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New NFL.com at 5pm, new website to start 2007 season...?

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Old 08-15-2007, 05:22 PM   #16
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Re: New NFL.com at 5pm, new website to start 2007 season...?

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Originally Posted by mheisig View Post
Annnnd thread hijacked.

In a nutshell AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript And XML) lets you update content on a webpage without refreshing / reloading the entire page.

Case in point, the tabs on NFL.com When you click between "Fantasy, "Spotlight" and "Voices" the content is changed instantly without reloading the entire page.

As far as the benefits as a user interface element it makes for faster, cleaner, more efficient browsing for the end user. It's the new hotness in the past year or two, what with Google pushing it like mad. It's nothing really that new, however, just a new way of using technologies that have been around for a while.

I am of the opinion that you need a good reason to actually incorporate AJAX, not just for the sake of using the latest techno-buzzword. The most useful implementation is if you have a lot of data in different categories that you would like your user to view without waiting for a page refresh. NFL.com has actually implemented it quite well, and the ultimate AJAX use in my opinion is pretty much anything Google does (Gmail, iGoogle, etc.)
NFL.com's front page doesn't use AJAX for its tabs. They're using div hide/show which makes it seem like they're using AJAX. I imagine they're using it here and there though (updating scoreboard on game days).
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:35 PM   #17
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Re: New NFL.com at 5pm, new website to start 2007 season...?

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Originally Posted by saden1 View Post
NFL.com's front page doesn't use AJAX for its tabs. They're using div hide/show which makes it seem like they're using AJAX. I imagine they're using it here and there though (updating scoreboard on game days).
Ah very true. Never looked at the source, just assumed.
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Old 08-15-2007, 05:40 PM   #18
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Re: New NFL.com at 5pm, new website to start 2007 season...?

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Quick Question - (to Sadden or anyone) I was wondering if you could give a brief description of the benefits of AJAX (looking into incorporating into a private website). I've already checked Wikipedia, etc. Please keep in mind - I am very cpu savvy, but not a programmer. If you had a link to any good info on the topic, that would be great. thanks for any assistance.
The real benefits of AJAX is that it bring desktop application like features to the web (i.e. bring Excel to the web wouldn't be possible without AJAX). Ideal usage of AJAX is to reduce server load and improve user experience buy requesting content the user doesn't see right away on-demand (i.e tabs on NFL.com that aren't visible when the page first loads are ideal candidates for AJAX...why load things the user doesn't want to see?).

AJAX can also be used to update dynamic content and content that changes often (i.e. ESPN.com's scoreboard page updates individual game scores, down information, and time remaining every so often).

With AJAX one has to be careful because you can potentially overload your sever with too many requests. For example, if 10 users are viewing ESPN.com's scoreboard page, there are 10 games being played, and individual game information is updated every 5 seconds will results in 1200 requests to the server per minute (10 games * 10 users * (60 sec / 5 sec) = 1200 requests per min). Of course ESPN.com has $$ and the hardware to handle millions of requests per/sec, your server definitely won't!

If site doesn't have a lot of content and isn't very dynamic there's no need to utilize AJAX.


p.s. AJAX is the brainchild of Microsoft so lets give credit where it's due (hint: not Google). We were developing AJAX applications for Internet Explorer at my old job way before Google.
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