We need a new buzzword–er, design pattern

AJAX. So many people hate the name, but we all know what it means. It’s a design pattern more than a buzzword; an easy way to symbolize a design or engineering concept. Design patterns help developers communicate concepts and often implementation with just a couple of words.

The old way:

“Guys, we need to add logging capabilities to this application. We need to be able to log to files, RSS feeds, the database, and blast email. We need to code up some classes where each of these logging mechanism can attach and listen for specific events, and then we need an interface so that all of our other code can implement notifying events to any of the listeners.”

The pattern way:

“Guys, we need to add logging capabilities to this application. We need to be able to log to files, RSS feeds, the database, and blast email. Use an observer pattern.”

Nice, huh? So, what should we call offline-capable web applications? Do we need to first split up the problem space for different operations involved:

  • archiving, downloading, caching, “off-loading”, “side-loading”
  • syncing, refreshing, uploading
  • mode switching
  • online/offline status for social apps, awareness
  • what else?

This makes sense because different applications will have different offline needs. An RSS reader will function differently than a blog composing app.

Google has done us a favor by releasing Gears. Let’s leverage everything good about open source and figure out some best practices before everyone goes off in all different directions.

About John Herren

John Herren is a developer and technical consultant with focus on web applications. He currently serves as Director of Development for Primetime US, the company behind the hit movie and book The Secet. John was formerly staff writer and developer community evangelist for Zend Technologies. Along with founding neat experiments like TagCloud.com, John is an active member in the mashup community, working with API providers and speaking at conferences. He is a published author of Linux certification study material. John enjoys using open source software like PHP and Ruby on Rails to bend the web into exciting new chimeras of hyperlinked goodness. View all posts by John Herren

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