Project Peach
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iLinks: A Big Jump Forward
The Server Roundtrip Problem
You may have noticed as you navigate your way around our single page webapps that the inter-page movements are smooth and quick. As with regular single page implementations we load a whole site HTML template and simply poke changes into the browser DOM. We use our smart connections and websockets app messaging to retrieve the application display data in the background. A kind of modern version of AJAX, asynchronous calls to avoid full page loads and server roundtrips. At the crux of this problem was that we wanted our users to be able to type/paste an URL into say a newsfeed post/comment, blog or instant message and have the same smooth internal jump. Anywhere that there is free text will then jump internally and not make the dreaded server roundtip. That's the essence of this feature. Jump internally for free text URL targets that are internal. It's a legacy problem we inherited from the way websites traditionally work, with server roundtrips and visible page loads. Let's take a look at our feature in detail.
Instant Messaging
Paste in an image or an url and if it's internal we'll now make the jump smoothly. We'll also make the link into a 'Click here' (and yes you can change the wording to whatever you like). We also noted that if it's an image either external or internal it's much nicer to see it than the link. We also added a great "Send a Product" feature that enables a smooth internal linkage to any of your products sent to clients in your instant messaging. Works with typing, copy & paste or any free text combination.
Here's our new image enabled, product enabled and internal link enabled message feed. Click a link for smooth page transitions. Oh and best of all it works with existing links and not just new ones. A nice enhancement to our instant messaging.
Newsfeed posts also now have smooth internal page jumping. It works just the same way as instant messaging, type or paste an URL and if it's internal we will make it a smooth jump. We or rather you can now paste urls to your blogs, products or images and get that smooth feel. If the link is being replicated externally to social media the external link still works normally and the internal link, from the newsfeed, is lightning fast.
A combination of text and pasted URL before it is posted on the newsfeed. The link is internalised on the display not the post to ensure that our historic postings benefit also from this feature.
Our posted newsfeed status which has been internally linkified. The 'Click Here' is now a smooth jump.
We've an identical feature in our blogs section. They work in the exact same way as newsfeed posts offering smooth internal jumps to content. Consider these free text iLinks as the same as our easy custom content navigation. In custom content you pick a page from a list, in iLinks the text URL is pasted. We now have a complete internal navigation system that's tailored to the skill level of our users.
The Hawthorn Gallery making good use of our new iLink feature. A blog that's accesible from custom home page content, which is a full page advert for a FREE competition (see the upper image). It only takes a few seconds to alter the home page image scroller and link to a blog entry. In the lower image you can see the iLink which points to a creator (in this case, more of the artist's work). Imagine if you could respond to changes in your business as quickly as this.
John Ince