The past week has been marked by subtle improvements to Tabulas. I've been mostly working on quiet stuff that no one cares about - for example, you'll now notice a revamped friends management page and a new ban management page [which actually required a change in the architecture]. The tagboard management page also finally has the "Check All" tags box ... and even better, a "Delete Tags and Ban IP" option.

In any case, I spent yesterday reading and experimenting with Ajax . Ajax is the culmination of a lot of standards coming together to allow for data retrieval within a webpage without reloading!

Ajax is changing the way web applications are built; Gmail is the first highly publicized Ajax application. The old method of forcing a user "post" everytime they want new data from a website is clunky at best.

With Ajax, web apps can now do a lot of on-the-fly data generation. I've made my first implementation of it in Tabulas on the Tabulas registration page.

The username box looks normal. Ho hum. Average Joe comes along and says "Let me try to register a username..."

Nary a 400 ms after he stops typing in the username, the site tells him... "STOP! (collaborate and listen..) You can't register that username! It's taken! And no page reload was necessary!

Peeved, our user then decides to stick it to the "man" and try registering a different username:

Ooh, that one is available, Tabulas says. So our user happily registers the username. No long does he have fill out the whole long sheet of page and submit it, only to find the error!

For Tabulas, there aren't too many "killer" implementations for Ajax. Most of Tabulas does rely simply on the simple POST mechanism, and it works fine. Howver, I can vastly improve the usability of the control panel with some small changes.

If I had the resources for more hardware, I would re-enable the searching of full-text entries for paid users. It would be cool if you could quickly inline search your entries from your 'add entry' page; you could then quickly reference these posts in your entry. Stuff like that.

It's all in the details.

. . .

Hey, remember to use the "Mood" feature when you're adding an entry so we can continue to generate some cool mood metadata for the Tabulas community!

Currently listening to: Def Leppard - Long, long way to go
Currently feeling: optimistic
Posted by roy on February 25, 2005 at 04:20 PM in Web Development, Tabulas | 9 Comments

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Comment posted on February 28th, 2005 at 07:27 PM
And Chairman Bill would say: "How is this generating revenue this quarter?! Plus, I need more cretins, err, I mean Partners working on IE7..."
Comment posted on February 26th, 2005 at 03:34 PM
I'm always learning a lot when reading your journal... this Ajax really looks like the next big thing on the Net, if it offers real time interaction, it could really mean a whole new Internet concept, wow... was this simple to implement on the registration page ? The result is cool.
Comment posted on February 26th, 2005 at 06:49 PM
It's not that hard if you're already standards-compliant. a dropped JS file. you can download the source files ... they're gpled i believe
Comment posted on February 26th, 2005 at 12:28 PM
bah, using cleaning ingredients on tabulas... ;) ajax is such a bad name.

MacDaddyTatsu (guest)

Comment posted on February 26th, 2005 at 10:44 AM
Hey, Roy...I hear you suck balls. What kind and how often?

Ajax...I cant seen any copyright issues there!
Comment posted on February 26th, 2005 at 12:33 PM
Haha. ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment posted on February 26th, 2005 at 10:21 AM
I think the concept of Ajax is ingenious. Good going.
Comment posted on February 26th, 2005 at 06:55 AM
i noticed the changes. anywy, congrats!

hm. implementing ajax on tabulas is a great idea.
Comment posted on February 25th, 2005 at 06:00 PM
I noticed some of those changes Roy. :) Thank you for always improving Tabulas! You're such a hard worker. ^_^