WORKING THE PROBLEM
"But there is a downside to this massive experimentation with script of various kinds..."
"...while the web has made it easy for consumers to mashup web services directly on their own pages, there is a looming problem with the architecture of all of this. One bad piece of code can take down the whole shebang, like what happened to me last week."
The comments to his posts have some good suggestions for potentially addressing this problem, including putting the "bling" on a secondary blog until the code is stable before putting it on the primary blog.
I wonder if there's a simpler technical solution whereby the publisher of the web site/blog can designate WHICH COLUMN in the blog CAN LOAD FIRST.
Then one could specify that the main text of the posts should always load first, followed by the left and the right columns (or reverse order if so desired).
This would then allow the reader to start consuming the content on the site without having to wait for all the other stuff to load on the sides.
I don't have as much bling on my site as Fred does, but ran into a similar issue a few weeks ago.
I noticed that having too much stuff on the left column of my blog was a real pain for those accessing this blog on handhelds/cellphones/PDAs. That's because the columns load in sequence, which is a real pain on small screens. It forces users to wait for the entire left column to load before seeing any of the core content on the site.
This is an actual problem not just for blogs but for mainstream web-sites as well. For example, try loading www.aa.com (for American Airlines) to check quickly on the status of a particular flight. Alternatively, try loading finance.yahoo.com (Yahoo! Finance) on your cell phone for a quick stock quote, and you'll see what I mean.
(As an aside, this is a particular pet frustration of mine...I've not been able to find a stock quote site that loads super-quick on a cell phone...not on Google, MSN, AOL or other services...any suggestions would be appreciated).
So having the ability to designate which part of a site should load first, whether on a PC or a hand-held, could be a substantive boon to performance as we try all these new mash-up services, architectures and just plain fun bling on our web sites.
Don't know how difficult this would be to implement technically, but would be real curious to hear your thoughts.