Rich Web UI: Search As You Type

Yesterday I talked a little about rich web UIs. I wasn’t the only one, apparantly, after the release of “Google Suggest”: the whole web-development-involved “blogosphere” is talking about it.

A couple comments I got and found on my post say that we shouldn’t make web applications rich, because if you want richness, you should use a normal client application that runs on the OS, not the browser. In a way I agree with this. Many people seem to get the idea that we should reimplement all applications we use on the desktop today in the webbrowser. That’s probably not a good idea. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t enrich the web-applications we have today. If we want to read our mail in a browser, want to participate in discussion in a browser and manage our websites from a browser, we’d better make the experience as smooth as possible.

Yesterday night I found a nice search-as-you-type component that does about the same thing as Google Suggest:

Google Suggest

It’s not as nice looking, but it’s open source and implemented in Javascript and PHP:


It’s called “LiveSearch”: and you find more information “here”: I wonder if something isn’t too hard on the server. It’s no problem for Google with their multiple-thousand server park, but we don’t all have that luxury.

Another interesting thing that “Cow”: pointed me to is “JPSPAN”: A “framework” to easily call sever-side PHP functions from JavaScript without reloading the page. There’s also a search-as-you-type example there, it’s even uglier than LiveSearch, but of course that’s not the important thing: