Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices


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A user can continue to use the application while the client program requests information from the server in the background. Intuitive and natural user interaction. Clicking is not required, mouse movement is a sufficient event trigger. It is getting tremendous industry momentum and several tool kit and frameworks are emerging. But at the same time, AJAX has browser incompatibility and it is supported by JavaScript, which is hard to maintain and debug.

What is AJAX? Previous Page. Prior to JavaScript-based server interactions, interfaces had to rely solely on fullpage loading, regardless of how one might have hacked a page into appearing otherwise. Until Ajax development came along which, incidentally, started in implementation many years before the coining of the term itself , client-side development also had no thread support. Threading, in a nutshell, allows the spawning of new lines of logic, completely independent of those before, adjacent to, or after it.

C, Java, Perl, and many other languages have had this support for many years in some cases before client-side scripting came along in any fashionable sense. The closest JavaScript had to offer came in the form of the setTimeout and setInterval library functions, which required delayed, seemingly parallel execution rather than the actual spawning of processes. While Ajax still does not provide true threading, it does bring JavaScript one step closer. In order to fully understand Ajax in meaning and implementation, you must understand each of its components.

Even when using synchronous requests, or using JSON or some other transportation method, knowing the core aspects of Ajax can only help development practices. Ajax does exist as an incredibly useful method of communicating with the server directly from JavaScript. It does not mean anything more than that, even if its usage can open up development methods previously unexplored in web application development.

Despite the seemingly simplistic concept, asynchronistic behavior in applications often gets ignored, because asynchronicity introduces an entirely new level of complexity to client-side development. This book focuses on the implementation of JavaScript in various web browsers. This, in a very basic sense, means that functions and methods called within a certain object get called in the context of that object.

It provides an interface by which JavaScript can send and receive data to and from the server without requiring a full page load. Other methods exist for sending and receiving data, but they each use aspects of HTML and XHTML in ways other than designed, and, as such while still useful in certain circumstances , they exist only as hacks.

If that seems to be a rather broad description, it should be.

Best Practices for API Design to Keep Your App Secure, Scalable and Efficient

In Ajax, XML refers to data transportation. This not only has the advantage of instant parsing by client-side code, but also it tends to take up less bandwidth than more verbose, globally understood formats such as XML. Ajax does not exist in this book as the latest and greatest acronym to hit web development. It instead exists as a tool like any other—extremely useful in some instances and totally wrong in others.

Manuals and other reference materials that have large blocks of text for the user to read might come up with an Ajax reader, allowing a single, scrollable pane that late-loads content as the user scrolls though it. This sounds cool, but it destroys the ability to search the page for a particular word or phrase. The site instead focuses on content and searching that content. Google Maps see Figure 0. Web applications having a large number of transactions for a given set of elements, online games for example, save a lot of time and bandwidth by reusing the same interface multiple times to submit and display similar data.

No matter what your project, you should know the options for reaching your goals, which options work the best, and why. Ajax has a lot of buzz around it, both positive and negative; what it really needs, instead, is a good, solid foundation for serious, realworld application development. The OpenAjax Alliance3 has started moving in this direction, building tools to prevent name collisions between Ajax toolkits and bringing companies and individuals together in an effort to promote stability, security, and interoperability between professional-grade toolkits.

This book covers the range of topics necessary to create a well-rounded application, regardless of the tools and technologies used. Many developers have created their own toolkits in order to abstract the actual Ajax communication layers and to speed development. Though none of the material here targets any particular toolkit, you easily could use many of those in development while still following each of the chapters.


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This book takes advantage of what already has been written to assume a certain level of understanding, in order to examine and explore in detail the more intricate methods of designing a web application to use Ajax. Instead of looking at some of the available AJAX frameworks, this book takes a brief look at the more experimental uses, such as game development.

What is AJAX? - Tutorialspoint

As such, if you have not already worked with Ajax or some form of server-side scripting language, database, or web server, you should probably read a book like Understanding Ajax Eichorn, , following along with the examples. The example code in this book uses the following technologies for each application layer. As of this writing, the Apache foundation has released the 2. The example configuration directives in the book should carry over to the newer version without much deviation.

