Odd and ends 4/18/2005
If you sent me a message in the past month, my apologies: I forgot to turn on Gmail forwarding and just discovered a backlog of SZOJ email. I'll catch up in a few.
Speaking of Gmail, here's some reverse JS Zen: Gmail now works in nearly all browsers, including some legacy ones. Gmail falls back on a basic HTML version if it detects that the browser can't support the more advanced features. So while you might not have all the real-time widgetry, you'll never be locked out of your account when you're stuck with Netscape 4.
I've heard lots of comments from developers in years past about how users have to expect a greatly degraded experience if they're not willing or able to upgrade at the client end. Unfortunately, "degraded" often means "not even minimally supported." The Gmail developers weren't willing to settle for that, and neither should the rest of us. Design your web app for the web first. (Now, if only we can get more Flash developers to buy in to this.)
On a different tangent: earlier this week I wrote a post about what I thought about the whole "controversy" over the use of "Ajax" as a suitable term to describe DOM + JS + behind-the-scenes HTTP. I ended up scrapping it because I want this weblog to focus on practical stuff. Leave it to Matt to sum up my thoughts, nearly to the letter. So I'm going allow myself a (hopefully infrequent) opinionated post: hello, our technology just became interesting again to the world at large, and y'all want to complain about buzzwords? Who the heck cares what they end up calling it?
I hereby call a moratorium on the snarkiness, name-calling and faux outrage over something we failed to do ourselves: make DHTML popular.