Ajax Workshop

This looks like a really old post. Stay for the retro vibes but be aware any information in this post is likely way out of date.

After the Carson Summit I had a spare day before ClearLeft/Jeremy Keith’s Ajax workshop. This meant I had time do give my brain some downtime before ramming it full of more web knowledge again.

Jeremy and the ClearLeft crew did a great job putting the event on, from greeting the attendees in the hotel lobby to providing an ad hoc wireless network.

The morning was pimarily taken up with a review of Javascript syntax and an overview of DOM scipting and the Ajax proper started after lunch. The morning’s tutoring was definitely worth it though as Ajax relies on this to perform. Jeremy is a great speaker and managed to explain the ins and outs of Ajax in a way which cause a lightbulb to go on in my head at least a couple of times. As anyone who has seen him speak before or has read his book will know, he is a great advocate of unobtrusive scripting, using hooks in the code to tie in your javascript. He applies the same sort of graceful degredation to his Ajax coding.

His approach is to code the application so it works as a traditional page with the page refreshes that entails. Then add in the Ajax to ‘Hijax’ the page, diverting the call to the Ajax code if the client browser supports it. This relies on the server-side architecture being coded in a modular way. What this means is that you can target the server-side code for a particular module within a page. This may require some change of coding methodology, but it will mean you only have to code it once for both standard calls and Ajax calls.