I spent a bit of the day finishing up the first version of a reviews.com widget for reviewers…and while I was doing that I was thinking about widgets in general.
One of the problems I have with most widgets, is just the fact that they are synchronous…that is you generally have to wait for them to load before the whole page they are included on can load. And by nature, the widget code is generally hosted on a completely different server from the web page you are actually trying to load…
This means there’s potential for network problems, not to mention the usual code and data communication errors that can occur…and often all these potential problems can be very costly to the load time of your page (and usually the widget you are loading provides some useless information anyway)…
So I guess what I’m saying is that all widgets should really be asynchronous…and from this point forward, I think I’ll have to make the widgets I build conform to that rule (for the record the reviews one I just put out today does not follow this rule yet - but to be fair I just decided on this ‘law’ while writing this very post).
Speaking of future widgets, the next one I plan to build is going to be related to gawk.it…it will most likely just be focused on letting you brag about your gawk.it stats, standings, and picks….but I haven’t actually landed on a design for it just yet.
Guess that gives me something to think about on the commute home from the city today ;-)
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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