- DOM - An API for accessing and manipulating structured documents. In most cases DOM represent the structure of XML and HTML documents.
- XML - Web Services and AJAX seem made for one another. You can use client-side API's for downloading and parsing the XML content from RESTful Web Services. (However be mindful with some SOAP based Web Services architectures he payloads can get quite large and complex, and therefore may be inappropriate with AJAX techniqes.)
- Plain Text - In this case server-generated text may be injected into a document or evaluated by client-side logic.
- HTML - Injecting server-generated HTML fragments directly into a document is generally a very effective AJAX technique. However, it can be complicated keeping the server-side component in sync with what is displayed on the client.
Mashup is a popular term for creating a completely new web application by combining the content from disparate Web Services and other online API's. A good example of a mashup is housingmaps.com which graphically combines housing want-ads from craiglist.org and maps from maps.google.com. Q.Are There Usability Issues With Ajax? Ans: The nature of updating a page dynamically using data retrieved via AJAX interactions and DHTML may result in drastically changing the appearance and state of a page. A user might choose to use the browser's back or forward buttons, bookmark a page, copy the URL from the URL bar and share it with a friend via an email or chat client, or print a page at any given time. When designing an AJAX based application you need to consider what the expected behavior would be in the case of navigation, bookmarking, printing, and browser support as described below.
- Bookmarking and URL sharing -Many users want to bookmark or cut and paste the URL from the browser bar. Dojo provides client-side for bookmarking and URL manipulation.
- Printing - In some cases printing dynamically rendered pages can be problematic.
Other considerations as a developer when using AJAX are:
- Browser Support - Not all AJAX/DHTML features are supported on all browsers or all versions of a browser. See quirksmode.org for a list of browser support and possible workarounds.
- Latency -Keep in mind latency in your design. A running application will be much more responsive than when it is deployed. Latency problems: myth or reality?
- Accessibility -Guaranteeing your site is accessible to people with disabilities is not only a noble goal, it is also requited by law in many markets. Some marvelous enabling technology is available to help people use the Web in spite of disabilities including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. With a little forethought, and comprehension of some well documented best practices, you can assure that your application is compatible with that enabling technology.
- Safari - Has a debugger which needs to be enabled. See the Safari FAQ for details.
- On the client in the page - This can be done securely but can be problematic and difficult to work with. See my blog entry on Storing State on the Client for more details on this topic.
- On the client file system - This can be done if the client grants access to the browser to write to the local file system. Depending on your uses cases this may be necessary but caution is advised.
- On the Server - This is closer to the traditional model where the client view is of the state on the server. Keeping the data in sync can be a bit problematic and thus we have a solution Refreshing Data on this. As more information processing and control moves to the client where state is stored will need to be re-evaluated.
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