Monday, March 11, 2013
I've been building websites for over a decade now. The web has changed a lot, and yet somethings stay the same.
jQuery is one of those.
I just finished a fairly thorough tutorial along with several practical examples. A lot of the things you can do with jQuery are the same kind of things people have been doing on the web for years. jQuery makes some of them quicker, and it makes some of them less compatible than the old way.
While looking at examples of Web 2.0 (or html5 or dynamic html or whatever name people will be using tomorrow), I'm reminded of a comment I read on the web six or seven years ago: Web 2.0 is the Flash of the future. Flash came our around the turn of the millennium. It's big draw was offering great motion, animation, and sound that could be sent over the Internet and viewed consistently on several browsers. Sites built with it looked pretty cool.
But there were issues.
For one, search engines couldn't properly index the sites which led to some awkward workarounds.
Another problem was time it took to load. One had to wait for the entire site to load to view it. Some people started building sites modularly which helped.
Another problem was all that sound, animation, and motion became gratuitous--they didn't really add to the site or make it more useful. A lot of people abandoned their Flash sites like they were landing pages and went back to the "old" way. This was helpful when Apple decided to not support Flash and move to a new set of technologies that others have followed.
Today html5 offers the same types of gratuitous decorations. And people are jumping on the band wagon left and right. But do these really add value?
Some of them do. Sorting my queue in Netflix by dragging instead of typing numbers is much nicer. DeviantArt's ability to drag an image in is slicker than using the browse button. I'm all for new technologies that are well supported and improve the user experience.
I just wish people would stop there.