Scott Hanselman

Ajax Links - October 2006

October 11, '06 Comments [5] Posted in ASP.NET
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I'm doing more and more research on Ajax. Ajaxian is a great "all things Ajax" site for one to do research. It seems to be a very independent site and balanced. Here's a few gems I found on their site over the last few weeks.

  • Google Reader sucks less - Google Reader has long be considered the Lame Duck of the Google family. The interface just didn't feel right and everyone knew it. It's been relaunched with a new UI and I'll be giving it a try for a few days. I'm still a FeedDemon fan, but since the wife and I have been sharing calendars with Google Calendar, I've been reintroducing myself to the Google AJAX properties. It looks a lot like Gmail, so it's easy to see these two apps becoming one in the near future.
  • Room Visualizer - Check out this amazing AJAX Room Visualizer in Firefox. You can drag and drop paint and carpet samples on to various room layouts and see how it looks. Wish I had this before I remodeled the living room.
  • Frametastic - This Firefox-only quick CSS layout prototyper makes clever use of the Prototype Firefox libraries.
  • How to detect IE7+ in Javascript - Too bad we have having moved pass all this.
  • Payraise Calculator - This is an interesting little calculator...it's simple, but fairly elegant and gives on an idea of what Ajax-based Bill Payment could look like.
  • Dynamic Graphics - It should be a little easier, and lighter weight than it is in ASP.NET to make simple graphs. This is a nice example of how to do it in Rails.

Also, an interesting tip about Ajax performance from Max at hive7.com. Max had confirmed a while back that Firefox 1.5 was WAY faster in JavaScript performance against IE7. However, in his recent internal testing he was seeing 5-7 second-long scripts in Firefox 1.5 take under 1 second in Firefox 2 RC2. IE7 was taking as long as a minute in some instances. Great to see the Firefox team working so hard to make Firefox's Javascript implementation so speedy.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Wednesday, 11 October 2006 08:16:01 UTC
A dark part of my mind remembers a phrase "DOS isn't done tis Lotus won't run".

Perhaps crippling performance of Javascript is the new weapon in the Anti-Windows-Everywhere war, instead of the tried and true "hijack standards" strategy.

But hopefully not.
Wednesday, 11 October 2006 11:37:08 UTC
I am not a convert to AJAX yet. I try samples now and then to see how they add real benefit. I tried the “Payraise Calculator” you listed as a “fairly elegant” example. I hope that it gets better than this. It didn’t render correctly in Firefox and as best as I can tell there is nothing there that I couldn’t already accomplish with normal client side scripting. It’s early in the morning, so maybe I am grumpy but this doesn’t seem like a gem.

Cheers,

Aaron
Aaron
Wednesday, 11 October 2006 13:03:24 UTC
FF RC2 seems faster all around. I updated yesterday morning (both home and work). I had one plugin that wouldn't work... so I replaced it with a similar plugin that was under active development.

For the early adopters, or those who really want Firefox RC2 now... get it. For those who want to wait, it should be out the end of the month.
Wednesday, 11 October 2006 13:41:09 UTC
I've been using Google Reader for a while, actually. I love the new interface. Where I think Google Reader really shines, though, is in its integration with their personalized home page. You get a list of your unread items. Clicking on any unread item opens up a div with the full post of that item.

Its pretty nice, since you can also throw on a Google News widget onto the same page, as well as weather and (if you use it) your gmail account. Its like a portal, but about .00001% as cluttered.
Wednesday, 11 October 2006 18:52:57 UTC
Thanks for your kind note on Payraise Calculator. I actually caught some flack from the Ajax crowd because utilization of Ajax was not absolutely necessary. However, my new found enjoyment of Ajax has me looking at expanding the calculator to bring in other pieces of information... like Consumer Price Index, and salary comparisons.

Appreciate the note and the reference!
Doug
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.