Ajax-Enabled Rich Internet Applications
Despite the tremendous technological growth of the Internet over the past decade, the us-ability of web applications has lagged behind compared to that of desktop applications. Every significant interaction in a web application results in a waiting period while the ap-plication communicates over the Internet with a server. Rich Internet Applications (RIAs) are web applications that approximate the look, feel and usability of desktop appli-cations. RIAs have two key attributes—performance and a rich GUI.
Traditional web applications use XHTML forms (Chapter 4) to build simple and thin GUIs compared to the rich GUIs of Windows, Macintosh and desktop systems in general. We achieve rich GUI in RIAs with Ajax toolkits and with RIA environments such as Adobe’s Flex (Chapter 18), Microsoft’s Silverlight (Chapter 19) and JavaServer Faces (Chapters 26–27). Such toolkits and environments provide powerful ready-to-use con-trols and functions that enrich web applications.
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