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Friday, November 16, 2007

Mobile AJAX: Frequently Asked Questions

Mobile AJAX is the extension of AJAX principles to the mobile
environment, which includes other constrained devices such as gaming
consoles or set-top boxes featuring Web browsers. While technologically
the same thing, Mobile AJAX is looked at as a special case of AJAX,
as it deals with problems specific to the mobile space including the
areas of constrained devices and constrained Web browsers in general.
AJAX itself is a browser technology that involves the use of existing
Web standards and technologies (XML/XHTML, DOM, CSS, JavaScript, XHR
- XMLHttpRequest) to create more responsive Web applications that
reduce bandwidth usage by avoiding full page refreshes and providing
a more "desktop application-like" user experience. At a minimum, the
requirements for Mobile AJAX include: (1) JavaScript support; (2)
XMLHttpRequest object or equivalent ActiveX (for IE only); (3) DOM
manipulation functions or innerHTML support -- to display request
results. On the one hand, Mobile AJAX will be transparent to the end
user. For instance, all Nokia devices supporting the S60 and Opera
browsers support AJAX - but that makes little difference to the end
user. On the other hand, Widgets are enabled by Mobile AJAX. Thus,
the visual (end user) manifestation of Mobile AJAX may be in the form
of Widgets or rich browser-based applications such as we see on new
Nokia phones or Opera browsers.

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