JQuery and GoTahoeNorth.com

Early in the redesign process of the new GoTahoeNorth.com site, the decision was made to integrate the latest technology and user behavior while still featuring imagery to sell the destination. The homepage programming was converted from Flash to JQuery, improving performance, ease of maintenance, data capture and browser compatibility. Now all mobile devices and our small but growing iPad audience (80 million tablets by 2012 according to JP Morgan) can get the full homepage experience. To further enhance the visitors experience, we created a content slider that promotes the latest events, weather and video (which you can easily minimize to better see the imagery). We also built our social media feeds directly into the homepage content, bringing the latest user content front and center.

GoTahoeNorth.com homepage built in JQuery

The JQuery JavaScript library allows us to take functions previously done in Flash and execute them in JavaScript.  Many simple Flash animations like slideshows can now be handled quickly in JavaScript. While the JQuery library has been around since 2006 it did not see its usage grow dramatically until Apple chose not to support Flash on the iPhone and iPad platforms. As these two devices have gained marketshare it has pushed programmers to find alternative solutions to Flash for their animation. While cross platform support is a big plus, JQuery also provides the benefits of less resource usage and eliminates the need to have a flash programmer to make updates.  Check out this article for a quick comparison of Flash and JQuery.

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Flash vs HTML5

This debate started earlier this year when Apple released its iPad. The Apple iPad has no support for Flash, following in the iPhone footsteps. Flash is the current standard for moving graphics on the web but it is a resource hog on your system. In devices that rely on battery power for their usefulness, this can quickly become an issue. A war started between Adobe (the makers of Flash) and Apple. Here is a recent quote from Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO, “Different pieces of technology kind of go in cycles,” Jobs said. “Flash looks like a technology that had its day, but is waning, and HTML5 looks like the technology that’s really on the ascendancy right now.” Is Steve Jobs right? See what the public thinks.

HTML5 will do most everything that Flash currently does. The problem with HTML5 is that the web is ruled by designers not developers. Designers typically don’t program. HTML5 requires programming to produce the effects that designers can do themselves in Flash. There are many aspects to this debate and they are all just starting. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out.

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