Welcome!

Machine Learning Authors: Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui

Related Topics: Machine Learning

Machine Learning : Article

Prescribing AJAX: Panacea, Placebo, or Poison? Peeling the AJAX Onion

Mike Padilla will be speaking at AJAXWorld Conference & Expo 2008 East, March 18-20, 2008, in New York City

But interactions confined to a page level seemed somewhat stifling. So along came DHTML, the combination of HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Parts of the page could change instantaneously based on the user’s interaction without requiring a hit to the server. Information designers had a new tool to better manage screen real estate and interaction designers had a new tool for more discrete, sub-page level interactions. But DHTML interactions are fundamentally constrained. They can only manipulate information that is brought down to the client when the page initially loads. You can only bring down so much information at page load before the user gets frustrated with the initial load time.
 
Finally a subtle but powerful protocol was introduced by Microsoft - the XMLHttpRequest. It provided an API that can be used by JavaScript to establish asynchronous communication between the client and server. We were freed from the “new-information-from-server-requires-new-page load” constraint. By combining the power of webpage information manipulation of DHTML and the freedom of selectively exchanging relevant streams of data with the server in the background, the more rich and interactive user experiences of AJAX enhanced webpages were born.
 
Ultimately AJAX potentially affords improvements to the user experience by optimizing the two main factors in website performance – calls to the server and transmission of data to the client. As a result, AJAX can offer the following benefits and drawbacks:
 
Benefits
  • A faster response. AJAX offers improved performance by retrieving a small bit of information and populating it into the existing context rather than having to retrieve an entirely new webpage just to view a small percentage of new content.
  • A continuous, undisturbed user experience across a set of related, relevant interactions. The user’s context remains the same and the screen does not blink.
 Drawbacks
  • Loss of page state. Users mental model of the Web has been formed to expect page state behavior of browser back, forward, and bookmarking. AJAX breaks the page state.
  • Loss of caching. When the user returns to a previously visited page, any AJAX content has to be reconstructed. This results in much slower response times due to the need to retrieve the content remotely rather than simply accessing it locally.
  • Loss of search engine visibility.
  • Accessibility issues.
While many AJAX toolkits are beginning to address these drawbacks, designers and developers need to assess whether the benefits of an AJAX enhanced user experience sufficiently outweighs the accompanying drawbacks.

More Stories By Mike Padilla

Mike Padilla is a user experience manager at Vanguard. He has led front-end development efforts for such companies as Fleet Credit Cards, Mellon Private Asset Management, The Bank of New York, Radian Guaranty, and Bessemer Trust. Macromedia has featured his usability designs. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering, focusing on ergonomics, from Cornell University.
Padilla is an ardent advocate of high-fidelity prototyping during requirements development. In his spare time, he designed and developed Protonotes, a free AJAX web service that allows project team members to discuss system functionality, design, and requirements directly on prototypes with "sticky notes".

Comments (1)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


CloudEXPO Stories
Every organization is facing their own Digital Transformation as they attempt to stay ahead of the competition, or worse, just keep up. Each new opportunity, whether embracing machine learning, IoT, or a cloud migration, seems to bring new development, deployment, and management models. The results are more diverse and federated computing models than any time in our history.
On-premise or off, you have powerful tools available to maximize the value of your infrastructure and you demand more visibility and operational control. Fortunately, data center management tools keep a vigil on memory contestation, power, thermal consumption, server health, and utilization, allowing better control no matter your cloud's shape. In this session, learn how Intel software tools enable real-time monitoring and precise management to lower operational costs and optimize infrastructure for today even as you're forecasting for tomorrow.
"Calligo is a cloud service provider with data privacy at the heart of what we do. We are a typical Infrastructure as a Service cloud provider but it's been designed around data privacy," explained Julian Box, CEO and co-founder of Calligo, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simplicity and reach of the open web. With staff in 10 timezones, Isomorphic provides a global network of services related to our technology, with offerings ranging from turnkey application development to SLA-backed enterprise support. Leading global enterprises use Isomorphic technology to reduce costs and improve productivity, developing & deploying sophisticated business applications with unprecedented ease and simplicity.
While a hybrid cloud can ease that transition, designing and deploy that hybrid cloud still offers challenges for organizations concerned about lack of available cloud skillsets within their organization. Managed service providers offer a unique opportunity to fill those gaps and get organizations of all sizes on a hybrid cloud that meets their comfort level, while delivering enhanced benefits for cost, efficiency, agility, mobility, and elasticity.