Chapter 12. Basic Ajax Programming
In the previous chapter you learned the basics of Ajax: what it is, how it works, and how jQuery can simplify the process of Ajax programming. Since Ajax is all about the two-way communication between Web browser and Web server, understanding server-side programming is necessary if you really want to harness Ajax’s power. However, you don’t need to be a server-side programming guru to use Ajax successfully. To show you how simple and easy it can be to add Ajax to your site, this chapter revisits the Tabs plug-in that you saw in Chapter 10 and introduces a plug-in that makes it easy to add searchable Google Maps to your own Web pages.
In Chapter 10 you learned how to use the jQuery Tabs plug-in to create tabbed panels that work with already existing Web page content. This plug-in provides a way to divide a lot of content into separate manageable panels. But the Tabs plug-in doesn’t just limit you to the content already in the page’s HTML; it also has an Ajax mode that lets you dynamically load content from other files on your Web server into panels on the page. In this way, you can have a single page act as a kind of gateway to lots and lots of content on your site, without having to create a single, very large (and slow to download) HTML page. When someone clicks an Ajaxified tab, the data is retrieved from the Web server and displayed in a panel.