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March 21, 2007 / Bob Black

Web 2.0 is Script.aculo.us

If you haven’t gotten on the http://script.aculo.us/ bandwagon yet, grab my hand and swing aboard! This javascript library makes it ridiculously easy (if you can write code at all) to add eye-catching (and tasteful) animations to your application.

Also check out http://www.miniajax.com/, which also has some fantastic AJAX/Web 2.0 samples.

The whole Web 2.0 phenomenon is all about the idea that the UI matters as much as, or more than, the functionality. Apple already knew that. Microsoft is getting the idea with Windows Vista and WPF and WPF/E, and the new Office Ribbon. Who cares if your application has feature XYZ if its hard to get to? And once they can get to it, why not make the feature fun to use?

For example, when you delete a post from WordPress (note: I’ve only deleted draft/unpublished posts), the post fades away in the browser in a very nifty Web 2.0’y way, while it’s actually deleted via an AJAX call. Which makes it fun!

On the flip side, MS Hotmail is an example of how AJAX can’t do anything for a worthless piece of trash software (oops, did I say that?). Hotmail.com uses AJAX everywhere, but it still can’t seem to filter junk mail into the right folder. My Hotmail inbox is filled with hundreds and hundreds of junk mails, because now I’m so fed up with the thing that I only revisit my Hotmail account every month or so just to make sure I didn’t miss a message from someone important but forgotten.

So do make your site scriptaculous, but don’t neglect to make it work.

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