As a web application developer I get frustrated by the sluggish user interface that most web applications provide. I want interaction with a web application to be as quick as a desktop application. A number of web applications take advantage of the XmlHttpRequest object, Google suggest being a recent notable addition. All versions of IE 5 and up have XmlHttpRequest, as well as Safari and the Mozilla based browsers. This magic little object lets you make asynchronous HTTP requests behind the scenes and dynamically update the web browser. Apple has a great writeup on XmlHttpRequest in Safari.
Over the coming weeks I am going to publish a series of articles on using XmlHttpRequest that demonstrate the following tasks:
- Demonstrate how to dynamically update form elements
- Using a POST based XmlHttpRequest for when you need to update a lot of stuff
- How to use basic authentication with the request