The internet has come a long way in the last ten years. Its amazing to think that I used to dial into VAX machines at 110 baud (521x slower than a 56K modem!!) when I was 14 years old on my Atari 800XL (That was 21 years ago!). Fast forward to 2007 and the internet has changed all our lives. The power of web applications that we rely on every day is simply amazing. This in large part is due to the prevalence of AJAX applications and the ability for client side scripts to act like an application.
What do I mean by that? AJAX and other similiar technologies allow a website to send the server information and retrieve information from the server without reloading your website. Why is that so important you ask? Its everything. It allows developers to code websites that act just like desktop applications. Don’t you hate clicking through the endless process of signing up for your favorite site, or always having to hit submit to go to next page? 95% of sites that could benefit greatly from AJAX type applications aren’t implementing them or are barely scratching the surface. Thats whats so exciting. Cpanel (Our backend control panel) is still in the stone age as far as AJAX applications go. The file manager is a step in the right direction, but it is still very weak.
We have a new domain manager that is AJAX based that will be released in the coming months that is FANTASTIC! You can manage all your domains, edit name servers, change contacts, transfer domains and more all from a single page. This is how all websites that require maintenance should be written in the future. Gmail is another example of a good AJAX application. Gmail wouldn’t be possible with standard HTML yet Gmail still has a LONG way to go before it realizes its full potential. It is still clunky in many places and can be cumbersome and slow to use when the server isn’t responding fast enough. This brings up one major complaint I have with AJAX applications and that is speed.
A good example of these slower response times can be illustrated with many of the email web clients that are out there. Roundcube, Zimbra, OpenXchange, and others fit this category. They are all excellent web clients, but they are still slow compared to Outlook, Mail (On my Mac), or other desktop apps. These companies will swear up and down that they are as fast as a desktop application, but it just isn’t so.
worry about. Show me where I’m wrong?
Matt Heaton / President Bluehost.com