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Re: ACTION-432 and ACTION-422: Maps use case in client side state finding

From: David Booth <david@dbooth.org>
Date: Tue, 01 Jun 2010 16:36:00 -0400
To: "T.V Raman" <raman@google.com>
Cc: nrm@arcanedomain.com, www-tag@w3.org
Message-ID: <1275424560.16079.35397.camel@dbooth-laptop>
Hi T.V.,

On Tue, 2010-06-01 at 08:44 -0700, T.V Raman wrote:
> Actually the maps use case is well  understood in the sense that
> it's using server-side params to encode state. It's unclear to me
> at this point whether a system that is entirely server-side
> params is in some way "better" than one that uses a combination
> of client-side and server-side params -- note:5 years ago I'd
> have answered differently ie, said "server-side params" are a
> better pattern.

Personally, I find it annoying that when I go to google maps at
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&tab=wl
and enter a location such as "1 pennsylvania avenue, washington, dc" and
click "Search Maps", which brings me to a page displaying the desired
map, it fails to update the URL in the browser.  Thus, when I bookmark
the location (or try to email the URL), even though the title says that
I am book-marking "1 pennsylvania avenue, washington, dc", it reverts me
back to the starting page!  

To my mind, this is going backwards, as it is creating a disconnection
between the URL and the page that is displayed.  It reminds me of when
people give out turn-by-turn navigation instructions for reaching a
desired web page ("Go to http://example/foobar, look in the left nav bar
for 'Community events', click on 'This week', then click on 'Bake sale'
half way down the page") instead of just publishing a specific URL for
it. 

I assume that this behavior is the result of client-side Ajax calls or
such, using hidden URLs that it constructs dynamically.  And in this
particular google maps example there is a "Link" icon on the right side
of the page -- oops, I had to describe where it is, instead of just
giving you the URL ;) -- which attempts to mitigate this problem by
dynamically constructing a link for the currently viewed map (though I
typically don't use it because the URL it generates is way too long and
hard to read-- not good for email).  

The point is that this kind of disconnection between the URL in the
location bar and the content that is displayed seems to me to be: (a)
somewhat anti-web; and (b) increasingly associated with client-side
processing based on client-generated (but hidden) URLs.




-- 
David Booth, Ph.D.
Cleveland Clinic (contractor)

Opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect those of Cleveland Clinic.
Received on Tuesday, 1 June 2010 20:36:28 UTC

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