Google have recently revamped their news service. It now features a “customisability” mode which lets you rearrange the order of the news categories and the number of items that appear in each category. They do this by dragging and dropping news category names around a little faux page, once you save your changes they reload the pieces of the page that need reloading – the rest doesn”t reload. I”d guess they”re using XMLHttpRequest like in maps and gmail.
The only problem I can find at the minute is that the categories are kind of limited, I”d have liked to have a more granular choice. A good way of doing this would be to have sub-categories, as an example I”d like to see the sub-category Politics under UK. I”d guess though that this might take quite a refinement of googles existing algorithms to do. I”ve sent them feedback on it anyway, actually it”d be nice if there was a pingback facility to make it easier to give them feedback.
It’s quite funny to think that several years ago everyone was raving about DHTML and all it was used for was drop down menus, this last year it’s got kind of exciting with more and more sites using it in new and innovative ways, though none perhaps as much as google.