The XML Document Object Model defines a standard way for accessing and manipulating XML documents. The DOM enables JavaScript to completely access XML or XHTML documents by providing access to the elements which define the structure. The accessibility is possible through a set of intrinsic JavaScript objects that focus on DOM manipulation. This model is something that we will be using throughout the rest of this book because it is required to parse the responses that we receive from the server side when we create an XMLHTTPRequest (XHR). As mentioned earlier, the XHR is the core of the Ajax model and without it the model would not exist. This is the piece of the Ajax puzzle that has created the recent buzz because it allows HTTP requests to be made to the server without refreshing the browser.

Though there has been a lot of recent hype surrounding Ajax, it has existed for quite some time. Microsoft originally released the XHR object in 1999 with Windows IE 5 as an ActiveX object available through the use of JavaScript and VBScript. It is now supported by Mozilla, Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Netscape by using a native JavaScript object. This native JavaScript object will also be supported with the release of Windows Internet Explorer (IE) 7. Although the technologies have been in existence and used by some developers in the past, it has only recently gained large popularity. The cause of its recent popularity is largely based on the support that is offered by browsers because not many browsers had the support necessary for powerful DHTML, XHTML, CSS, and XMLHTTPRequests until more recent versions. Now it is possible to create such interactions with successful cross-browser and cross-platform results. The adoption of better support for these technologies has brought Ajax to the forefront and it is once again an exciting time to be a web developer. Small, independent operations are regularly emerging with applications that rival the desktop by providing powerful functionality while immensely improving the user experience.

Ajax for Web Application Developers
Ajax for Web Application Developers
ISBN: 0672329123
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2007
Pages: 129
Authors: Kris Hadlock

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