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jQuery Cookbook by Cody Lindley

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Chapter 16. jQuery, Ajax, Data Formats: HTML, XML, JSON, JSONP

Jonathan Sharp

Introduction

Web developers work with a number of data formats and protocols in transferring information between browsers and servers. This chapter provides a number of recipes for handling and working with some of the most common data formats, Ajax techniques, and jQuery.

16.1. jQuery and Ajax

Problem

You want to make a request to the server for some additional data without leaving the page the visitor is currently on.

Solution

Here’s a simple Ajax request:

(function($) {
    $(document).ready(function() {
        $('#update').click(function() {
            $.ajax({
                type: 'GET',
                url: 'hello-ajax.html',
                dataType: 'html',
                success: function(html, textStatus) {
                    $('body').append(html);
                },
                error: function(xhr, textStatus, errorThrown) {
                    alert('An error occurred! ' + ( errorThrown ? errorThrown : 
xhr.status );
                }
            });
        });
    });
})(jQuery);

Discussion

At the core of jQuery’s Ajax architecture is the jQuery.ajax() method. This provides the basis of all browsers to server requests and responses. So, let’s look at this in a little more detail. To initiate a request to the server, a settings object that contains parameters for the request is passed to the $.ajax method. A vast number of options are available, with the most common options of a request being type, url, complete, dataType, error, and success:

var options = {
    type: 'GET'
};

The first option that needs to be addressed when starting an Ajax request is the type of HTTP request you’re going to ...

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