BarCampLondon: Jeremy Keith on Hijax

I'm sitting in Jeremy's session, hearing about his Hijax system for "progressive enhancement". Progressive enhancement takes a new look at what we used to call "graceful degradation". Basically, it's starting with the content/symantic layer and layering on additional functionality on top of that.

He's currently talking about how best to implement JavaScript behavior into your HTML application and the method he's showing me is so close (in intent and implementation) to the code behind method I advocate in Flex and Flash development.

The Hijax approach:

Server side requirements:

The paradox:

When to use Ajax:

A page includes a form. When the form is submitted, the same page is returned with just part of the page updated (eg. blog comments.)

Clicking on a link returns the same page but with a different view on the data (on thing has changed.) Product ratings, filtered product set, etc.

Jeremy's method uses the XMLHttpRequest as a dumb waiter. Client-side processing is kept to a minimum.