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Building the User Interface for a Web Site Indexing Application with Prototype


The Prototype JavaScript library makes it easy to perform certain JavaScript tasks. In this series of three articles, you will learn how to use the Prototype library to create an AJAX-powered application for handling the data for an index of web sites. This article, the first in the series, shows you how to create the user interface.

Author Info:
By: Alejandro Gervasio
Rating: 5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars5 stars / 6
February 20, 2007
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
  1. · Building the User Interface for a Web Site Indexing Application with Prototype
  2. · Getting started: defining the layout of the elements that integrate the front-end
  3. · Defining the look and feel of the web site indexing application: creating a few simple CSS styles
  4. · Completing the front-end of the application: Putting the CSS styles and structural markup together

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Building the User Interface for a Web Site Indexing Application with Prototype
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Over the last few months, the Prototype JavaScript library has become extremely popular with web developers worldwide, due to its remarkable capabilities to facilitate performing common JavaScript tasks, like working with the DOM, handing online forms, using arrays, and creating AJAX-driven applications.

Of course, the list of things that can be done easily with this package goes on, and certainly I'm sure that if you already tried this powerful software (if you haven't, please visit the official web site at: http://www.prototype.conio.net), you'll want to add your own items to the list. For the moment, the topics that were already mentioned are more than enough.

Speaking more specifically, I must say that one of the strongest points of this JavaScript library relies upon boosting and simplifying the development of AJAX-based programs, a feature that I plan to explore deeper in this three-part article series. Perhaps you're wondering how this can be done. Well, Prototype comes equipped with some versatile objects that can be really helpful in those situations where you need to create programs that trigger HTTP requests in the background. So in this set of articles, I'm going to demonstrate how to build a web site indexing application which will use AJAX to work as expected.

In crude terms, the AJAX-based application that I plan to create here will consist of a mechanism where users can submit some information related to their web site via a simple web form, including the corresponding URL, the web site's title and a short description of it. Next, all this data will be saved to a MySQL database table, and finally it will be displayed in an easily-readable index format on the browser, with no page reloads. Quite simple, right?

Now that I explained the primary objective of this group of friendly tutorials, let's move on and learn together how to use the robust capacity provided by Prototype to create this expansible web site indexing system. Let's get started!


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