Yahoo: the good and bad of ajax

Sunday 17 December 2006

These days I don’t know what to make of Yahoo. On the one hand, they’re the authors of arguably the best of the modern JavaScript libraries: the Yahoo! User Interface library. It seems more solid and better thought-out than the other libraries out there.

And now, Dav Glass from Yahoo has written the YUI: CSS Grid Builder, an interactive tool to make using the complex YUI grids much easier. This is all good stuff.

But on the other hand, they’ve taken their TV listings, which used to work perfectly well in the Web 1.0 world, and slathered Ajax all over them. Not only do they no longer show the right channels (no, channel 2 is not MTV in my town: is it for anyone!?), but the page doesn’t fully load initially. It’s divided into chunks, and not until a chunk is scrolled onto the page does it load its half-dozen channels. But the chunk can be partially visible while empty, giving the impression of having reached the end of the page. And now I have to wait (with a progress bar) while it loads each chunk. Clicking on a show is better in that it opens a panel on the current page rather than the old way of loading a new page, but if the whole page seems slower overall, the bouncy panel opening and closing is just annoying. Don’t give me bells and whistles if the fundamentals suck.

I guess Yahoo, like any big company, is too large to be given a monolithic grade on anything. In this case, they’ve definitely got split marks for Ajax.


Yes, with AJAX the classic GUI programming crowd finally have their hammer to hit the nail they see as the Web.

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