Ajax – Asynchronous JavaScript and XML

I’m glad I remembered to read last Friday’s technology pages in The Irish Times. Danny O’Brien‘s column was about the new approach to building web applications called Ajax.

It’s the reason Google’s newest offerings, like Google Maps and Gmail, function so smoothly, resembling desktop applications rather than the traditional request and wait web model.

Adaptive Path have christened the approach Ajax, since it combines Asynchrous JavaScript and XML. Jesse James Garrett‘s article explaining the Ajax approach is a must read.

One of the keys to the Ajax approach is the XMLHttpRequest object in JavaScript. Very Dynamic Web Interfaces is an easy to follow tutorial that steps you through an example of using XMLHttpRequests. As Drew McLellan explains:

The XMLHTTPRequest object… enables JavaScript to make HTTP requests to a remote server without the need to reload the page. In essence, HTTP requests can be made and responses received, completely in the background and without the user experiencing any visual interruptions.

I’m certainly very excited by this and can’t wait until I have a chance to give it ago.

3 thoughts on “Ajax – Asynchronous JavaScript and XML”

  1. Thanks for pointing this out.. Great stuff… just one caveat.. I dont think AJAX is completely asynchronous.. at times it has to be synchronous to respond to data/events which it cannot handle locally.

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