The topic of cross-platform usability came up in several sessions at this year’s Ajax Experience in Boston Massachusetts. Naturally, Ajax is so popular because its open standards model is supported by many browsers and platforms. Speakers urged conference attendees to extend that advantage, enhancing cross-platform, cross-browser compatibility and usability in Ajax-based rich Internet applications.
Paul Burnett of Creative Solutions,, for example, praised Adobe’s Dreamweaver cs4 for its cross-platform functionality, made possible by huge improvements in its Aire bridge program. “Dreamweaver cs4 boasts new usability features and widgets, which have increased the power of this tool and put that power in its users hands,” said Burnett during his session on Building standards-based and accessible Ajax sites with Dreamweaver cs4.
Nicole Sullivan, founder of of Object Oriented CSS, preached the effectiveness of strong base coding for similarities that are no longer machine dependent in her session on creating scalable, fast websites. She has created templates that make it possible to have nearly identical web page layouts, no matter what machine, hardware or server they are viewed on. She has done this through manipulation of CSS for site templates by predefining, and sometimes redefining, site functions. Her co-speaker, Gonzalo Cordero, demonstrated some of the form and function of their appearence driven code would work on a live website.
Developers can now make layouts that will look good no matter who is looking at them and on what platform, she said.”Fixed dimensions limit the ways in which a module can be used and reused,” Sullivan said. “We have defined structure in a separate class.”