So in a recent discussion in a thread over at RT has called for the use of AJAX, and suggestions to other features that would access an outside server for data. Now I did not comment in this thread mainly because it was not the appropriate place to be discussing this, so I’d like to make a few points here.
While the use of AJAX makes a really neat user interface, it often makes a site almost impossible to use for those with disabilities. Since I’m a web developer, I’m more concerned with accessibility that I am with “bling” because what really matters is that everyone can use it, and not just those who are not disabled. Disabled people are people too, but many people don’t seem like they care at all.
There is also another reason why I do not want to use AJAX. The site developers, Corporate Green, specifically told me:
There’s no proper way to access the stie to do that. Without being signed in, and spamming the site, which would cause performance issues on the site, increase time online, and likely end up being something we’d have to break on purpose.
I’m trying to cooperate with the site developers, and I will not go against that for any reason. I’ve been in communication with them to get some API’s to do that (also have an alert service, which would rock). API’s are great because they use significantly less bandwidth, although may take as much server processing power. Now, if I find ways to implement things that are both accessible and do not hurt the servers, I’ll be glad to implement it.
The other big issue is accessing an outside server to retrieve data. I have two main concerns for using my server for additional services and features. The first of which is that it makes more requests from the client, and I’m trying to make this extension more useful for those with low bandwidth connections. The second is the issue of data being sent to my server. Users may not like that as most people won’t be able to view the source and see exactly what is being sent. Sure, I can say that I am not doing anything malicious, but I don’t expect everyone to take my word (although I’d like them too). I would like feedback on this issue, as I will not do this until I get feedback from users.
I’m also open to any other constructive feedback on the Rooster Teeth Site Extender, as development for version 1.1.0 is ramping up. Your opinion does matter!