Analyst Hyperbole Of The Day: Go AJAX Or Die

from the oh-please dept

When you go to a supposed expert, such as an analyst, they should help you to cut through the hype -- not puff up the hype even more. Unfortunately, all too often we see that analyst firms are simply a big part of the hype cycle. Take, for example, this article about AJAX technology (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) which is all the rage these days among Web 2.0 companies. A Gartner analyst has now been quoted saying that websites need to use AJAX or they won't get traffic any more. Specifically, he says that sites that don't use AJAX, "will simply not be cool enough to use." This is from someone who is supposedly an expert, who others look to for advice. Obviously the various technologies that make up AJAX can be quite useful, but whatever happened to not focusing on the technology, but what the technology actually does? Sure, some sites are probably going to be better off using AJAX in one way or another, but it really depends on what the application or service is supposed to do. To give a blanket recommendation to use AJAX in all cases doesn't seem particularly analytical -- but does pump up the hype.
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous, 16 Jun 2006 @ 6:57am


    I would like to point out not being able to bookmark your position on a "Web 2.0" page, is definately possible. Designers have all the tools to make it happen as well. Its called a "cookie". Will we be shipping Chips-A-Hoy to all users? It could help but no. All we need to do is save the state of the program. Web designers will have to get together with some application designers to figure this one out but it just a part of the evolution of the new design.

    The point about search engines you raise, well its kind of vague cause well, you don't make one. But I guess you figure since the site is dynamic the search engine will not be able to accurately profile the page. Again a part of evolution and the designers use of the "robots.txt" file. AJAX (Web 2.0) is higly database driven, user A types a response to an option it is stored processed and returned, once this is done the site has effectively changed in a way that the designer would want Google, et al to recognize. By setting up your own strategy of what in your database you want Google to know about you can definately update them on, you dump this to your robots.txt file and let Google know to come by and pick it up.

    Finally AJAX, with all design tools dating back to the paintbrush is dependant on the person using it. Two people with the same brush and paint can make two completely diffrent results. All it does it offer a more controlled website experience, such as not having to wait as the entire site reloads each time you click or type something, if a link is clicked and you don't need a whole window to show the response you can display an embedded window letting it load on its own with out the user having to hunt down a new IE/FF window and going back when that window is closed.

    So AJAX is a very "cool" tool but it only really smooths the presentation of the page. The same content, same basic design but no anoying page reloads where your browser is frozen till the page finishes. Those pages that offer interacton will allow the whole site to become immensly usefull as you can get at all the interfaces immediately playaround with them without having to worry about server timeouts and your whole page dissapearing, the designer will have to take this into account no doubt but it is part of the progress.

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