AJAX logoYou have built the attractive, brand-new website and it finally performs all you want it to and all the client wanted it to do. But when the client sees it he says he wants only some minor changes. All the client wants is just add to the website some more pizzazz. But this would include redesigning of the whole site; it will take 3 times longer than you have spent to add the new items. As a result it will absolutely destroy any profit that you have counted not only for this site but for the three following you have scheduled.

Now welcome to the outstanding as well as wacky world of Web design financial planning and Web design. The hearsay is that AJAX may work out all your problems at one stroke. But if the hearsay is true, the answer is yes. Here is an example. In case your client requires a set of pages to get tabs like one of the "minor" changes. Deployment of AJAX and for example the Yahoo AJAX User Interface, it is practically going to take longer to make copy of the existing content to the pages with tabs than it will take to carry out those new tabs.

The World of AJAX

It is even more amazing: that's all made in simple CSS and JavaScript in the same way; some AJAX code snippets develop is just easy to remove programmatically unnecessary tabs. The secret of this power lies in throwing off the standard metaphor of fill-in and delete the blanks, submit the form and include the result of returning Web page and superseding it with a new paradigm in-place request by simple calls to XLM http Request. Actually the resulting calls are accomplished by means of creative usage of both PHP and JavaScript residing in your local browser and also on your server - realize the magic.

Some real-world instances of AJAX Web pages may be seen at two popular Web sites: Ask.com and Google.Maps. On Ask.com just look at so far responsive the query box when you ask a question and on Google.Maps you may play about with a map and testing as well as dragging it, so left or right clicks will zoom in and out on the mapped area. You may then observe some AJAX magic through the drop-down box which appears suddenly on the main page of Google. It is evident because of the speed of the appearance of the items in the box that somewhat unusual occurring. Notice this when you type the items on the list change.

These and other useful features may be easily added to a site you have created. All this is done for free deployment of the AJAX toolbox that is easily downloaded from Yahoo. There is multitude of AJAX snippets that are scattered far and wide over the Web, and broadly speaking they are easily available. But be careful, because not all of these AJAX snippets are completely browser-based JavaScript, some need ASP.NET server technology and some demand PHP-enabled servers. Just check what is necessary for these snippets.

Every AJAX script always delivers a routine named XMLHttpRequest, it is the event handler that is at the centre of all ALAX-type code. In general, this routine is established to process every event as a function of "callback", that is inside of Windows programming and the routine that is well translated into other browsers and operating systems. That is why many appropriately built AJAX code inclined to be transportable through different browsers and operating systems.

Definition of AJAX

AJAX presents not a single technology but several technologies and everyone is flourishing in its own right which coming together in strong new ways. Ajax includes:

  • Dynamic interaction and display deploying the Document Object Model
  • Asynchronous data retrieval deploying XMLHttpRequest
  • Standard-based presentation deploying CSS and XHTML
  • JavaScript that binding everything together
  • Data manipulation and interchange deploying XML and XSLT

The classic web application model is functioning such way: majority user acts in the interface trigger a HTTP request backward to a web server. Then the server makes some processing - extracting data, talking to different legacy systems, crunching numbers and returns HTML page to the user. That is a model that is adapted from the original use of Web as a hypertext medium, but fans are aware of the Element of User Experience, that makes the Web great for hypertext does not certainly make it great for software applications.

ajax and classic web application model

On the left the right the Ajax modeland on the traditional model for web applications.

Unfortunately this approach doesn't provide a great user experience but it makes a lot of good technical sense. The question is what the user is doing while the server is making its thing. Right, he is waiting. User waits at every step in a task some more.

Evidently, in case the designing of the Web is made from scratch for applications, user won't have to wait around. When once an interface is loaded, why the user interaction should come to a stopping each time the application requires something from the server. Actually, why the user should observe the application goes to the server altogether.

There are real-world examples that show the utility of AJAX:

Accordion

That is presumably the one of the most impressive and easiest AJAX improvements both to perform and show the ability to imply a facile way to present the so-called "accordion effect". It is a method for comfortably presenting more info than the screen real estate could normally allow.

Instant Thumbnails

The next interesting AJAX script which may help to show the versatility of AJAX may be found at Highslide JS. That AJAX snippet stipulates for lightning fast thumbnails for full size views of JPEGs and here the full-size view can be dragged and is compliant with CSS - consider custom borders, thus allowing for such characters as potentially active and in-depth captions. All this is completely in JavaScript and deploying DHTML and HTML united with CSS - kind of cool in its own right.

Zoon It

That is very attractive snippet that comes from Janos Pal Toth. You may download this script then upload it to your server and easily access it. Once you run it, you will se an enlarging rectangle in every image. To increase or decrease its size you need just left-click and drag on the magnifier. To increase or decrease the magnification factor all you need is right-click and drag.

Warnings of Web Design

There are two cautions for usage of AJAX should be noted. Firstly, it is overkill to have too much of AJAX on a site. A bit of pizzazz comes a long way. Make sure you doesn't "over-wow" a disappointed user and force them to visit a less visually difficult site.

Secondly, become aware of that no one of the search engines comprehend JavaScript well, if do at all. Just look over the site with turned off JavaScript to see the way a search engine will see it. The smart Web developer has to be able to understand and see the site the way a search engine does and the way a human visitor sees it at the same time.