AJAX : What’s All The Commotion?


If you’re a geek like me (which you might be if you’re reading this), you’ve maybe heard the buzz about something called AJAX. Well, what follows here is a short primer.

First off, AJAX isn’t a single technology — it’s a collection of, and dare I say — a synergy of — multiple technologies. Specifically, AJAX stands for Asynchronous JavaScript + XML, but what it really signifies is a completely new type of web application.

If you’ve seen Gmail, Google Suggest, or Google Maps, you may have already experienced this new type of application without even knowing it. Did you notice how you could click and drag the maps at Google Maps? How about the way email addresses auto-complete when you use Gmail? These are examples of AJAX functionality.

Basically, AJAX allows web-based applications to function much more like locally running software. There is massively more interaction with the user — more feedback, if you will, and it’s quite exciting stuff for those who follow these sorts of things.

Anyway, keep your eye out for it — more and more of the web is going to start having these interaction-rich feature sets. In fact, I’d venture to say that it won’t be long before most everything that currently follows the “old” way of doing things will be enhanced using similar technology.

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