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.