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Online introduction to Ajax

This course is designed for students who have a solid foundation in Intermediate-level JavaScript, including creating custom JavaScript objects and DOM scripting (either through completion of the eclasses Intermediate JavaScript course or with instructor approval). Students don’t need to have previous experience with XML, JSON, or server-side scripting.

This course is a practical introduction to Ajax (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), which focuses on using client-side JavaScript to create Ajax requests, extract XML and JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) data from these requests, and extend the user’s Ajax experience with visual feedback. Topics include:

  • How Ajax works
  • Understanding HTTP
  • Using XML and JSON in Ajax applications
  • Object-oriented JavaScript and custom Ajax objects
  • Troubleshooting and Debugging Ajax
  • Creating Reusable Ajax-enabled Components
  • Providing Visual Feedback to the User
  • Ajax Best Practices

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


 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

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


Required Book: Ajax for Web Application Developers

Additional information:

Your place in the course is confirmed by your payment. Introductory courses are intended for students with no experience in the subject matter and are seeking beginner level training.

Refund Policy: Please read our Terms and Refund Policy before registering for this course.

Additional Cost: Book and software might be required for the course. Read the Requirements and Book section for more information. Course fee does not include the book and software cost .

How eClasses Work:Instructors post lectures (text-based, no video or audio), reading selections, and hands-on assignments once a week in the online classroom. Students can discuss the assignments with the instructor and amongst themselves in the classroom area. This format has no set meeting time, which allows students to attend class at a time most convenient to them, yet still provides logically organized communication between class participants. Students can apply for the completion certificate after finishing the class.