Ajax reduces load time

Earlier web applications submit user completed forms to a web server and the web server responds by sending a web page back. This makes applications run more slowly and awkwardly than their native counterparts. Ajax is a term that refers to the use of a group of technologies together. Ajax applications can send requests to the web server to retrieve only the data that is needed; usually using SOAP or some other XML-based web services dialect. JavaScript processes the web server response at client side.

The final result is a quick interface, as the amount of data exchanged between the web browser and web server is greatly condensed. Web server processing time is also saved, since much of it is done on the client. Ajax is more a natural progression from an existing set of techniques as opposed to being something completely brand new. Yet within that progression, things are markedly different than in previous years in a couple of key areas.

Ajax provides a device to juggle up xml with xhtml. It drastically abridges the job fetching things from the server. It also defeats some speed glitches that conventional Web development has fallen prey too. In most instances an Ajax based site will load quicker than a comparable traditional Web site. Ajax significantly reduces initial load times. Ajax has some problems that it needs to overcome as it continues to mature.

But it is a promising field to be involved within and as the years roll on, it probably will greatly affect the way we think about building Web pages and Web applications. It also has to be apparent that Ajax is not a technology as such but to a certain extent is a technique that merges well with other technologies and techniques. For example: XHTML XML, DHTML and CSS. Actually, Ajax really is DHTML with the xmlhttprequest object thrown in. It is wonderful to believe how one object can modify the whole scenario of web technologies.

Structuring Web Pages Using XHTML

XHTML (Extensible Hypertext Markup Language) is similar to HTML. If anyone knows how to create Web Pages using HTML, then he already know most of what he need to know about creating Web pages using XHTML. Although HTML can define both the appearance and the structure of a Web page, XHTML defines the structure of a Web page while relying on other technologies, such as CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), to state the formatting information. XHTML is a markup language like HTML, but was made to conform to the XML standard. XML is a widely used industry standard. XHTML was an attempt to create a language for constructing Web pages that conforms to the standards and principles of XML. You can think of XHTML as an effort to revise the HTML language using XML.

There are some differences between HTML and XHTML the most well-known being that, unlike HTML, XHTML requires all tags to have a closing tag. Most HTML tags have a closing tag; some do not, such as the break tag <br>. But in XHTML these tags must have a closing tag. If the tag does not enclose any content, such as the <br> tag, you can add a forward slash (/) preceded by a space to the opening tag instead of using two tags, as in <br />. The tag <br /> is the correct XHTML version of the HTML <br> tag. All tag names are lowercase in XHTML. So, the HTML tag is only valid in XHTML as <body>. All attribute names in XHTML must also be lowercase and all of the values within tags must be with in quotation marks.

Standards in XHTML
XHTML is a single language; it consists of two major standards: XHTML Strict and XHTML Transitional. XHTML Strict requires XHTML code to strictly follow the rules of the XML standard. XHTML Transitional is not as strict as XHTML Strict and it was intentionally made to be less strict to help bridge the gap between the loose, more forgiving HTML standard of yesterday and the stricter, less forgiving XHTML standard of today. XHTML Transitional was made to be just that – transitory – so it is not a good idea to standardize on XHTML Transitional. XHTML Transitional is more like a short-term resolution for quickly recreating existing HTML.

Because XHTML is stricter than HTML and requires the use of other technologies such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) to create Web pages, creating Web pages using XHTML will initially take more time. XHTML is also less forgiving than HTML when a Web page’s code contains errors. Many of today’s Web developers use specialized tools to create Web pages. Any of the tools that are more than a couple of years old may not be able to create valid XHTML Web pages without upgrading or replacing the software. Because XHTML uses CSS to format Web page elements, users must also learn how to implement CSS if they want their Web pages to resemble those created with just HTML.

In general, if we want to create Web pages that will stay alive on the Internet for a long period, we should use XHTML to ensure that our Web pages will be compatible with Web browsers of the future. If we are simply creating a Web page for short term use, we can use HTML instead of XHTML to structure and format our Web page.