Withe the XMLHttpRequest object, the user can select a state and, on the fly, the browser can hit another web page, grab the list of cities for the chosen state and load them into the city dropdown WITHOUT needing to reload the page or preload every possible city. This not only eases page load times, but it also makes code maointenance easier and actually helps the server load (I’d much rather have two hits to the server generating a small amount of data than one hit generating a ton of useless data). So now I’m a total convert on this baby. I figured it out, implemented it into my project and am happy as a clam.
When I was figuring it out, though, I kept coming across sites talking about AJAX. So I looked into it to see what the connection was. Lo and behold:
The XMLHttpRequest Object is AJAX
Or maybe I do.
Searching for AJAX at Amazon returns 117 books, most of them referring to AJAX coding. By branding it as something new and unique – a whole new paradigm! – technical authors are able to sucker a whole new generation of coders into buying their heavy and overpriced tomes. I mean, which would you rather buy: the Revised Essential DHTML book (which, if it’s truly essential and revised, will have all of the necessary AJAX components in it) or New Essential AJAX? DHTML is soooo 90s. AJAX is totally hip and now.
When technology and marketing collide, consumers take it in the pants. It happens at the lower tech levels (I.e. “Buy Windows ME – it’s so NOT Windows 98! But make sur you buy XP when it comes out or you’ll be left in the dust!”) just as often as it does at the higher levels. In the end, we’re all left with an entirely unsatisfied feeling of not being given what we were promised. No wonder so many folks are frustrated with technology.