Cover page by Obie Fernandez

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Chapter 12. Ajax on Rails

Ajax isn’t a technology. It’s really several technologies, each flourishing in its own right, coming together in powerful new ways

— Jesse J. Garrett, who coined the term

Ajax is an acronym that stands for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. It encompasses techniques that allow us to liven up web pages with behaviors that happen outside the normal HTTP request life cycle (without a page refresh).

Some example use-cases for Ajax techniques are

• “Type ahead” input suggestion, as in Google search

• Sending form data asynchronously

• Seamless navigation of web-presented maps, as in Google Maps

• Dynamically updated lists and tables, as in Gmail and other web-based email services

• Web-based spreadsheets

• Forms that allow ...

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