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HTML, XHTML, & CSS All-in-One For Dummies®, 2nd Edition by Andy Harris

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Chapter 2. Improving JavaScript and AJAX with jQuery

In This Chapter

  • Downloading and including the jQuery library

  • Making an AJAX request with jQuery

  • Using component selectors

  • Adding events to components

  • Creating a simple content management system with jQuery

JavaScript has amazing capabilities. It's useful on its own, and when you add AJAX, it becomes incredibly powerful. However, JavaScript can be tedious. You have a lot to remember, and it can be a real pain to handle multiplatform issues. Some tasks (like AJAX) are a bit complex and require a lot of steps. Regardless of the task, you always have browser-compatibility issues to deal with.

For these reasons, Web programmers began to compile commonly used functions into reusable libraries. These libraries became more powerful over time, and some of them have now become fundamental to Web development.

As these libraries became more powerful, they not only added AJAX capabilities, but many of them also added features to JavaScript/DOM programming that were once available only in traditional programming languages. Many of these libraries allow a new visual aesthetic as well as enhanced technical capabilities. In fact, most applications considered part of the Web 2.0 revolution are based in part on one of these libraries.

A number of very powerful JavaScript/AJAX libraries are available. All make basic JavaScript easier, and each has its own learning curve. No library writes code for you, but a good library can handle some of the drudgery and ...

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