Category Archives: ajax

Flash/Flex not fit for Rich Internet Applications?

For any product or service, I’m trying to use the Yahoo! version rather than a competitors product given that I work for Yahoo!. This includes Search btw. I had given up on Yahoo! Maps a while ago as the interface seemed to be getting in my way on a regular basis. They just converted from Flash to Ajax and the experience is so much better! It loads really fast too.

This is huge for Yahoo! Maps and I expect to see an increase in engagement and even unique users. Count me in!

But it’s also a major blow to Adobe in the battle between Ajax and Flash/Flex for Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Are there any widely used web apps out there that are still built in Flash? I guess there is Yahoo! Finance (when are they switching?). Google Finance is using Flash only for their charts and I think the difference between the two shows in the feel of the apps.

Kudos to the team! Keep up the great work. Google is still a bit ahead with their superior version of drag-your-route.

Ajax = No Installation

About every article about Ajax starts with some mediocre explanation of what Ajax stands for and the author’s best guess on what it actually means. A common misconception is that the technology is new. The term is new however and is causing long debates what it should or shouldn’t be used for.

The acronym Ajax has long lost its technical meaning and is being used to describe the interaction model rather than the underlying technologies. Which got me thinking… In my world Ajax means:

Enhanced website providing an application like user experience

Which implies:

  • Accessed using a web browser (IE and FF a must, other browsers a plus)
  • No software installation, no explicit download
  • Allows for more interesting user interaction than just clicking on links (think drag-n-drop, keyboard shortcuts)
  • No page-to-page transitions

The use of Ajax in the name of the following two products is debatable using the above interpretation:

AjaxAMP

[via Ajaxian] requires you to download and install a WinAMP plugin. Note that this seems to be required for the server side only though. You can then access the interface remotely from a browser (IE and FF).

AjaxWrite

[via Ajaxian] uses XUL and therefore requires Firefox. Very impressive though!