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Article:
  A Simpler Ajax Path
Subject:   Ajax-ified Weblog
Date:   2005-06-23 16:17:17
From:   Trackback from http://bbuchs.f2o.org/archives/2005/06/23/ajax-ified_weblog/
So, there’s this “new” technology on the web that’s all the rage. Except that it’s not really new, it’s been around for a while. People have just started to figure out how to cobble the bits and pieces together and do some cool stuff. It’s called “Ajax”, which is an acronym of sorts. The long and the short of it is: you don’t neccessarily have to wait for a full page to reload if all you want to do is a simple update. There’s a whole boatloat of resources on the web if you’re interested in learning. I spent a little bit of time this afternoon familiarizing myself with some of the techniques. I implemented a very simple example on my home page a week or two ago with the “Current Playlist” functions - the “block” that contains that information refreshes itself every 3 minutes, updating the songs listed in the playlist automatically, no reloads neccessary. The really powerful stuff that can be done has more to do with passing data back and forth. My guinea pig project was to update my comments forms. Luckily, MovableType was pretty friendly to this - took me just a few minutes to put the pieces into place. Writing the scripting that does the heavy lifting wasn’t all that hard either, thanks to a couple of resources and libraries available on the web: Prototype and the Form Assembly. The overhead on these libraries is a little more than I’d prefer, but I’ll live with it. Prototype handles the XMLHttpRequest connection, as well as some of the fancy fades and inserts. It’s most commonly used with “Ruby On Rails”, but the browser-side scripting can be used with any page. The Form Assembly provides some very easy to use validation routines, as well as some...