AJAX 101 - where to start?

Discussion in 'Web Design and Development' started by Mitthrawnuruodo, Nov 29, 2006.

  1. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #1
    Hi, I've gotten involved in a project where some (some basic) AJAX would be the best way to go... problem is I don't know any AJAX, yet... :)

    The project is fairly straight-forward: We have a web-application/-player running on a web-site (using a 3rd party web-plugin) and as people chose different things, I should keep an updated "shopping-list" on the side (with some minor calculations), and when all choices are done I should be able to save the data in a (mysql?) database (think shopping cart). The web-player can communicate (both ways) with the page using javascript.

    Now, I know my way around, (x)html and php/mysql and have some basic javascripting skills, and that engineering degree I have in CS has to be good for something (;)), but I still need some good advice in where to start, preferably at a very basic level at first...

    ...once I've gotten past that I might have other, more complicated, questions...

    Any tutorials and/or (good**) books that are recommended?

    Any good advice to get me on my way?

    Thanks.

    ** I got "Head Rush Ajax" at the library, but those Head Rush books makes my head hurt :)o), and there's a (potentially 3 month) waiting list on both "AJAX for Dummies" and "AJAX : Visual Quickstart Guide" by Jim Keogh, and I need some good books before that...
     
  2. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #2
  3. colocolo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2002
    Location:
    Santiago, Chile
    #3
    I just want to add, remember to keep it modular. AJAX is actually fairly simple, nothing really new in there but maybe XmlHTTPRequest.

    I started by making a simple page (as stated above) that loaded info into a div; at first, I didn't even send the content back in XML, just a string to output. Then, I standardized the functions that made the call to the other page , so I could use it regardless of the context.

    If you have any questions or code that doesn't seem to work, post it here and we will do our best to help you out.

    Oh, by the way, remember this (it slowed me up cause I was doing it by myself and not looking at examples, back when I didn't even know what AJAX was but stumbled with the XmlHttpRequest function):

    Code:
    if (window.XMLHttpRequest) // not explorer
       buscar.req = new XMLHttpRequest();
    else if (window.ActiveXObject)
    buscar.req = new ActiveXObject("Microsoft.XMLHTTP");
    
     
  4. Bern macrumors 68000

    Bern

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2004
    Location:
    Australia
    #5
    To think a Flash teacher told me that Javascript and Ajax is out dated technology :rolleyes:
     
  5. c-Row macrumors 65816

    c-Row

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    #6
    This is a great book to learn AJAX. I am currently working on my first small (but growing) application - maybe I can share some of it with you when it's functional.

    They also released another one covering JAVA, and it's the first book I truly understood. ;)
     
  6. Mitthrawnuruodo thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #7
    Thanks for advice and links, so far. I appreciate it... :)

    I'll get back to you once I have some well thought through questions...

    Keep up the excellent work...

    Thanks... but read the fine print in the first post... :D

    But, I'm actually reading it at the moment, and even if it does make my head hurt, I actually pick up a thing or two...
     
  7. Rower_CPU Moderator emeritus

    Rower_CPU

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #8
    When you're ready to start tinkering or just want some "off-the-shelf" effects/functionality, be sure to check out script.aculo.us. It's built on the prototype library and is a great way to get something in place without slogging through from scratch.
     
  8. savar macrumors 68000

    savar

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    District of Columbia
    #9
    Two quick questions on this thread:

    1) Where is a good place to see what AJAX is capable of? I'm familiar with the basics of the technology, and I've used some of the Google apps that use AJAX effectively, but what are the fringe technologies that it's driving right now?

    2) Has anybody used the Google API for creating AJAX? You write it in Java and can simulate it in a Java environment, then when you're ready to deploy it transliterates into Javascript/XML. Any reviews?
     
  9. c-Row macrumors 65816

    c-Row

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2006
    Location:
    Germany
    #10
    Fine print is for sissies! :p :cool:

    Seriously, I can't see how someone can get a headache from their writing. I thought it was fun and easy to follow while at the same time not being shallow.
     
  10. Mitthrawnuruodo thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #11
    Nah... probably just me getting a bit grumpy on my old days...

    I'm used to, and like, a traditional, well-written text-book, and think those Head Rush guys just tries a little too hard to be über-cool...

    ...and if I want everything repeated I read that passage again... :p

    But, on the other hand... the book is fairly easy too read (probably because there are very few actual words on each page), and I do pick up a thing or two, I guess... so maybe the devil's spawn actually works... ;)
     
  11. tominated macrumors 68000

    tominated

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Queensland, Australia
    #12
    the new .mac mail uses it. i don't know anything else
     

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