What is the impact of AJAX on your life? Odds are you experience the wonder of AJAX regularly and don’t even know it. If you Google a name and then Google it again an hour later, there might be a slight flux in the information, a change in page rankings perhaps. That is because Google utilizes an AJAX platform to give you with the most current data available. To understand how AJAX impacts your life, let’s take a closer look at the name.
‘Asynchronous’ means operating without a fixed time interval. When you plug a cable into your MP3 player and attach it to your computer, you synchronize music files to update the device. This is an update happening between two things at a fixed time or in a synchronous fashion. In the case of AJAX, an asynchronous update refers to a web page and the information coming in. This update can happen anytime. In the days before AJAX, a web page would open in a browser. The parser would read and translate the markup language on the page. The information would display using a set of instructions or guidelines. Schema (XSL), Document Type Definition (DTD), Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSLT) and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) provided the form and HTML provided the foundation. If the data changed, there would be a synchronous update at some point, and the page would reload. The savvy programmer would hide updates behind splash screens or some other smoke and mirrors that would conceal the fact that new information was updating the old.