I went to a Dolmen-organized seminar about RIA‘s today, where some smart people talked about GWT, Flex and JavaFX. I hooked up with an old acquaintance there, he was a customer of my previous employer actually, working in banking and finance. We exchanged ideas about when and more importantly when not to use RIA-technologies. I just now received a mail from him as well, in which he wrote (roughly translated from Dutch);
I’ll keep you posted on our findings concerning RIA as well, but when I tried to visit www.parleys.com at work just now, all I saw was a black screen. In that case I prefer those PIA’s; they might not be that fancy, but they do work.
I couldn’t agree more,
Poor Plain Old Internet Applications for president!
Lately I’ve been reading a number of interesting articles on this subject and at work we’re carefully applying some Web2.0-techniques as well. Based on that, here are a few suggestions on how to build better websites and -applications:
- Don’t use GWT or Flex unless you’re building a complex desktop-style webapp and if you’re willing to invest in a second “basic html”-version as e.g. Gmail does. Let’s face it, most websites and even -applications do not have the level of complexity that warrants the use these RIA-frameworks.
- Develop your core functionality in “web1.0″-style, using semantic HTML (structure) and CSS (presentation) only and apply your usability- and accessibility-wisdom here.
Off course these tips won’t guarantee you a perfectly usable and accessible website or -application, but when done right, this will help to get 80% of the way. A good functional analysis and thorough testing, both keeping usability and accessibility in mind, will push you towards 99,99%.