QuirksBlog - XMLHTTP

About XMLHTTP problems and bugs.
Part of Coding techniques.

Importing the site navigation

Permalink | in Content, Redesign, XMLHTTP
4 comments (closed)

I added a new page about importing the site navigation on all QuirksMode.org pages. The page is mostly about why I do what I do, and less about the how (besides, technically it's quite easy). The site navigation is a perfect example of what Jeremy calls Hijax.

I also put my trusty XMLHttpRequest functions online for future reference. No explanations on this page; I already treated them in section 10A of the book.

Ajax use patterns

Permalink | in Theory, XMLHTTP
21 comments (closed)

Well, my previous entry Is asynchronous communication really being used? has certainly elicited some interesting comments. The answer was a resounding "Yes"; and the replies allow me to take a first stab at defining a few Ajax use patterns.

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Is asynchronous communication really being used?

Permalink | in Theory, XMLHTTP
33 comments (closed)

Yesterday I attended the 10th Sigchi.nl conference in Amsterdam, during which I had the pleasure of seeing Jared Spool, Jesse James Garrett, Bill Scott, Martijn van Welie, and Steven Pemberton in real live action. (Note to self: Jared and Steven are stiff competitors of Joe when it comes to being The Funniest Man at Web Conferences).

I'm not going to describe the conference in detail. Instead, I'd like to discuss an asynchronous communication question that popped into my head during Jesse James' presentation.

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The AJAX response - part 2

Permalink | in XMLHTTP
29 comments (closed)

My last entry The AJAX response generated a few interesting comments, as well as a thoroughly non-scientific and non-representative poll on the use of the various output formats.

I asked which output format people used. Only a minority of the commenters indicated a clear preference, and their "votes" break down as follows: XML 5 votes, JSON 5 votes, HTML snippets 2 votes, plain text 2 votes, and pure JavaScript 1 vote. So it's clear that XML and JSON are currently the most popular output formats. I'd expected JSON to end slightly below XML, but I was wrong.

In the rest of this article I'd like to reply to some points that were made: the name "AJAX", rendering speed, error handling, the "evilness" of eval() and innerHTML and some other remarks.

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The AJAX response: XML, HTML, or JSON?

Permalink | in XMLHTTP
76 comments (closed)

Since my last AJAX project I've increasingly been wondering about the "ideal" output format for the AJAX response. Once you've succesfully fired an AJAX request, what sort of response should the server give? An XML document? An HTML snippet? A JSON string which is converted to a JavaScript object? Or something else? In this entry I'd like to discuss the three formats, with examples, and ask you which format you've used in your practical AJAX applications.

(This article has been translated into Spanish.)

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XMLHTTP notes: cloning nodes, inserting forms, and caching

Permalink | in XMLHTTP
16 comments (closed)

In the past two weeks I've again created an Ajax-driven interface, and as usual I discovered quite a few interesting XMLHTTP bugs and problems. This entry contains three Explorer and one Safari bug, and it talks about cloning nodes from HTML to XML, from XML to XML, appending HTML that contains a form, and extremely agressive caching.

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XMLHTTP notes: readyState and the events

Permalink | in XMLHTTP
21 comments (closed)

As we all know an xmlhttp script requires the use of the readystatechange event. In theory, using the load event is also possible, but Explorer doesn't support it on xmlhttp requests.

Both these events, and the readyState property, have a few odd quirks when used in an xmlhttp environment, though. These quirks don't impact standard xmlhttp scripts too much, but as soon as you want to use the event objects or readyStates other than 4 you need to know about them.

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XMLHTTP notes: abort() and Mozilla bug

Permalink | in XMLHTTP
25 comments (closed)

In my continuing quest to understand XMLHTTP I gathered some very intriguing material that I'm quite sure will save somebody else's ass. Today I offer a closer look at the abort() method, as well as an as yet unexplained bug in Mozilla which causes the responseXML to go missing.

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XMLHTTP notes: responseXML and IE bug

Permalink | in XMLHTTP
15 comments (closed)

Currently I'm working on debugging a very complicated script that's supposed to xmlhttprequest a few pages to be shown in a "Dashboard". I already wrote about another aspect of the project in my previous entry, but now that I'm concentrating on the XMLHTTP aspects of this project I found out a few very interesting things about responseXML, as well as a complicated Explorer bug.

This entry treats these two points, since they should be documented.

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Ajax, promise or hype?

Permalink | in Linkdump, Theory, XMLHTTP
37 comments (closed)

When I first read Jesse James Garrett's article Ajax: A New Approach to Web Applications my reactions were "What a silly name", and "Not really new, is it?" Although both points of critique have been repeatedly and heatedly mentioned in the ensuing discussion, the concept seems to be taking the Web development community by storm. This can mean one of two things: either it's a promise or it's a hype. To decide the case, I offer an annotated link dump.

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XMLHTTP linkdump

Permalink | in Linkdump, XMLHTTP
10 comments (closed)

Since XMLHTTP is becoming more and more important I thought I'd create a linkdump, both for my own future reference and for other developers. Additions and comments will be gratefully accepted.

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This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter.
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