ChapterÂ 11.Â Introducing Ajax
Of course, waiting for new pages to load takes time. And, if you think about it, the concept of a page disappearing and then reappearing is pretty strange in general. Imagine if you were using Microsoft Word and every time you opened a new file the programâs menus, panels, and windows suddenly disappeared and then reappeared when the new file opened. Sites like Flickr, Twitter, Google Maps, and Gmail are blurring the line between Web sites and desktop computer programs. If anything, people want Web sites to feel faster and more responsive, like their desktop programs. The technology that makes this new generation of Web applications possible is a programming technology called Ajax.
Ajax lets a Web page ask for and receive a response from a Web server and then update itself without ever having to load a new Web page. The result is a Web site that feels more responsive. When you visit Google Maps, for example (see FigureÂ 11-1), you can zoom into the map; move north, south, east, or west; and even grab the map and drag it around. All of these actions ...