Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ajax



I had never heard of Ajax, before reading Jesse James Garrett paper Ajax: a New Approach to Web Applications. It's not suprizing ether, if you search Google for Ajax you get nothing. Only when you search for Ajax Application's do you get any results and even then there are only two in the first ten page's that are to do with Ajax as being talked about here.

Altought you like me you may not have heard of Ajax you will have used it, both Google Suggest and Google Maps are examples of Ajax.

What is Ajax well for that I will give you Jesse's definition it's far more accurate than any I could give,

Defining Ajax

Ajax isn’t a technology. It’s really several technologies, each flourishing in its own right, coming together in powerful new ways. Ajax incorporates:



It's not so much any one language but an integrated method of using many preexisting methods that are already available in new ways. There is no “Ajax engine” commonly in use that one could download or copy (although JSPAN’s nearly there in the PHP world).

Let me try and explain it in my own words,

Rather than having to make requests for information from your computer all the way back to the server, the idea behind Ajax is that you have a mini server almost, on your computer a sort of client.

The client on your PC makes all the requests on your behalf to the main server, all the page generation and formatting is done on your PC and the data to fill thous page's is held on the website's main server.

As Ajax become's more popular and established I would expect to see more web sites using this technique in the future.

links

Adaptive Path
Heyblog

1 comment:

Boris Rudnik said...

In my opinion, what is described by Jesse James Garrett as "Ajax", should be referred to as a client-side technique or as an implementation solution rather than "engine".

Three major goals critical for web-based application are achieved by this technique. First, cutting the initial loading time of the screen by providing web-client only with content essential for usable and basically informative screen lookout. Second, managing limited system infrastructure recourses more efficiently by fetching any additional content only on operator's demand, initiated by interaction with the screen: clicking on icon-like image, selecting an option from the list, pressing a button. And last, but not least, providing a system operator with smooth application-like user experience.

Contemporary web browsers are developed with common internet surfing in mind. Simultaneously, the growing demand for a web-based interface from the corporate policy makers forces web developers to implement "application mock-up" techniques, like "Ajax". May be in the future there is going to be an accepted standard for online applications and a compliant browsers with embedded client side "secondary request engine". But even then, mostly due to accessibility issues, this solution will remain corporate-intranet oriented and not suitable for the most of internet web sites.