AJAX : Java Glossary


AJAXs (Asynchronous JavaScript And Xmls) a competitor to Applets. AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And Xml) is not a language or a software package or even an interface. It’s a word someone invented for the generic concept of having JavaScript talk directly to the server without reloading the HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) page. There are any number of possible ways of implementing AJAX. The most common is to use the non-standard XmlHttpRequest class, which is available from JavaScript in most major browsers.

The major defining characteristic, though, is the asynchronous aspect of the technology. Even XML (extensible Markup Language) is in there by coincidence; people describe things as AJAX applications when they don’t use XML at all. There is no new language or file format here. There’s no specification; no definition of what AJAX is or is not. There are no special tools. There’s no visual appearance that could be created except what you could do with a web browser, HTML, JavaScript and CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) anyway. In fact, if you were allowed to stub out the data, you could write any AJAX application with only those basic client-side web technologies.

AJAX is typically a generic JavaScript program to allow thin clients to do field validation (by asking the server) without refreshing the entire page. Google uses it for maps. It works by sending standard HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol) queries to the server. Your application specific code all lives on the server.

AJAX has the following advantages over Applets:

AJAX has the following disadvantages:

Microsoft has embraced AJAX and renamed it Atlas, which presumably means they are busy figuring out how to lock AJAX apps into Microsoft and make sure Java apps stop running.


book cover recommend book⇒Pragmatic Ajax, A Web 2.0 Primerto book home
by Pragmatic Bookshelf 978-0-9766940-8-3 paperback
publisher Pragmatic Bookshelf
published 2006-04-10
Covers Ajax with Java, .NET and Ruby on Rails server frameworks.
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