The Evolution of Web Development

 

Web design literally evolves every day. Technologies that are now integral to your experiencing the internet, were either sparsely used, testing, or just plain nonexistent just 2 years ago! When you log into your Facebook, you can let it sit there and it will update automatically, without you “refreshing” the page as we usually do when we need new information from a page.

 

AJAX and The Future of Web Surfing

 

This technology is called AJAX (Asynchronous Javascript and XML). Asynchronous essentially describes an action that is done independently, it doesn’t have to be synced with any event (such as refreshing a page) to be done. Javascript is the language of the browser, and every time you see a popup asking “Are you really sure you want to leave this page?!” That’s Javascript.

 

What is XML?

 

XML (eXtensinble markup language) is a complicated subject, but it’s really a system of organizing things. If I want Adam’s favorite colors, to write it in XML I would say something like:

<person>

<name>Adam</name>

<race>Human</race>

<favoritecolors>

Blue

Yellow

Green

</favoritecolors>

</person>

 

Now this is NOT correct XML, it’s merely a rough illustration o what it looks like and what it’s purpose is. You can make your own “fields” like “name” or “race” in the prior example, let me reiterate that I made these names up, they are not “correct” or built in names, I said this “object” (or concept in this case) should be described in XML by it’s name, race and favorite colors. In this format, new technologies can easily interact with each other, and we can write more descriptive programs. You can think of Ajax as a “hole” in your browser. You load Facebook, (or Twitter), and it opens a “hole” in your browser for the constant stream of updates to pour in. This is the way the web is headed in general, so get used to it! All current technologies are expanding their Asynchronous efforts in order to modernize the web.

 

Another example of how the web has changed drastically is the migration from Adobe Flash to in browser solutions using Javascript, namely Jquery. Adobe Flash is undoubtedly familiar to most readers of this article, as it was the dominant platform to deliver interactive content for many, many years, but those days are over. Now, Javascript libraries – libraries are like if I tell you x = “A really long sentence you might want to use or a really complex piece of code” So now that string of characters and the Variable x are synonymous. I never have to type “A really long sentence you might want to use or a really complex piece of code” again, because I can type x instead. Now this seems useless, but imagine if a huge command that spanned 100 words could be shortened down to just 4? That’s the power of a library.

 

Jquery – Changing the Way We Interact With Information

 

The most commonly used Javascript Library today is called jQuery. Below is an example of jQuery code. Click on the box – it opens to reveal itself. This was done with no outer programs, or middle man so to speak, only your browser! Thus this is a faster, easier and more efficient way to convey animation (among other things). Just a few years ago you would have to write this program into Flash, then write the Flash program into your webpage! Talk about unnecessary.

 

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My next article will be covering more new efforts in web design like Meteor, Node.Js, CSS3, HTML5. Stick around for them!

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