The 5. PHP 5. It just regards them as a numbered list of bytes. Prerequisites for This Book Q Q Q 5 9 cleaned-up functionality, closer integration of the new PDO database extensions, even more drastic improvements to the object model, and, for some reason, goto in the form of named break statements , the PHP group has made it available only from source so far. It has much development left on it, but should see greater adoption rates than PHP5 has seen so far. This does make quite a difference and holds many developers back from fully embracing the XHTML modules available to them.

Technically, the specification www. Style—CSS 2. CSS 3 introduces much of the styling and layout abilities asked for years ago and eagerly awaited by web designers; however, it has not reached a stable enough point for many of the browsers to support any more than some of the basics.

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Many Ajax-type web applications and sites use Adobe Flash for text and XML communication with the server; however, Flash development gets too specific for coverage in this book. Many of the same principles and much of the architecture covered still apply, but the implementation differs. The organizations behind them have made them freely available for download and use on a wide range of platforms and have tested them in a wide range of browsers. In addition, the technologies have large user bases and online communities ready and willing to assist you if you run into any problems.

Advanced Ajax Architecture Best Practices by Shawn Lauriat

When it comes to user interfaces, this philosophy also applies to everything on the page, whether it be text, a form element, or a piece of media. People tend to overdo their use of newly adopted technologies, and Ajax is no exception. Most web designers and developers have reflexively negative reactions upon the mention of these after their initial popularity gave way to overusage. All of these technologies had an original, utilitarian purpose, which now is overshadowed by the notion that they bring no benefit to the user; the only exceptions to this rule might be the blink and marquee tags, which actually have specific instructions against their usage written up by the W3C.

Figure 1. This page took a total of 5. At the same time, this DHTML usage does not distract from the purpose of the page to register an account; it just makes it easier and faster to do so. By applying subtle transitions like the ones shown in Figure 1. For instance, the users probably will want to know that the application has created their account, but they probably will not care that the username passed the regular expression tests or that the SQL statement executed successfully. These, together with the other actions required to create the account, would amount to the single action about which the users care: making a new account.

The error shown in Figure 1. They may want to review their information and correct spelling errors before continuing. All of the functionality, however, has its design rooted in helping the user register an account as quickly and easily as possible, rather than drawing attention to the dynamic elements. The example on server-side validation in the last section touched on user expectations when working with the user registration form.

IE does not support anything close to streaming requests, as it triggers only the onreadyevent once the response completely returns from the server. This statement may sound obvious, but designs often ignore the current or potential user base. Communication channels between the users, designers, and developers can do wonders for keeping up with and building on user expectations. If the expectations of users do not seem clear, ask them directly for feedback and suggestions.

When users interact with the application, they already have expectations about the behaviors of controls such as form inputs and links.


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Deviating in non-obvious ways from that behavior can cause confusion and misuse of the application, though deviation from the normal behavior does sometimes make sense; however, this practice should be the exception rather than the rule. For example, overlaying half the interface with a translucent block displaying a throbber removes that functionality for the user and defeats the purpose of the asynchronicity Ajax offers. A throbber is an animated image used to indicate background activity of indeterminate duration. Browsers have one, generally in the upper-right portion of the window, which activates on full-page loads.

Because the normal Stop button in the browser itself may or may not stop Ajax calls, clicking the throbber should stop any current background processing. This behavior also applies to queued requests, because a user clicking the throbber to stop processing would not expect processing to immediately start up after the throbber click stops the current threads. W3C offers a growing number of web-based tools for validation in its QA Toolbox www. In local installations of the validators, this ability needs to get explicitly enabled in the validator.

These assumptions do not always prove reliable, but will generally work well enough for quick checks. With any of the three options, W3C offers an extended interface in which defaults can get overridden and additional options enabled. By default, the Markup Validator enables verbose output, which includes more detailed explanations and suggestions for the errors it reports. It also allows additional options to override the defaults or to specify an output threshold.

Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices
Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices
Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices
Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices
Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices
Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices Advanced Ajax: Architectureand Best Practices

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