Alert boxes are used in online applications to a far greater extent today than they were even five years ago. Providing messages to the user, errors and warnings, and even small application notifications, alert boxes have become a part of everyday life on the Web. Along with the alert box, as well as its siblings (the prompt box and confirmation box), navigation boxes are also becoming the norm. These boxes are part of the application, not the client. This distinction allows the navigation box to fit in more seamlessly than the client’s alert boxes.
These boxes and windows can have far-ranging functionality within a web application. Therefore, we will take a closer look not only at how to create these boxes, but also at how to use them effectively with Ajax driving the content.
The alert box takes many forms depending on the theme of the desktop and the browser being used. This makes an alert from Internet Explorer look different depending on whether the user is using the default theme, the Windows classic theme, the Windows XP theme, and so forth. This problem will occur across platforms; the alert for Firefox on the Windows platform will look different from the alert for Firefox on the Linux platform. Figure 10-1, Figure 10-2, and Figure 10-3 show different alert windows on Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux platforms, respectively.
Figure 10-1. Examples of different alert windows on a Windows platform
Figure 10-2. Examples of different ...