Unobtrusive Ajax
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: July 2007

Unobtrusive Ajax is about making web applications that work for everyone all the time, even if you have JavaScript turned off, or you're using a mobile phone or a screen reader, or however you happen to be using the Web. It's about the separation of behavior (JavaScript), content (HTML), and presentation (CSS).

This short cut will focus on the practical benefits of using Ajax and JavaScript unobtrusively and show you that unobtrusive web development and progressive enhancement benefit both web developers and users of the Web. You'll get to see many simple examples of building web interfaces that are unobtrusive. You'll quickly see that it is actually very easy to make web applications that everyone can use.

When you're finished reading this short cut, you will be able to convince anyone why developing unobtrusively is the best way to build a site with JavaScript and Ajax.

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Succinct Coverage on Ajax

By Cousin Vinny

from Miami, FL

About Me Educator

Verified Reviewer


  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written


    Best Uses

    • Intermediate

    Comments about O'Reilly Media Unobtrusive Ajax:

    This 'Short Cut' preaches about the importance of separating behavior (JS) from styles (CSS) and content (Semantic HTML).

    This way, by using Ajax unobtrusively, the website will still work if Javascript is turned off. The website will still be accessible. The website will be easier to maintain.

    The 'Short Cut' then delves into some actual Ajax code and some examples. (Tabbed navigation, hiding/showing content dynamically, & dynamic select boxes.) It packs a lot in just 57 pages.

    The only negative is that the content is slightly 'stale'. The Ajax code and examples may not work 100% in modern browsers. (It uses some feature detection, for example, in determining whether XMLHttpRequest or window.ActiveXObject is available.) It gives passing coverage on JS frameworks and libraries such as jQuery. Much of its content can be found elsewhere, in books and on the Internet.

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