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Home of the Dynamic Content System (cs-content)!
Server Time: 05-23-2013 20:44:29 CDT
Did you look at the title and suddenly wonder if I'd gone crazy? Or maybe you clicked the link because of the bizarre name?
I haven't gone crazy. I may have purposely made the title a little weird, but there's a reason.
I've been working on TTORP, the Table Top Online RolePlaying system, for some time now. One might even say it's "my baby." And one of the components to that system, besides awesome character sheets, is an interactive map: a page where players can see a map of what is happening in real time, so they can see the position of other characters, monsters, buildings, etc. Far better than trying to explain it all in detail, and players don't have to try to keep the layout of the world in their heads or try to map it all out.
Anyway, blah blah blah. I ran some testing using AJAX to see how responsive I could make the app, blah blah blah, found out it was incredibly intensive on the server. Doing things that was simply wasn't feasible.
Then I found a nifty project called "APE" that used something called Reverse AJAX, or AJAX Push Engine (a.k.a. "APE"). Anyway, the difference between using AJAX to poll the server as fast as possible versus APE can be summed up pretty quickly: with AJAX, the browser is flooding the server with, "anything change yet?" requests, most of which are met with "no." With APE, the browser just says, "hey, I'm listening now," and the server response once something happens. This type of server is also called a "Comet" server.
There's a bit more to it than that, but you've got the basics. If you want to know more, check out the APE project.
NOTE TO SELF: this blog could stand to have a few more links to relevant information. Meh.