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January 26th, 2005 · No Comments · Internet

If you haven’t seen Google Suggest, may I suggest you do?

In case you don’t have a browser that supports Javascript and XMLHttpRequest, let me tell you what you’re missing. As you type into the input area for your search, Google presents a popup list of possible queries and the number of results while you type.

From a search engine feature, this is kind of nifty.

But what makes it more interesting to me is the demonstration of a pretty slick interactive user interface element from a web page that involves fetching data from the server. This is the magic of XMLHttpRequest. Basically, as you type, Javascript is running behind the scenes asynchronously making requests and receiving data, and then updating the web page accordingly.

For most people, this is hardly exciting stuff, but I can see the possibility of making turn based games with chat rooms on a web page without the bulk of a Java application.

So I’m thinking that with a bit of PHP, perhaps some Python and Javascript, I might be able to cobble something playable together. Or that’s the dream, anyway, and the reason why I got this big fat book on Javascript. I know it can’t hurt to learn, because it’s apparent from the talented people at Google with applications like GMail and Google Suggest that clever use of Javascript can make for some great user interfaces for web applications.

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