Ajax and Beyond

InfoWorld has a special report on building rich applications with previously unheard-of functionality.

AJAX is the newly minted acronym encompassing a fresh vision of empowered browsers: Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. Before AJAX, Web pages displayed links, forms, and buttons. When a user clicked on a link or a button, the browser sent a message to a distant server asking what to display next. JavaScript would typically be used for nothing more than to check form inputs. Web pages were as static as pages in a book.

The post-AJAX browser can think on its own without saying Mother may I? to a distant server. Processing threads running in the background preloads page content. If a user clicks on a link or a button, the browser can update page content using JavaScript. Googles Gmail, for instance, hides or displays parts of an e-mail thread without waiting for a response from its server, eliminating network lag. If information must go to the server, it too is sent by a background process.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.