An up-to-date look at free software and its makers


Article from Issue 73/2006
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Ajax lets web developers concentrate on the important things and leave the browser abstraction to the libraries. Also in this issue, Cdrecord forked, Debconf in kilts, bugs squashed at Debian, and the latest news on Debian Etch.

Ajax web applications are characterized by ease of use: while browsers have to reload to reflect changes to pages in conventional programs, Ajax (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) based applications retrieve modified data in the background and update only those parts of the page that have actually changed. More recent Ajax implementations, for example Google’s recent acquisition, Writely [1], continue to get closer to the look & feel of desktop programs. Writely uses dialog fields for formatting, giving users the ability to drag the fields to their familiar desktop location in the title bar (Figure 1). And there is a button bar at the top of the page, just like in any other word processor. The program responds without delay when a user presses the »bold« button, for example.

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