Discover MLS

Archive for August, 2011

Developing Rich Web Apps: The Tough Stuff — Part II

As promised, I’m back with another installment of The Tough Stuff (aka, “the dark side” of RIA web development).  This time, the topic is paginated search results (barf).

As the web got seriously underway in the late 90′s, search results were often not paginated at all.  Some sites posed a “reasonable” max search results limit (50, 100, etc) — or else no limit was imposed, and you’d have to sit & wait for a mile-long page to download & render.  Of course, count-on-the-fly was virtually impossible back in those days (when Microsoft and Netscape were such bitter rivals that almost no Javascript was safe), so you wouldn’t know if you were going to hit the ceiling or wait until you hit the “View Results” button…with your fingers crossed.

Today, the expectations are much higher.  Even without count-on-the-fly, we can’t limit users to 100 results or something, and even with count-on-the-fly, users will sometimes run searches that return nearly 1,000 results.

For years now, the most popular solution has been to “paginate” search results.  Show a user 25 or 50 results at a time, with “VCR” controls to see the next/previous batch.  This isn’t exactly ideal either, though, if a user actually wants to work with the data (sort, filter, scan, hide, etc).

So, in the RIA world, where the bar continues to rise, what’s the answer?  Sadly, too many developers are still just paginating (or showing everything in one shot, which is equally puke-inducing).  However, thanks to the pioneering work of Facebook, Yahoo, and more recently, a slew of mobile app developers, a new mechanism is emerging at last!


Android Keeps on Climbing

Seen smartphone browsing at 4G LTE yet?  Seen Flash on a dual-core Android device yet?  Seen righteous mobile multi-tasking on Honeycomb yet?  If not, you need to!

These are just a few of the reasons Android’s numbers keep climbing so rapidly.  Of course, Google’s free license for the OS doesn’t hurt, but users have to actually like it in order to achieve this kind of adoption — over 5% marketshare grab in 3 months!

Courtesy of Inman and comScore…

On competition, and flattery…

Discover was the first vendor to offer a next-generation, web-based MLS system.  By that, I mean built from the ground up with a service-oriented architecture, a rich user interface, cross-browser compatibility, and extensive use of cloud, caching, and CDN technologies.  After pioneering the RIA frontier with Adobe Flash, we’ve also now blazed a trail with mobile-optimized software built using HTML5.

Amazingly, while our competitors have spent millions of dollars already, we’re still the only production-proven next-gen system available.  If LPS and CoreLogic are successful, that will change before long – and we welcome them with open arms.  Why?  Because competition is a good thing!

From athletics to business, we all perform our best when we’re pushed, whether chasing or being chased.