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AJAX/Flash/JS D< a rant of sorts Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   aotsukisho 

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 02:48 AM

This isn't about the bathroom cleaner, this is about the web design tactics...put in simple terms, AJAX is used to update parts of a webpage without having to reload the whole thing (like Gmail, or certain segments in popular social networking sites); Flash is developed by Adobe and it's an animation-friendly interactive vector graphic format; and JS is of course Javascript. When AJAX first came out, I remember myself thinking that this is the coolest frickin thing ever, clicking somewhere and having it update without having to load unnecessary things that would have remained the same. Flash websites are cool for stuff with very little content, but sooner or later the lack of functionality of your 'Back'/'Forward' buttons will cause headaches, and Javascript used to be cool until websites and engines were written entirely dependant on them.

But, I soon realized/learned how AJAX and Flash work, and today I'm pretty disgusted with it in general. Don't get me wrong, AJAX/Flash/JS are wonderful additions to use if the web designer knows what they're doing, but how it's being implemented in the larger websites today is giving me a headache. These three technologies seem to have taken the path of primarily cosmetic and appearance related scripting rather than something that can be used to gather/distribute information faster.

Why do I hate these things so much? I can list the reasons...

1. Usually doesn't work when JS is turned off...
2. If you are on a shaky/slow internet connection, there is usually no way to tell the progress of an AJAX data transaction or whether or not there was an interruption and the transaction was canceled.
3. Hate having the browser show 'Done' in the status bar, and see a whole page of flashy, bubbly (ie. ghey) 'loading' messages (bad example: slide embedded photo slideshows, good example: youtube embedded videos)
4. Using NoScript to prevent malicious JS from fubaring your computer, and upon visiting a new website you find that it just looks like colored blocks with random text/links...oh yeah, JS is off. WHY? JS should enhance a website, not run it!
5. Flash (backdoors) and JS (tracking cookie) exploits abound these days...
6. I hate hate hate javascript menus that 'look' like normal dropdowns or form buttons (bad example: jnautomotive dot com, good example: any IPB)
7. I hate hate hate poorly-scripted cascading mouse-activated menus that instantly self-close whenever the mouse goes outside the menu border, easier if there's just one pop-open menu (bad example: consolesource dot com (yeah, I know I know), good example: newegg.com)
8. Hate hate hate JS-heavy websites that don't take forever to load, but take forever to execute (example: facebook dot com)
9. Also hate sites that use scripts linked from a million different sites for various stupid reasons (example: myspace dot com, ten different domains to allow in NoScript???)
10. Having buttons shine at you and/or make noise when you mouseover/click them (bad example: megaupload dot com)
11. EMBEDDED MEDIA FILES/PLAYERS I HATE YOU, I have my own music and/or video that I like and I'm probably watching it as I view your site. Besides, 90% of it is shitty mainstream 'popular people' music anyway
12. Using JS to change the mouse icon to something fairy or hard to use (like crosshairs, something glittery or animated...or even worse, resize/move arrows or the hourglass)....what the hell man, leave my cursor alone. (bad example: any 15 year old girl Xanga site)
13. Can't bookmark shit in flash-based or js-run websites
14. Can't control opening links in tabs/windows with flash-based websites

However, not all is bad. there are a few advantages (particularly of AJAX) but I don't think that they are worth the mess we have to sort through these days.
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