Programming websites with AJAX


Article from Issue 73/2006

AJAX offers a fast and efficient approach for building interactive websites. We’ll show you how to call upon the powers of AJAX for your own web creations.

Web 2.0 isn’t only about the user experience. Several important new developer tools are also helping to create faster and more efficient websites. One of the most important features of the new Internet is a technology known as AJAX. On the old Internet, if you filled out a web form with several input fields and sent it to the server, you were expected to wait while the server evaluated your input and responded with a new page (Figure 1). An AJAX- based website provides a more elegant solution. Instead of re-requesting the whole page, the web browser simply requests a small fragment of the page. The user continues to work as the request if filled by the server, and the browser goes on to merge the data with the existing page. In the user’s experience, the website is almost as fast as a desktop application.

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