By Chris Cipriano
What AJAX isn’t
Before we talk about what AJAX is, let’s see what it isn’t.
- AJAX isn’t a new technology
- AJAX isn’t a programming language or scripting software
- AJAX isn’t one thing at all
What is AJAX?
AJAX is a technique for creating fast and dynamic web pages. AJAX allows web pages to be updated asynchronously by exchanging small amounts of data with the server behind the scenes. This means that it is possible to update parts of a web page, without reloading the whole page.
Classic web pages, (which do not use AJAX) must reload the entire page if the content should change.
- standards-based presentation using XHTML and CSS
- dynamic display and interaction using the Document Object Model
- data interchange and manipulation using XML and XSLT
- asynchronous data retrieval using XMLHttpRequest
- Some action triggers the event, like the user clicking a button.
- The AJAX call fires, and sends a request to a server-side script, using XML
- Using XML again, the script sends the data back to the original client-side page that made the request
Try it out for yourself!
Uses for AJAX
- Login Forms- ex. Digg
- Auto-Complete- ex. Google Search
- Chat Rooms and Instant Messaging- ex. Meebo Chat
- Voting and Rating- ex. Reddit
- External Widgets- Google Adsense
- Updating with User Content- ex. Twitter
- Getting Started with AJAX– how to write a basic AJAX application
- Mastering AJAX– a tutorial which gives you the basics and talks about cross browser compatibility
- XAJAX– a tutorial to learn xajax in 10 minutes (an open source PHP Library for building ajax based applications)