You know after I posted that semi-rant on Google Reader, it occurred to me that I was maybe being a bit too hard on it. I mean, obviously, there's evidence of hard work put into this thing. And although I haven't bothered to view source yet, I imagine there's some cool AJAX-style magic going on under there. And, for some (most?) users, this way of viewing feeds is nice and pleasant to use.
But, man... all that hard work, and I just can't shake my impression of how slow this thing is. And I don't mean how slow it is to load from the server, but the whole UI experience once it's loaded: That is, how slow all the scrolling and the clicking and the navigating is. Wasn't this AJAX thing supposed to be all about quick, slick, and snappy web apps?
I guess I feel a bit let down—with all the time it took Google to make a move in the feed aggregator space, and with those PhD's they have laying around, I expected they'd finally have something revolutionary. Not this, not a cute toy I could've cobbled together myself in short order with Flash or AJAX. (But I haven't, because it'd be useless to me.)
For example, take the Google Maps API. I just happened to be working with it for a project this week, and I have to say that that's some nice stuff there. That's a platform that feels like some magic. I don't think I could've built that from scratch, though it sure is fun building things atop it.