You are previewing High Performance JavaScript.

High Performance JavaScript

Cover of High Performance JavaScript by Nicholas C. Zakas Published by O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  1. High Performance JavaScript
    1. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly
    2. Preface
      1. The Internet Evolves
      2. Why Optimization Is Necessary
      3. Next-Generation JavaScript Engines
      4. Performance Is Still a Concern
      5. How This Book Is Organized
      6. JavaScript Loading
      7. Coding Technique
      8. Deployment
      9. Testing
      10. Who This Book Is For
      11. Conventions Used in This Book
      12. Using Code Examples
      13. Safari® Books Online
      14. How to Contact Us
      15. Acknowledgments
    3. 1. Loading and Execution
      1. Script Positioning
      2. Grouping Scripts
      3. Nonblocking Scripts
      4. Summary
    4. 2. Data Access
      1. Managing Scope
      2. Object Members
      3. Summary
    5. 3. DOM Scripting
      1. DOM in the Browser World
      2. DOM Access and Modification
      3. Repaints and Reflows
      4. Event Delegation
      5. Summary
    6. 4. Algorithms and Flow Control
      1. Loops
      2. Conditionals
      3. Recursion
      4. Summary
    7. 5. Strings and Regular Expressions
      1. String Concatenation
      2. Regular Expression Optimization
      3. String Trimming
      4. Summary
    8. 6. Responsive Interfaces
      1. The Browser UI Thread
      2. Yielding with Timers
      3. Web Workers
      4. Summary
    9. 7. Ajax
      1. Data Transmission
      2. Data Formats
      3. Ajax Performance Guidelines
      4. Summary
    10. 8. Programming Practices
      1. Avoid Double Evaluation
      2. Use Object/Array Literals
      3. Don’t Repeat Work
      4. Use the Fast Parts
      5. Summary
    11. 9. Building and Deploying High-Performance JavaScript Applications
      1. Apache Ant
      2. Combining JavaScript Files
      3. Preprocessing JavaScript Files
      4. JavaScript Minification
      5. Buildtime Versus Runtime Build Processes
      6. JavaScript Compression
      7. Caching JavaScript Files
      8. Working Around Caching Issues
      9. Using a Content Delivery Network
      10. Deploying JavaScript Resources
      11. Agile JavaScript Build Process
      12. Summary
    12. 10. Tools
      1. JavaScript Profiling
      2. YUI Profiler
      3. Anonymous Functions
      4. Firebug
      5. Internet Explorer Developer Tools
      6. Safari Web Inspector
      7. Chrome Developer Tools
      8. Script Blocking
      9. Page Speed
      10. Fiddler
      11. YSlow
      12. dynaTrace Ajax Edition
      13. Summary
    13. Index
    14. About the Author
    15. Colophon
    16. SPECIAL OFFER: Upgrade this ebook with O’Reilly

Chapter 7. Ajax

Ross Harmes

Ajax is a cornerstone of high-performance JavaScript. It can be used to make a page load faster by delaying the download of large resources. It can prevent page loads altogether by allowing for data to be transferred between the client and the server asynchronously. It can even be used to fetch all of a page’s resources in one HTTP request. By choosing the correct transmission technique and the most efficient data format, you can significantly improve how your users interact with your site.

This chapter examines the fastest techniques for sending data to and receiving it from the server, as well as the most efficient formats for encoding data.

Data Transmission

Ajax, at its most basic level, is a way of communicating with a server without unloading the current page; data can be requested from the server or sent to it. There are several different ways of setting up this communication channel, each with its own advantages and restrictions. This section briefly examines the different approaches and discusses the performance implications of each.

Requesting Data

There are five general techniques for requesting data from a server:

  • XMLHttpRequest (XHR)

  • Dynamic script tag insertion

  • iframes

  • Comet

  • Multipart XHR

The three that are used in modern high-performance JavaScript are XHR, dynamic script tag insertion, and multipart XHR. Use of Comet and iframes (as data transport techniques) tends to be extremely situational, and won’t be covered here.


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