Thomas’ Developer Blog

February 8, 2008

Unique URLs in AJAX

Filed under: AJAX, javascript — Tags: , — sanzon @ 6:35 am

Well I was reading an article that explained the use of hash marks in order to be able to bookmark data in a AJAX page.  It’s a very neat solution from what I read.

 The biggest problem I’ve always had with AJAX is the fact you can’t bookmark the page, use back, or navigate the page like you normally would.  The article gave several walk arounds for these problems, but at the same time used some solutions which were kind of iffy in my mind.

 AJAX is a wonderful tool is used correctly, but the ability to easily navigate is highly important for any site.  So while AJAX is very useful in some aspects a full blown AJAX page isn’t always the greatest idea.  Non-javascript users will have issues when they turn off scripting, which honestly in today’s web 2.0 world I don’t really care about that at all.  People have to get past the dark ages of not liking javascript and flash solutions.  People want fast and responsive results.

 I’m questioning using AJAX on my new search layout for my site.  I use a ton of javascript in it as you saw in my previous post.  My greatest problem with AJAX though is not only navigation but as well search engines which ignore hash strings and will only focus on querystrings.  This of course may change in time.

 So overall… AJAX is highly useful and I plan to use it on my site a lot!  BUT only where it helps out.  The core compontents shouldn’t be AJAX if they require the ability to navigate and require search engines to pick up on the site!

 So where is AJAX perfect?

Logon scripts
Search suggestions
Other inbound quick access scripts
FORM SUBMISSIONS!!!!

The last one is highly useful with AJAX.  Think of all the pain we go through telling users not to hit the back botton or resubmit the page!  It causes problems with inserting double entries, may cause a database issue, and many other problems!  AJAX completely fixes this!  They can’t go back, they can’t resubmit more than once!  And they don’t have to wait for a result!

Yes I will admit security is a big concern with AJAX still since it allows users to view javascript source, but it’s only minor since the bulk of your code will always be server side.  No AJAX will not prevent users from finding out where data is submited and you still need a submit page!  But it’s hidden away so the user doesn’t see it ever unless they start peeping around.

Anyway here are the articles, they are extremely useful:

http://ajaxpatterns.org/Unique_URLs
http://www.contentwithstyle.co.uk/Articles/38/fixing-the-back-button-and-enabling-bookmarking-for-ajax-apps
http://ajaxify.com/run/sum/uniqueURL/pollURL/#1,1,1

Just be warnd!  AJAX is still javascript and we all know how buggy javascript can be at times…. causing your entire site to crash if you don’t make sure it works correctly!

Well happy coding!

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1 Comment »

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    Comment by Genia — May 14, 2015 @ 2:34 pm


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