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Introduction to AJAX

Applicable Job Roles: webmasters, web programmers, and web application developers.

Outline

 Week 1: Beginning Ajax

  • Creating a request object
  • Requesting the data
  • Asynchronous data transfer
  • Using the readyState property
  • Using a callback function
  • Using innerHTML
  • Sending the request
  • Error handling with try/catch
  • Understanding HTTP

 Week 2: Using XML and JSON in Ajax applications

  • XML basics
  • XML and the DOM
  • Using responseText
  • Using responseXML
  • JSON vs XML
  • JSON basics
  • Using JavaScript literals
  • Using CSS with Ajax

 Week 3: Object-oriented JavaScript and custom Ajax objects

  • The new operator
  • Object constructors
  • Prototypes
  • Using custom Ajax objects
  • Ajax and forms
  • Encoding

 Week 4: Troubleshooting and Debugging Ajax

  • The onerror event handler
  • Debugging Ajax with Firebug
  • Tools for navigating the DOM
    • The Firefox DOM Inspector
    • The IE DOM Inspector
    • The Mouseover DOM Inspector (MODI)
  • Live HTTP Headers
  • HTTP Status Codes

 Week 5: Using JavaScript libraries and Creating a widget

  • Using JavaScript libraries/frameworks
  • Three types of libraries/frameworks:
    • DOM extension
    • Application conveniences
    • Widgets
  • The Prototype JavaScript Framework
    • Using Prototype’s Ajax Object
  • Using an accordion widget to display an Ajax response

 Week 6: Working with XML feeds and Providing feedback to the user

  • Working with XML News Feeds
    • RSS .9x
    • RSS 2.0
    • RSS 1.0
    • Atom
  • Using the Scriptaculous library for visual effects
  • The yellow fade technique
  • Drag and drop functionality
  • Ajax best practices

Prerequisites
  • Full understanding of HTML 4, including HTML forms
  • Completion of Intermediate JavaScript course or instructor approval
Requirements
  • A DOM-compliant browser, either: IE6+, Safari2+, Firefox, or Opera
  • Web space to post assignments, preferably without banner ads