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XML in the Browser: Submitting forms using AJAX

One of the least user friendly features of most websites is forms. The longer the form, the more annoying it gets. However, a new technology called AJAX (that has nothing to do with household cleansers!) can help.

Author Info:
By: Chris Root
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 211
April 25, 2005
  1. · XML in the Browser: Submitting forms using AJAX
  2. · What's Out There Now
  3. · The XML in HTTPRequest
  4. · HTTP Methods
  5. · Using POST
  6. · Submitting a Form

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XML in the Browser: Submitting forms using AJAX
(Page 1 of 6 )

Let's face it. Using forms on the Internet is a drag. This is especially true when the form is really long and spread over multiple pages. Every time you hit the "submit" or "continue" buttons, there is a long user-unfriendly wait.


It doesn't have to be this way. A relatively new technology called AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML) can allow an HTML form to submit contents to a server without a page re-load.


AJAX opens up enormous possibilities for Web applications simply by allowing HTTP requests to be made in the background asynchronously (while other scripts on the page run and other user activity continues).


AJAX Technology


AJAX technology is based on a Javascript Object called XMLHTTPRequest. Amazingly enough. XMLHTTPRequest is not a standard part of Javascript or the DOM. The fact that this object is supported by Internet Explorer 5.5, Mozilla/Firefox, Safari 1.2 and Opera 7 is a testament to just how useful this technology can be.


The W3C Load and Save Specification allows for similar functionality. Load and Save is not currently implemented in any Web browsers. When it is, however, both Load and Save and XMLHTTPRequest will likely be implemented in most browsers.


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