Friday, March 09, 2007

Sometimes, you _need_ AJAX.

The latest version of Scouta went live this week, with a cool new feature.

An asynchronous commenting system.

Asynchronous comments are very important in Scouta, as we want discussions to sit right next to the media item, yet we don't want to interrupt the video or audio stream if the user decides to post a comment while the media item is playing. At the same time, we can't generate the conversation thread completely inside Javascript, because that would prevent conversations being spidered by search engines...

Anyhow, MochiKit and JSON came to the rescue, I ended up sending back the HTML fragment (which represents the comment) inside the POST request, which then gets dropped into the UL container. I think this is a pretty common technique, and it works well.

To achieve all this asynchronous magic, I have needed to write a _lot_ of Javascript, which has made me really appreciate and understand the benefit of multiline anonymous functions. It sure would be great to have these in Python, though I cannot imagine what the syntax might look like...

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