We're starting to post some articles on Wrox.com. One new article of interest to this Ajax forum is a new excerpt from Professional Ajax
about the Ajax fundamental building block XMLHttp. Here's a link to the article and the beginning of it:
XMLHttp Requests for Ajax
By Nicholas C. Zakas
When Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 introduced a rudimentary level of XML support, an ActiveX library called MSXML was also introduced (discussed at length in Chapter 4). One of the objects provided in this library quickly became very popular: XMLHttp.
The XMLHttp object was created to enable developers to initiate HTTP requests from anywhere in an application. These requests were intended to return XML, so the XMLHttp object provided an easy way to access this information in the form of an XML document. Since it was an ActiveX control, XMLHttp could be used not only in web pages but also in any Windows-based desktop application; however, its popularity on the Web has far outpaced its popularity for desktop applications.
Picking up on that popularity, Mozilla duplicated the XMLHttp functionality for use in its browsers, such as Firefox. Shortly thereafter, both the Safari (as of version 1.2) and Opera (version 7.6) browsers had duplicated Mozilla's implementation. Today, all four browsers support XMLHttp to some extent. (Safari and Opera still have incomplete implementations, supporting GET and POST but no other request types.)
Hope you enjoy the rest of it.
Senior Acquisitions Editor
Wiley Technology Publishing
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