All posts tagged ‘wiki’

File Under: Ajax

Ajax for Beginners

JavaScript has had the XMLHttpRequest object for almost a decade now, but it really only started getting wide attention in 2004. All this attention was mostly due to some showoff web applications that made every developer who saw them think, “I want my site to do that!” But it also has to do with the spiffy, spiffy name given to it by the folks at AdaptivePath, who named this asynchronized application Ajax. Maybe you’ve heard of it?

A few high-profile Google applications in particular made a splash with Ajax: Maps and Gmail were first. It also powers some of the core functionality in the user interface of the ever-so-popular photo sharing site Flickr. By now, Ajax has become integral to the fabric of the web, especially in the era of real-time applications like Twitter, Buzz and Wave (all of which use Ajax extensively in their webapp front ends, for the record). Ajax may also lay claim to being the first JavaScript object with its own fan website. doesn’t count, although I did have a scintillating chat with a lady there once about the getTimeZoneoffset method.

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File Under: Glossary


Browsers are software programs that render web pages and help you move through the web.

The browser that triggered the World Wide Web explosion was Mosaic, a public domain graphical user interface (GUI) from the National Center for Supercomputer Applications (NCSA). Released in 1993, Mosaic made it possible to design documents containing images for display over the internet. Up to that point, an internet document was basically just a bunch of text on a server. In 1994, Mosaic ship-jumper Marc Andreessen released Netscape 1.1, following Mosaic’s successful lead, by distributing the browser free of charge on the internet in order to establish a wide user base.

Popular web browsers today include Internet Explorer, Firefox, Safari and Opera. See Browser Charts for information on some of their differences.

File Under: Glossary


CSS, or cascading stylesheets, allow you to define how web page elements are displayed.

Specific margins or colors can be associated with elements on the web page; Headers and links, for example. When style sheets are applied to a new page, the elements are changed according to the specifications of the style.

File Under: Glossary


In JavaScript, expressions are phrases that the interpreter can evaluate. For example,

x + 10
x < 10
are expressions since they can be evaluated, while
x = 10
is simply a statement.

In linguistical terms, JavaScript is made up of sentences, phrases, and words. The sentences are JavaScript statements, in which an entire action is expressed. The phrases are JavaScript expressions, in which the elements of the action can be created and put together to make a statement. The words are JavaScript operators, which are used to act upon the data passed to them.

File Under: Glossary


“Impression” is industry parlance for an actual ad viewed.

For example, there’s an ad on this page, so you’ve just accounted for at least one impression. Why thank you! Of course, it’s next to impossible to know if someone actually sees a given advertisement on the Web. After all, a user might not scroll down far enough to see the ad, could be surfing with images turned off, or might press Stop before the ad is fully loaded into the browser window. This can make impression-counting on the web a thorny endeavor, but then the same goes for other media as well (who knows whether people are actually watching the commercial or off in the kitchen getting another beer?). Short of guessing, you’re probably better off slaughtering a goat and examining its entrails.