Flash auto-complete textfield / Flash vs. Ajax

Posted on June 20, 2005

Here's a flash version along the lines of the DHTML textfield from the previous post. I got to thinking about flash vs. AJAX after reading Mario Klingemann's post "Is Ajax the new Flash?"

With regards to Mario post, I certainly think you can make things look, well, flashier in flash. However I don't think we should go that far in comparing the two.

Breaking the back button
I think the most pertinant application of AJAX is in forms and search pages, or in getting real-time information into a ticker. Things that you would normally have to (re)load a page for. To modify a google search I don't usually go back to the first page; I use the search field at the top of every page. Google in effect tries to simulate over many pages what can be achieved with AJAX in one page.

Blinking and changing parts of the page unexpectedly
Not really restricted to AJAX/Flash... we're pretty used to things blinking and popping-up - think animated-gif-as-background ca. 1995.

Not using links one can pass to friends or bookmark / Search bots not being able to index dynamic content
I would consider the middle page of a multi-page form as something I would want to bookmark. On the other hand I might want to sent someone a page of google results other than the first ("Hey look!, I made it onto page fifteen!").

Inventing new UI conventions
Should we be stopping? And isn't Google Suggest just implementing UI conventions we've learnt elsewhere?

Comments (8)

David Carrington said

Apart from the flash version not being complete (buggy and not enough matches), it's nice to see a comparison between the two. I especially like how you've implemented the two-colour approach in the Ajax version.

Posted by: David Carrington at June 21, 2005 11:44 AM .

Tony Eckert said

Is there any way to achieve this autoComplete in a flash form? I'm using ColdFusion and many of the examples I see only work for php pages, or in generic html input forms.

Posted by: Tony Eckert at March 16, 2007 09:10 PM .

cliff oliveira said

I neeed see the fla this Flash auto-complete

Posted by: cliff oliveira at May 26, 2007 12:11 PM .

Bart said

Really nice!

Can I download / buy the fla-file somewhere?



Posted by: Bart at June 6, 2007 07:36 PM .

John Howard said

This is beautiful. Can you tell me how I could get the .fla?

Posted by: John Howard at July 6, 2007 11:13 AM .

Ricardo said


I´m amazed with your work. Everithing is... "so me!"

Posted by: Ricardo at August 25, 2007 02:45 AM .

Dave said

Looks great, also wondering if you would be so kind as to release the FLA file?

Posted by: Dave at September 10, 2007 07:33 PM .

ridzuan said

I want to try this email, for trial

Posted by: ridzuan at October 6, 2007 07:07 PM .