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.

Continue Reading “Ajax for Beginners” »
File Under: HTML, Web Standards

Make an HTML Document

HTML is the lingua franca of the web. It’s a simple, universal mark-up language that allows web publishers to create complex pages of text and images that can be viewed by anyone else on the web, regardless of what kind of computer or browser is being used.

Despite what you might have heard, you don’t need any special software to create an HTML page; all you need is a word processor (such as SimpleText, BBEdit, or Microsoft Word) and a working knowledge of HTML. And lucky for all of us, basic HTML is dead easy.

It’s All About the Tags

HTML is just a series of tags that are integrated into a text document. They’re a lot like stage directions — silently telling the browser what to do, and what props to use. Continue Reading “Make an HTML Document” »

File Under: Glossary

Call to Action

Have you ever seen an advertisement that implored you to “Call now!”? Of course you have. Call to action is a term for the copy in an ad that implores the viewer to do something specific in response to the advertisement. “Click here” and its variants are the most popular calls to action in online advertising.

File Under: Glossary


How a web page “degrades” refers to how it will be displayed by older or less popular browsers.

The hope is that the web page will “degrade gracefully,” meaning the images and text will be displayed in roughly the same way across a variety of browsers and platforms. If a designer relies heavily on JavaScript, for example, then the site will not work correctly on older browsers and thus not degrade gracefully. This problem of browsers interpreting web pages differently is one reason why protocol is so important. If everyone agreed on one protocol for using HTML, then it would be considerably easier to control how web pages degrade.

File Under: Glossary


A filter is a program that receives a specified kind of data, then manipulates and outputs the results.

Your word processor’s find and replace function is a good example of a filter.