I am going to be doing some playing with Ajax over the next few days and hopefully I will get some code examples up when I have the chance.
My current dilemma is figuring out whether or not Ajax is what I need and where it could be useful and where it would be cumbersome. I know that as a whole it is a very awesome technology, just the fact that a page does not have to be reloaded to perform a server side action is amazing. The real issue is how usable is Ajax and what applications could I use it in.
The first type of application where it would be extremely useful is something that requires a lot of user input. If you can limit the amount of input needed from the user and limit the number of times they have to use their mouse to click a button the more productive they become. The one application that comes to mind is the user’s interface on Flickr. If you want to edit a picture’s title or description you just have to click on the text, edit it, and click the “save” button. There is no clicking on a “Edit this picture” button or link and there is no need to fill out form fields that don’t need to be edited, it’s all done right on the same screen. Very convenient and to me, intuitive. It makes sense to edit things like that on the page in which the show up. Plus, you are not taxing the server (as much) because you do not have to reload the page, recalling all of the information that you already have up, you just have to reload the information that was changed.