SPUG: cgi help

Jason Lamport jason at strangelight.com
Fri Apr 6 16:35:53 CDT 2001

At 11:34 PM -0700 4/5/01, Daryn Nakhuda wrote:
>  > I still say that the "correct" solution is to return an identifying
>>  token which will allow the visitor to get the query results once
>>  they're available. (Of course, doing things the "correct" way isn't
>>  always worth the extra effort.)
>>From a usability standpoint, it may be confusing to the end user to have a
>situation where they get a token that they can use for retrieving the
>results later, especially if we're merely talking 30 seconds, versus 2 hours
>or something. Perhaps more "correct" would be to have an interstitial (sp?)
>page, like expedia or some of the other travel sites do, so that you see
>something, regardless of browser, while the query is running. there are
>numerous ways to do this, and it can be as smart or as dumb as you want it
>to be. . .

Sorry, I wasn't clear:  by "return a token" I meant that technically, 
that's what would be happening "under the hood".  That basic strategy 
could be used to implement any number of UI schemes -- such as the 
interstitial page that you suggest, or a page that automatically 
self-updated once the query was complete, or something else entirely.

My point was that,if the query is likely to take more than 5-10 
seconds, then the "right" thing to do IMO is to make sure that the 
user gets immediate feedback of what's going on, before the query is 
complete.  Given the inherently stateless nature of HTTP, that will 
necessarily involve returning some sort of token (a cookie, a URL, 
*something*) that will allow the results to be retrieved at a later 
time (though that "later time" may be a mere 10 seconds from now, and 
the retrieval may happen entirely automatically, without any action 
from the user).


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