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AJAX Interview Questions

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While you could go out and create a custom solution that tracks the current state on your application I recommend you leave this to the experts. Dojo addresses the navigation in a browser neutral way as can be seen in the JavaScript example below.
function updateOnServer(oldId, oldValue,
itemId, itemValue) {
var bindArgs = {
url: "faces/ajax-dlabel-update",
method: "post",
content: {"component-id": itemId, "component-value":
itemValue},
mimetype: "text/xml",
load: function(type, data) {
processUpdateResponse(data);
},
backButton: function() {
alert("old itemid was " + oldId);
},
forwardButton: function(){
alert("forward we must go!");
}
};
dojo.io.bind(bindArgs);
}

The example above will update a value on the server using dojo.io.bind() with a function as a property that is responsible for dealing with the browser back button event. As a developer you are capable of restoring the value to the oldValue or taking any other action that you see fit. The underlying details of how the how the browser button event are detected are hidden from the developer by Dojo.
AJAX: How to Handle Bookmarks and Back Buttons details this problem and provides a JavaScript library Really Simple History framework (RSH) that focuses just on the back and forward issue. 

XAJAX uses XML as a transport for data between the webpage and server, and you don't write your own javascript data handlers to manipulate the data received from the server. Instead you use a php class and built in javascript methods, a combination that works very similiar to the HTML_AJAX_Action class and haSerializer combo. XAJAX is designed for simplicity and ease of use.
HTML_AJAX allows for multiple transmission types for your ajax data - such as urlencoding, json, phpserialized, plain text, with others planned, and has a system you can use to write your own serializers to meet your specific needs. HTML_AJAX has a class to help generate javascript (HTML_AJAX_Helper) similiar to ruby on rail's javascript helper (although it isn't complete), and an action system similiar to XAJAX's "action pump" that allows you to avoid writing javascript data handlers if you desire.
But it also has the ability to write your own data handling routines, automatically register classes and methods using a server "proxy" script, do different types of callbacks including grabbing remote urls, choose between sync and async requests, has iframe xmlhttprequest emulation fallback capabilities for users with old browsers or disabled activeX, and is in active development with more features planned (see the Road Map for details)
HTML_AJAX has additional features such as client pooling and priority queues for more advanced users, and even a javascript utility class. Although you can use HTML_AJAX the same way you use XAJAX, the additional features make it more robust, extensible and flexible. And it is a pear package, you can use the pear installer to both install and keep it up to date.
If you're asking which is "better" - as with most php scripts it's a matter of taste and need. Do you need a quick, simple ajax solution? Or do you want something that's flexible, extensible, and looking to incorporate even more great features? It depends on the project, you as a writer, and your future plans. 

Internet Explorer 5.0 and up, Opera 7.6 and up, Netscape 7.1 and up, Firefox 1.0 and up, Safari 1.2 and up, among others.

While it may appear that images are being sent when using AJAX with an application like Google Maps what is really happening is that the URLs of images are being send as the response of an AJAX request and those URLs are being set using DHTML.
In this example an XML document is returned from an AJAX interaction and the category bar is populated.
<categories>
<category>
<cat-id>1</cat-id>
<name>Books</name>
<description>Fun to read</description>
<image-url>books_icon.gif</image-url>
</category>
<category>
<cat-id>2</cat-id>
<name>Electronics</name>
<description>Must have gadgets</description>
<image-url>electronics.gif</image-url>
</category>
</categories>

Notice that the image-url element contains the location of the URL for the image representing a category. The callback method of an AJAX interaction will parse the response XML document and call the addCategory function for each category included in the response XML document. The addCategory function looks up a table row element "categoryTable" in body of the page and adds a row to the element which contains the image.
<scrip type="text/javascript" >
...
function addCategory(id, name, imageSrc) {
var categoryTable = document.getElementById("categoryTable");
var row = document.createElement("tr");
var catCell = document.createElement("td");
var img = document.createElement("img");
img.src = ("images\\" + imageSrc);
var link = document.createElement("a");
link.className ="category";
link.appendChild(document.createTextNode(name));
link.setAttribute("onclick", "catalog?command=category&catid=" + id);
catCell.appendChild(img);
catCell.appendChild(link);
row.appendChild(catCell);
categoryTable.appendChild(row);
}
</script>
...
<table>
<tr>
<td width="300" bgoclor="lightGray">
<table id="categoryTable" border="0" cellpadding="0"></table>
</td>
<td id="body" width="100%">Body Here</td>
</tr>
</table>

Note that the source of the image is set to the image source. The image is loaded by a subsequent HTTP request for the image at the URL "images/books_icon.gif" or "images/electronic_icon.gif" that occurs when the img element is added to the categoryTable. 

HTML_AJAX doesn't have specific plans to integrate with other JavaScript libraries. Part of this is because external dependencies make for a more complicated installation process. It might make sense to offer some optional dependencies on a library like scriptaculous automatically using its visual effects for the loading box or something, but there isn't a lot to gain from making default visuals like that flashier since they are designed to be easily replaceable.
Most integration would take place in higher level components. Its unclear whether higher level components like that should be part of HTML_AJAX delivered through PEAR or if they should just be supported by HTML_AJAX and made available from http://htmlajax.org or some other site. If your interested in building widgets or components based on HTML_AJAX please let me know.

HTML_AJAX does however offer the ability to use its library loading mechanism with any JavaScript library. I use scriptaculous in conjunction with HTML_AJAX and I load both libraries through the server.
To do this you just need to register the library with your server and load add its flag to your include line.
<?php
$this->server->registerJSLibrary('scriptaculous',
array('prototype.js','scriptaculous.js','builder.js','effects.js','dragdrop.js','controls.js','slider.js'), '/pathto/scriptaculous/');?>
<script type="text/javascrpt" src="server.php?client=scriptaculous"></script>

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