Quality Reads

Friday, November 02, 2007


If you're wondering why I haven't been posting here as often as I used to, I've been tied up on my new website Shakakai.com. Its a site that was created with two main goals:
  1. To aggregate all the content I'm generating over the web, be it blog posts, tweets, del.icio.us or digg tags, and a host of social website content.
  2. As an experiment into using Google as Content Delivery Network ( commonly referred to as a CDN)
The former point isn't particularly groundbreaking, everyone is cranking out mashups nowadays. The latter is a radical restructuring of how a website is built. Rather than construct and consume services for my own view layer, I'm capturing all the dynamic content for the site in RSS feeds. Then using Google's AJAX feed API, I'm using request the content from Google rather than my own server. As long as I optimize my JavaScript code, I should see a massive reduction in the bandwidth consumed per visit (in theory). This loose coupling of data from the view also serves to enforce proper MVC development practices while moving much of the application logic to the client.

There's a couple things I need to watch out for taking this approach:
  1. Accessibility - When building out the view, you need to actively review the accessibility of the markup you're using. Its very easy to blow off the standards when you're waist deep in JavaScript.
  2. Load Time - Minimize the amount of JS that gets loaded up front so the initial load time appears extra snappy. Then switch over to on-demand loading for any additional functionality (e.g. a "donate now" button)
The site is still in its infant stages but I hope to make a major dent in the development effort by the end of the weekend. So check in sometime next week: www.shakakai.com


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