Flash Sucks. OK, Flash Doesn’t Suck. AJAX Sucks. OK, maybe AJAX doesn’t suck.

Flash sucks.  You can’t link directly to it.  The search engines can’t read it.  Do away with all flash.

No!  Flash itself is not the problem, rather it is the implementation of flash that causes the problem.  Any Flash application that does not allow a URL, a freakin’ link, to let me access a *particular space* within the application completely sucks.  Links rule.  You take away links and we, as usability experts, will point out that you have lost it according to Al Gore Berners Lee.

Ajax AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript language and XML, is a cool method of hiding round-trips to the server from the end user.  This DOES have some great applications like to auto-complete a field like in gmail.  This applies to situations where you have an HTML environment and a specific need to get specific data.

Flash advocates, this one completely included, got carried away with what Flash COULD do and went overboard in the past building sites where usability was based on a journey, but not a context to be revisited like the Internet is with links.  Now, Microsoft is repeating the same mistake with www.live.com.   Just because you CAN built a completely AJAX application where the URL never changes doesn’t make it any more of a good idea than building a completely Flash web site.  GIVE ME LINKS!  REST PLEASE! (excuse the pun you nerds out there).

Where are the usability experts yelling about the lack of links on live.com?  The world demands a 100% solution and if we get to 95%, well, it won’t work.  That is just the law of nature.  No links, no live.

Now, of course this begs the question of "if AJAX is so great for so many things, then why aren’t we actually using Flash more?" – and I really believe that we need to use Flash for many of the things that AJAX is being applied to because it is the web2.0-flavor-of-the-day.

And one more rant, please explain why WYSIWYG textarea fields aren’t built into EVERY browser as part of HTML?  Please, this is 2005, stop making us work at that level and let us work on usability and the human problems, which are quite complex enough thank you.

<end Ed as programmer on social software team with www.tendenci.com hat day>

AJAX, Exactness of Speech Matters, Especially for Context Ads!

Cnnajax As a marketing and sometimes programmer, I find this hillarious.  I clicked a link on "web based software challenges windows" from CNN.  Web based software like gmail use a programming style called AJAXAJAX in this context is NOT a soap or real estate.  Rather it means "Asynchronous JavaScript and XML"

But that is not the point.  The point is that Google, the company that is threatening Microsoft apparently with their software is also serving the contextual advertising on CNN.  Next to the story about their success no less.  And all of the contextual advertisements ARE FOR AJAX THE SOAP!  Oh, the irony.  It just kills me.  Exactness of speech matters even for machines.

This is the text apparently being picked up on with innacurate but factually correct keyword relevance:

The threat comes in large part from Ajax, a set of Web development tools that speeds up Web applications by summoning snippets of data as needed instead of pulling entire Web pages over and over.

And these are the ads it shows!

Buy Ajax at drugstore.com
Free shipping with minimum purchase. Plus get 5% back in store credit. Great…

Ajax Real Estate
See the MLS listings for Ajax and Pickering.

Gulf States Laundry Machinery Company
One stop shopping for all your dry cleaning and laundry parts and equipment,…

Ajax on eBay
Find Ajax items at low prices. With over 5 million items for sale every day,…

Somedays you’re the windshield, and somedays you’re the bug.  But a little Ajax will take that stain right out.