Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

Quora's Webnode2 and LiveNode[1] systems are very innovative and simplify the creation of real-time web applications. In fact, I believe Quora's choice of tackling the Q&A space is merely to demonstrate the power of these two systems.

One recurring problem in creating real-time web applications is how to sync the display between browser windows/tabs amongst different users (and of the same user).

You can render the page, stream compact JSON data to the browser, and use the data to update the page with javascript. However, doing so likely require you to duplicate your server-side templates on the client-side. You can, of course, avoid duplicating your template code by only implementing them on the client-side. However, doing so will hurt your site's SEO because your webserver would now generate JSON data instead of rendered HTML that search engines understand.

Duplicating template code increases complexity while removing duplicate code using client-side-only templates hurts SEO. This is the problem that Quora solved. Instead of streaming compact JSON data, Quora streams rendered HTML that updates any part of the page (not just a section of the page).

From an answer Charlie wrote: "If I were making a new website from scratch without LiveNode, the first thing I would do would be to rebuild LiveNode. Pretty much everything about web development is easier and faster and more correct using it." [2]

One of Abert's (Quora Engineer) tweets: "Going back to Django after having used Livenode is just painful." [3]

More info:

[1] http://www.quora.com/Quora-Infrastructure/What-is-webnode2

[2] http://www.quora.com/What-limitations-has-Quora-encountered-...

[3] http://twitter.com/146/status/15005261304

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact