In today's Wall Street Journal there was an article describing a
computing technique coined Ajax by Jesse James Garrett. From Garrett's

   Ajax isn't a technology. It's really several technologies, each
   flourishing in its own right, coming together in powerful new
   ways. Ajax incorporates:

        * standards-based presentation using XHTML and CSS;
        * dynamic display and interaction using the Document Object Model;
        * data interchange and manipulation using XML and XSLT;
        * asynchronous data retrieval using XMLHttpRequest;
        * and JavaScript binding everything together.

Like LAMP, Ajax is a techniques -- a toolbox -- for getting useful work
done. I know a lot about most of the technologies, but I am/was weak on
XMLHttpRequest. Luckily, there is something at O'Reilly:

   A solution to these problem presents itself in the form of the
   XMLHttpRequest object. This object, first implemented by
   Microsoft as an ActiveX object but now also available as a native
   object within both Mozilla and Apple's Safari browser, enables
   JavaScript to make HTTP requests to a remote server without the
   need to reload the page. In essence, HTTP requests can be made
   and responses received, completely in the background and without
   the user experiencing any visual interruptions.

I have always been reluctant to use JavaScript in my applications, but
maybe I should get over it.

Eric Lease Morgan
University Libraries of Notre Dame

(574) 631-8604