UAD2: Have a Clutter-free Front Page

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Using AJAX to Bring in Content on the Fly
Richard Orelup
: Programming Czar, Valparaiso University

I was running around and entered a little late. But, it looks like he is still giving some background on ajax.

Can get a flash like interface  without plugins

  • don’t need extra plugins
  • good for programers who don’t understand timelines
  • works well on the iPhone!


  • Some devices don’t support javascript
  • Some only¬† partially support it (even worse).

Graceful degradation is needed to make sure that all users can still use you site. Also important for robots.

“With great power come great responsibility” – If we can do anything, what should we do. Will users get confused or lost? Example – often ajax overrides the back button. This can really confuse users.

Pick a framework.

  • They are using YUI – the framework from Yahoo.
  • It passes off alot of responsibility to the framework creator.
  • Lets you quickly jump in. Many examples will save you time.
  • Make complex things really simple.

They use the animation scripts a lot.


  • Can make simple things more complex
  • Some frameworks are good for particular things.
  • Add to load time.
  • Remember to test in all (as many as possible) browsers. The all have different versions of JavaScript Engines.

Selenium – plugin to script tests. Good for fast testing.

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