Adding Ajax

Adding Ajax

by Shelley Powers

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Overview

Ajax can bring many advantages to an existing web application without forcing you to redo the whole thing. This book explains how you can add Ajax to enhance, rather than replace, the way your application works. For instance, if you have a traditional web application based on submitting a form to update a table, you can enhance it by adding the capability to update the table with changes to the form fields, without actually having to submit the form. That's just one example.

Adding Ajax is for those of you more interested in extending existing applications than in creating Rich Internet Applications (RIA). You already know the "business-side" of applications-web forms, server-side driven pages, and static content-and now you want to make your web pages livelier, more fun, and much more interactive. This book:

  • Provides an overview of Ajax technologies, and the importance of developing a strategy for changing your site before you sit down to code
  • Explains the heart and soul of Ajax: how to work with the XMLHttpRequest object
  • Introduces and demonstrates several important Ajax libraries, including Prototype, script.aculo.us, rico, Mochikit
  • Explores the interactive element that is Ajax, including how to work with events and event handlers that work across browsers
  • Introduces the concept of web page as space, and covers three popular approaches to managing web space
  • Explains how to make data updates, including adding new data, deleting, and making updates, all from within a single page
  • Describes the effects Ajax has on the Web-breaking the back button, losing browser history, dynamic effects that disappear when the page is refreshed, and more
  • Covers advanced CSS effects, including drag and drop "scroll bars", pagination, and the use of SVG and the Canvas object
  • Explores mashups-Ajax's ability to combine data from different web services in any number of ways, directly in our web pages
You don't need to start over to use Ajax. You can simply add to what you already have. This book explains how.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780596529369
Publisher: O'Reilly Media, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/01/2007
Pages: 400
Product dimensions: 7.00(w) x 9.19(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Shelley Powers is a software developer/architect, photographer, and writer who has authored numerous computer books on web development and technologies, including the O'Reilly titles "Developing ASP Components," "Unix Power Tools, Third Edition," "Essential Blogging," and "Practical RDF". Through the years, Shelley has also contributed several articles on cross-browser development, standards, RDF, JavaScript, CSS, and XML for several publications, and has worked with some of the world's leading companies. Shelley's tech web site is http://burningbird.net.

Table of Contents

Preface;
Audience;
Contents of This Book;
Conventions Used in This Book;
Using Code Examples;
We'd Like to Hear from You;
Acknowledgments;
Chapter 1: Getting Ready to Make a Move to Ajax;
1.1 The Technologies That Are Ajax;
1.2 Start Clean;
1.3 Converting Tables to CSS Layouts;
1.4 Continuing the Conversion: Element by Element;
1.5 Dealing with Browser-Specific Quirks;
1.6 Understanding Your Client Base;
1.7 Designing a Framework for Your Site;
1.8 Progressive Enhancement Versus Massive Overhaul;
Chapter 2: The Ajax Bits;
2.1 The Web Application;
2.2 Preparing the Object for Use;
2.3 Preparing and Sending a Request;
2.4 Processing the Ajax Response;
2.5 Endpoints, the JavaScript Sandbox, and Widgets;
2.6 That Security Stuff;
2.7 A First Look at Performance;
2.8 One Last Word on Asynchronous Versus Synchronous;
Chapter 3: Ajax Tools and Terminology;
3.1 Prototype;
3.2 script.aculo.us;
3.3 Rico;
3.4 Dojo;
3.5 Other Libraries;
Chapter 4: Interactive Effects;
4.1 Ajax-Friendly Event Handling;
4.2 Just-In-Time Information;
4.3 In-Page Previews;
4.4 Color Fades for Success or Failure;
Chapter 5: Space: The Final Frontier;
5.1 Horizontal Spacing: The Accordion;
5.2 Tabbed Pages;
5.3 Overlays;
Chapter 6: Dynamic Data;
6.1 In-Place Editing;
6.2 In-Place Editing: Performance, Security, and Accessibility;
6.3 Highlighting Changes;
6.4 Revisiting In-Page Update Accessibility One More Time;
6.5 Live Validation;
6.6 Performance and Two-Phase Commits;
6.7 External Library Data Effects;
Chapter 7: History, Navigation, and Place with Single-Page Applications;
7.1 Introducing the Challenger: Paged Content;
7.2 Remembering Place;
7.3 Old and New Persistence: Side by Side;
7.4 The New Page View;
7.5 Post-Mortem;
Chapter 8: Adding Advanced Visual Effects;
8.1 Advanced CSS Tricks;
8.2 Scalable Vector Graphics;
8.3 SVG Quick View;
8.4 Mixer: SVG and Ajax;
8.5 The Future of Graphics;
Chapter 9: Mashup Your Site;
9.1 Mapping with Google;
9.2 A Second Service: Flickr;
9.3 Adding Technorati to Our Mashup;
9.4 Reengineering the Mashup;
9.5 The Reengineered Clients;
9.6 Summarizing Mashups;
Chapter 10: Scaling, Infrastructure, and Starting from Scratch;
10.1 Frameworks: Tight Versus Loose Coupling;
10.2 The Web Service: Resource and Security;
10.3 Ajax Libraries: Homegrown or Borrowed;
10.4 Designing Ajax from the Ground Up;
10.5 Frameworks du Jour;
10.6 Go Forth and Ajax;
Colophon;

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