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Please comment on our Laszlo Market app

Norman Klein
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 22, 2008
Posts: 36
We believe that it's easiest to learn through working with a "hands-on" example, so we created the "Laszlo Market" as a full-length application that illuminates all of the important concepts covered within our "Laszlo in Action" book. You can view our Laszlo Market application at
http://demo.laszloinaction.com/products/SKU-004

You might wonder "hasn't the online store metaphor already been covered to death". But the online store is still the "killer app" of the Web. It's almost obligatory now to feature an online store example along with the introductory "Hello World" example. Besides, today's online stores suck. This isn't just an opinion, but a fact measured by an "abandoned cart" rate. Today's online stores take seven steps to perform checkout that each requires a round-trip journey to the server. This provides seven opportunities for customers to just say "screw it" and go to another website. We have re-implemented the online store as a Laszlo application to demonstrate the benefits of an RIA approach. The goal of this store is to have its operation be so intuitive that my mother could use it. This is a tall order, because my mother doesn't even use a computer.

This store has the following features:

1.Uses animation to support multiple virtual screens within a physical screen (Press "checkout" button")
2.Supports "copy" drag and drop operations from the Product List to the Shopping Cart
3.Supports "move" drag and drop operations from the Shopping Cart to the trash
4.Features a branded appearance using customized components directed toward a target audience of twenty-something males (action video fans)
5.How to use animation in a functional manner
6.Demonstrates the Master-Detail design pattern between the Product Listing and Detail windows
7.Maintain identical appearance and operation between Flash and DHTML versions

In later chapters, we cover how video icons can be played by dragging and dropping them into the media player. Right now, we only have the Flash version online, but the DHTML version looks pretty much identical. So generally need to check the options with the right mouse button to determine which version is displayed. The person that has access to the server is unavailable right now, but I'll try and get the DHTML version available soon.

Although the book is complete now, we want to always be extending the store's operations to demonstrate different features. So I'm interested in hearing people's opinions about our example application.

1.Would your mother feel comfortable using this application?
2.How difficult or easy would this be to write this in your favorite RIA language?
3.What do you like or dislike about this application.
4.What features would you like to see added?
5.Any misc. things that you might want to comment on

Thanks your comments are appreciated and might be included in updates to this store application.

Norman Klein
Norman Klein
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 22, 2008
Posts: 36
Forgot to mention that this version of Laszlo (lps-4.0.7) contains a strange bug, so that only odd-numbered drag and drop operations from the Product List to the Shopping Cart work. This bug should hopefully be fixed in upcoming releases of the OpenLaszlo server.
Ken Boyd
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Joined: Dec 10, 2003
Posts: 329
nice one. You can do the same with GWT but sliding left and right not sure you can do with GWT (haven't library which does) apart from that pretty much everything GWT can do (not sure about video thing). GWT doesn't use any plug-in but your demo seems to use Adobe plug-in..

I was just comparing with GWT. Apart from that I like it. One thing about this RIA apps is you don't have to jump on multiple pages to finish your transaction.

Thanks for posting.


SCJP, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCJD, BB Java2 and JSP1.1
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
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Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Originally posted by Ken Boyd:
GWT doesn't use any plug-in but your demo seems to use Adobe plug-in..

I was just comparing with GWT. Apart from that I like it. One thing about this RIA apps is you don't have to jump on multiple pages to finish your transaction.

Thanks for posting.


That's because OL renders to Flash. However, it can also render to DHTML which would be more like a typical GWT app since its all HTML/JavaScript.


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Sapna Grover
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 27, 2002
Posts: 54
Congrats on really geeky store application. Here are my comments on the questions you asked

1. Would your mother feel comfortable using this application?
I don't think my mom would feel very comfortable using the application first time. Lot of things are taken for granted by a internet savvy user but may not be very usable for a occasional user like our parents. Some things would be overwhelming the first time. However, I think on second and third visit they should feel comfortable.

2. How difficult or easy would this be to write this in your favorite RIA language?
I am comfortable with HTML and libraries on it. Using prototype or DOJO it should be easy to design this application. Especially adding effects should be easy. It would take some time though.

3. What do you like or dislike about this application.
I feel there is too much information on one screen.

4. What features would you like to see added?
I guess a better product catalog.

5. Any misc. things that you might want to comment on
Some of the things in the demo app are not functional. For instance the horizontal bars on the left. The movie at the right bottom doesn't load. I got some JS errors when I clicked on the bars on the left. Also it didn't work very well on Firefox. i guess some of this was because it is a demo app.
I really like the part how it works very well with the keyboard only interface. Also the way the application highlights the field in focus is great!

Thanks
Sapna Grover
Norman Klein
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jan 22, 2008
Posts: 36
Yes. We're working on that. Our server provider wasn't happy about the amount of bandwidth that we were using. So we had to temporarily scale back the store's capabilities. Please check back again at www.laszloinaction.com as we will be continually updating it.
Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15286
    
    6

Originally posted by Norman Klein:
Yes. We're working on that. Our server provider wasn't happy about the amount of bandwidth that we were using. So we had to temporarily scale back the store's capabilities. Please check back again at www.laszloinaction.com as we will be continually updating it.


The coupon code doesn't work. You may want to remove that from your site.
Eric Pascarello
author
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Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
  • User's might not know they would have to drag an item to the trash can to remove it.
  • Would be nice to drag an item from the grid on the bottom to the cart to add it.
  • scroll wheel does not scroll panels.


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