Ajax going bad

The best example of Ajax going bad is Yahoo!’s new TV Listing site. All you have to do is a simple search on the internet “tv listings yahoo ajax” and you will see most users being pissed off about this change.

The thing is, the new site is unusable. I have a powerful 3 GHz P4 and when the page renders or does a request to the server it consumes about 55% of the CPU (or when you scroll the time slider), and there is a lot of lag and waiting when you are scrolling down. This is one good looking site, that simply does NOT work. It performs BETTER when you are NOT logged in, and if you are using IE (but still, far from ideal). But if you ARE logged in and you do have a “favorites tv channels” list AND you are using Firefox, the thing is simply unusable. Everyone on the net are shouting about this. If the information is not INSTANT, then this is a useless upgrade. And this is a shame, because the previous HTML-based version of Y!’s TV Listings was the only one with the right cable/show information (other TV listing sites never get it right for my cable area). It was uglier, but it was also functional, practical and to the point.

Ajax is not bad, especially when only used when it’s truly needed. Google has the right idea with Gmail for example. It works well. But then again, Google has hired the smartest guys in the Valley, while Yahoo! it seems has hired all the left overs.

It makes me feel like RMS felt in 1984 when he didn’t have the source code of that printer driver that pushed him to create GNU. I feel the same about the data. If I had access to the data I would create my own site to do TV Listings the way I feel it’s best.

4 Comments »

Adam Scheinberg wrote on January 15th, 2007 at 1:18 AM PST:

Not AJAX gone bad – Javascript gone bad. Trust me, I can eat 100% of your CPU without a single AJAX call.

Don’t condemn the entire practice of remote scripting if you don’t understand it. Some of the “effects” on the page could be removed and the AJAX portion would work just fine.


Tom Dison wrote on January 15th, 2007 at 8:11 AM PST:

Amen, I loved the old listings. The same can be said for the beta version of Yahoo mail. It requires a load of CPU, so I am sticking with the current yahoo mail. I have a mix of new and old computers, and I can’t even use the new yahoo mail on anything but a newer computer, I hate how things like this cause us to all upgrade our cpus (and have 10mb internet!) just to view email and tv listings. Poo!


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Eugenia wrote on January 15th, 2007 at 8:25 AM PST:

>Not AJAX gone bad – Javascript gone bad.

Ajax without JS doesn’t really work. These are interchangeable terms as far as I am concerned.

For example, I have the EXACT same problem as with Y! with the site LiberatedFilms and LinuxDevices.com. Each time my Safari visits these sites, it comes into a crawl because of their JS.


Luis wrote on January 15th, 2007 at 12:29 PM PST:

Yes, the page is very hard to use here too. And I tried in Konqueror and it doesn’t even work at all (no matter which user agent I identify myself as). All very sad coming from a site like Yahoo! (they should be experts in web development).

On a side note, you know my opinion already: if Google would ban such pages from its top 100 search results, their owners would change them before you can count to 3. But you see, that page ranks 4th when you search for “cable tv listings” in Google. It’s the problem of web 1.0 search engines in a web 2.0 world (and it will end up damaging Google too, since users won’t trust their results so much. The first search engine that actually starts to rank web pages by their usability/quality will most likely succeed -or so I wish-).


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