JavaScript RIA ecommerce shopping cart

Check out this JavaScript RIA! (Via metafilter)
This is exactly the kind of thing the Macromedia is always showing off in their demos. Drag. Drop. Animations happen which guide the user. It’s the kind of stuff that Lazslo talks about with their concept of a “cinematic user experience”.
JavaScript RIAs are coming of age, and as I wrote yesterday, animations and self-modifying html that doesn’t need to go back to the server are playing as important a roll as the XMLHttpRequest API. A nice library for doing drag-and-drop in JavaScript has recently become available that makes this kind of code much easier to write.

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Javascript RIAs come of age

A recent article by Jesse James Garrett crystallizes what many in the Rich Internet Application developer community have been saying ever since the gmail beta: Javascript RIAs (which Garrett awkwardly attempts to brand as “AJAX”, for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML”) seem to be finally coming of age. These techniques have been possible since at least 2002, but have been recently popularized by the never-ending stream of cool javascript RIAs from google (gmail, google suggest, google maps…).

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Building fudgable IT systems

Companies building IT systems to replace a previously offline (paper-phone-fax) based business process often spend millions of dollars on the project. These systems surprisingly similar to one another (given that they represent different business processes in different industries) Actors have particular Roles. The Actors operate on Documents, which are exchanged between actors in a pre-choreographed order that is the Business Process. The system is typically designed to replace a mature paper-fax-phone based process already in existence, be it processing a purchase order or approving an application for insurance.
Companies are often surprised when they face resistance or low adoption to the new systems (something I wrote about a little while ago in hooking small businesses up). A number of the projects that my company Uzanto has tackled in the past year have involved – in some way or the other – fixing broken systems of this type, particularly at the intersection between a large enterprise and it’s much smaller partners (think insurance brokers, or real estate agents, or retail stores). One specific reason for failure that we have encountered again and again is due to the fudgability of paper / voice, and the inflexibility of any software process that tries to replace it.

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skype honeymoon over?

Om Malik has a nice piece on the growning backlash against Skypes apparently lousy billing / customer service. Skype (the organization) is obviously experiencing some growing pains.

I use Skype 2-3 hours a day to talk to people halfway around the world, and I’ve never paid them a dime, so I can’t complain myself. However, I have noticed a distinct drop in audio quality since the latest release of the Skype client. In particular, the volume of the call will sometimes sporadically drop almost to 0. Is Skype (the technology) also experiencing growing pains?