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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