Can't even understand the title of this column? Jargon check first!
- Web 2.0: Jargon that signals that the static Web pages of the first decade of the Web are passé. Alternatively, it is the new name of DHTML.
Gist of this column:
Web pages gain functionality to rival desktop applications (Web 2.0 Awards)
February 18, 2005 Jesse James Garrett wrote Ajax: a new approach to Web applications and introduced the paradigm of a Web page making many small requests back to its Web server. The classic pioneering Ajax application was Google Maps, which seemingly presented a huge map that you could view through a draggable viewing port. It really wasn't a huge map, but many small maps that were downloaded as you dragged the viewing port around.
Creating your own Google maps application turns out to be easy as well. Pragmatic Ajax: a Web 2.0 primer" by Justin Gehtland, Ben Galbraith and Dion Almaer walks you through the code in one chapter.
The XMLHttpRequest object from the point of view of Web readers and writers:
Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) is the standard protocol for exchanging information between client and server and when combined with XML is referred to as XMLHttpRequest object. By 2002 most browsers supported the XMLHttpRequest object.
Web readers, on the other hand, use the XMLHttpRequest object in Greasemonkey to mash various Web pages together and can reach out to as many servers as they like. Authoring your own mashups means no evil third party is going to get your information.
Don't forget!: It's easy to say that a Web browser will make a request to a server. This implies, however, that the target server has programs ready to receive these requests and respond appropriately. The complement of your client browser Ajax script is a server script written in CGI, PHP, ASPX, etc.
Did you know that 'ajaxian' is an adjective
My favorite is YUI: Yahoo! User Interface Library. I suggest the strategy of merely expropriating their examples, modify the example's contents and style and, bingo! you have a sophisticated widget that works cross-browser. YUI has documentation and even cheat-sheet summaries of widget capabilities. Best of all, there seems to be a sense of corporate responsibility in supporting the community of users of YUI. The e-mail I received this morning is an example:
Due to issues surfaced by the community after the 0.11 release last week, we've issued an update today and we recommend that everyone using 0.11 update to 0.11.1 (available on SourceForge). This update resolves critical issues in the Animation Utility, the Dom Collection, and the Container Control. A manifest of changes is available on SourceForge and the full changelog for each component can be found in its README file.
Meanwhile, we continue to work on the popular YUI Cheat Sheets. These were updated for all the Utilities when we released 0.11 last week, and we added Cheat Sheets for the Logger, Slider and TreeView controls at that time as well. Along with today's update we've added a Cheat Sheet for the Calendar Control.
For the habitués of the leading/bleeding edge this e-mail signals somebody cares!
The other compelling reason promoting YUI use is Yahoo's Design Pattern Library. Here are formats and strategies for the common interaction problems of Web pages. In short, Yahoo is creating Web 2.0 by offering us both the tools and the strategies for their use.
Some Ajax libraries
- YUI: Yahoo! User Interface Library has the advantage of a corporate sponsor that wants to develop a user community, solid documentation, cheat-sheets and an active development program. My first widget worked in minutes.
- Prototype is heavily influenced by the Ruby on Rails framework, which focuses on the Apache server. Rico and Script.aculo.us build on Prototype and offer relatively small libraries of widgets
- Atlas is for Microsoft's ASP.Net community.
Date: July 2006