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Working Up to AJAX by Learning Something About the DOM and Javascript

If you’re not in the programming field, you likely got hit by a bunch of acronyms there as if you had been hit by a bus. Let me break it down:

  • AJAX : A technique that makes websites look fast and smooth, unlike “old” style application. Think about the way Google maps looks, or Netflix.
  • DOM: HTML (the language that web pages are written in) can be seen as a “tree-like” structure. This structure goes by the name of “DOM”, or “Document Object Model”
  • Javascript: A language for telling your browser ( Firefox, IE, etc. ), to do something to the HTML page sent from the server within your browser. Thus what’s on the server and sent to everyone else doesn’t change, just your particular ‘view’ in your* browser

So, anyway, if you want to write in the AJAX mindset, you need to understand the latter two ideas rather well. The last time I really looked at Javascript was for one of my senior-year classes (way) back in 2000. Javascript has come a long way (baby) and with the advent of the AJAX technique, it’s really the only game in town.

I wrote a very simple script to help me get the hang of the language, so for you, here it is.