Ajax

I have been meaning to start checking out Ajax with a little hands-on for quite some time and today I had my “hello world” with it.

AJAX: Getting Started: gives a quick way to start testing. XMLHttpRequest seems to be the key to this. Rest is all about constructing the presentation layer at runtime using javascript than to change the content from server.

Rasmus' 30 second AJAX Tutorial - A wanderer's journal: Pretty much the same as above. I saw this argument at multiple places that Ajax is nothing but hype and people were using DHTML + XML way back etc. I am not yet sure about the extent or power of Ajax, but I liked the idea behind it. It seems to me as something that can be termed as “perception change” – the idea that request-response processing can be done without interrupting the user interaction is great.

Today morning I attended a session on innovation management – it was said that creative ideas which works can be extended, like computers invented for financial calculations now running our whole life or idea of flight getting extended to even space tourism. I think in pre-internet era, a scientist may work on a thesis on his own for his lifetime and may publish some papers in a boring symposium – but with the rate of collaboration these days, it may not take ages to change the world. I think this is sort of revival which is happening right now with open source and new internet – ideas are not restricted to a small group who invent it. Idea should be marketed to get contributors – this may be the “hype” factor. By getting many creative minds taking a swipe at it and finding new ways of using the idea thereby extending it, good durable ideas will find many different uses. If I reject a new idea without much analysis just because I am not feeling comfortable, I may have to consider the possibility that I am getting old.

Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications Now that I have tasted a small bit of Ajax, I decided to read some more. It seems the name Ajax originates from here. This gives a formalized explanation with the help of good diagrams. Terms like Ajax Engine are a little intimidating, but I think technology is not that complicated. One burning question is – how much can be done in asynchronous way? Only that much which won’t take too much time in server processing – in that case users will anyway have to wait.

Dynamic HTML and XML: The XMLHttpRequest Object : Same example as first two links with a listing of object properties of XMLHttpRequest. But for the first time, I understood that “request destination must be same as the one which serves up the page containing the script”. I need to check whether it is still possible to access webservices in third party domain using this.

What’s Ajax? Some more interesting points and links to learn more.

Ajax Mistakes: Compilation of Ajax mistakes. Some of those may have been put here just because somebody looked for faults, but this puts a thought in mind to caution against overuse and to avoid breaking the application with it. I think Ajax may not be used to solve all problems, but definitely something that may become part of the solution.

Very Dynamic Web Interfaces: One practical example here.

Other pages I whizzed through:-

Three forms of AJAX: solid, liquid and gas: some perspective on levels of usage.

XMLHttpRequest Usability Guidelines and Usable XMLHttpRequest in Practice
: warns against pitfalls in overusing the tools

To investigate more:-

XMLHttpRequest & Ajax Working Examples: links, found something about Java and Google API.

Ajaxian: one scan threw these terms at me - Dojo, Flock, ShrinkSafe, suggestion, autosave, autocomplete, IFrame, XHR, Remember the Milk, Google Reader

Top 10 Ajax Applications: useful to see some examples

Weighing the alternatives: comparisons and adding more arguments to support the claim

Ajax in Wikipedia: More links to go through

Ajax Matters: More links.

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