What is AJAX?
Ajax applications target a well-documented platform, implemented by all major browsers on most existing platforms. While it is uncertain that this compatibility will resist the advent of the next generations of browsers (in particular, Firefox), at the moment, Ajax applications are effectively cross-platform.
While the Ajax platform is more restricted than the Java platform, current Ajax applications effectively fill part of the one-time niche of Java applets: extending the browser with portable, lightweight mini-applications.
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