et’s focus on how this technology can deliver the kinds of dashboard views that make hearts flutter in the enterprise. Until recently, I’ve used a couple of bookmarklets to gauge reaction to my InfoWorld articles, based on the list of del.icio.us bookmarks pointing to an article and the Bloglines summary of citations. Now, instead, I have a Greasemonkey script that counts these things and injects the counts into the InfoWorld pages I read.
You’d think these extra requests would slow things down. But because they’re asynchronous, they don’t. The script just fires off requests. When (or if) answers come back, it interpolates them into the page. Two components make this possible. One is the scriptable DOM, which enables in-situ alteration of Web pages. The other is the XMLHttpRequest object, which is now available in all the major browsers and which supports asynchronous interaction with remote services.