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What do I need to know to create my own AJAX functionality?

AJAX

If you plan not to reuse and existing AJAX component here are some of the things you will need to know.


Plan to learn Dynamic HTML (DHTML), the technology that is the foundation for AJAX. DHTML enables browser-base real time interaction between a user and a web page. DHTML is the combination of JavaScript, the Document Object Model (DOM) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS).

* JavaScript - JavaScript is a loosely typed object based scripting language supported by all major browsers and essential for AJAX interactions. JavaScript in a page is called when an event in a page occurs such as a page load, a mouse click, or a key press in a form element.

* DOM - An API for accessing and manipulating structured documents. In most cases DOM represent the structure of XML and HTML documents.

* CSS - Allows you to define the presentation of a page such as fonts, colors, sizes, and positioning. CSS allow for a clear separation of the presentation from the content and may be changed programmatically by JavaScript.

Understanding the basic request/response nature of HTTP is also important. Many subtle bugs can result if you ignore the differences between the GET and OIst methods when configuring an XMLHttpRequest and HTTP response codes when processing callbacks.

JavaScript is the client-side glue, in a sense. JavaScript is used to create the XMLHttpRequest Object and trigger the asynchronous call. JavaScript is used to parse the returned content. JavaScript is used to analyze the returned data and process returned messages. JavaScript is used to inject the new content into the HTML using the DOM API and to modify the CSS.
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