which might emerge as a potential threat in future. These merger did lead to lot of overlapping with their existing products. So lets wait and see how these mergers really help companies. Example: IBM acquiring BowStreet though it has RAD which is on the lines of Bowstreet.

Open source products also proving their point with Liferay, OpenCms, Alfresco standing out in front. Also bigger players are moving towards open source trend like Websphere Application server with community edition etc.

Collaboration is another buzz word for the year where many products aimed to become a “whole” product. For example, Oracle Collaboration Suite 10g, has Instant Messaging, Content Services and Workspaces for collaboration. Also Web Clippings/URL scraper has gained popularity for faster and better intergration.

Portlet world has seen a lot of stretch on standards with JSR 168 being incorporated by most of the vendors moving out from proprietors stuff. Also JSR 286 has been submitted which will align portlets specification with J2EE 1.4 . JSR 170 Content Repository has laid standards for content repository access.

Indian markets are making tremendous progress with government itself promoting portals market. Nabh’s String Bean 3.0 is another example in that direction. Many financing institutions like IDBI have already launched portals.