AJAX: A web-development sheep in wolves’ clothing

I have often seen the term “AJAX” in connection with web-development. I think it looks fairly intimidating (but perhaps it just reminds you of a cleaning product!)

Only recently did I find out what it actually stands for, namely “Asynchronous Javascript and XML” – which is still pretty scary! However, I pressed on. Learning more about it, I found out that actually the basic principle is quite straightforward:

You use a special object in Javascript (XMLHttpRequest) to get an XML file from the server.

Well, if it’s so simple, why is it so powerful? Well this is what I’ve found out so far:

  • You can get the XML file “asynchronously”, without reloading the page
  • The XML file can represent anything you like, and can be generated by any method you like! You can use a static XML file or use PHP, ASP, etc.

But I’m obviously not an expert. So go check it out at: http://www.w3schools.com/ajax/default.asp

I can’t say whether the w3schools people are experts, but they certainly have the best web-development tutorials and references I’ve ever seen. Enjoy!

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2 responses to “AJAX: A web-development sheep in wolves’ clothing

  1. I am very much a fan of the W3Schools. I learned a lot of my PHP, DOM and JavaScript stuff there. Never felt the need to try AJAX though.

  2. I must admit that learning AJAX was due to curiosity rather than need!

    However, it is pretty useful for certain applications.