From Ajax Patterns
Programming Patterns (25)
- RESTful Service Expose web services according to RESTful principles.
- RPC Service Deepak Expose web services as Remote Procedural Calls (RPCs).
- Ajax Stub Use an "Ajax Stub" framework which allows browser scripts to directly invoke server-side operations, without having to worry about the details of XMLHttpRequest and HTTP transfer.
- HTML Message Have the server generate HTML snippets to be displayed in the browser.
- Plain-Text Message Pass simple messages between server and browser in plain-text format.
- XML Message Pass messages between server and browser in XML format.
- UED Format Send message from the browser to the server using the UED Data exchange format.
- Call Tracking Accommodate busy user behaviour by allocating a new XMLHttpRequest object for each request. See Richard Schwartz's blog entry Note: Pending some rewrite to take into account request-locking etc.
- Periodic Refresh The browser refreshes volatile information by periodically polling the server.
- Distributed Events Keep objects synchronised with an event mechanism.
- Cross-Domain Proxy Allow the browser to communicate with other domains by server-based mediation.
- Flash-enabled XHR A client-side proxy pattern for cross-domain Ajax, using invisible flash to bridge the domain communication gap.
- XML Data Island Retain XML responses as "XML Data Islands", nodes within the HTML DOM.
- Browser-Side XSLT Apply XSLT to convert XML Messages into XHTML.
- Browser-Side Templating Produce browser-side templates and call on a suitable browser-side framework to render them as HTML.
- Fat Client Create a rich, browser-based, client by performing remote calls only when there is no way to achieve the same effect in the browser.
- Browser-Side Cache Maintain a local cache of information.
- Guesstimate Instead of grabbing real data from the server, make a guesstimate that's good enough for most user's needs.
- Multi-Stage Download Quickly download the page structure with a standard request, then populate it with further requests.
- Predictive Fetch Anticipate likely user actions and pre-load the required data.
- Pseudo-Threading Use a timer and a worker queue to process jobs without the blocking application flow.
- Code Compression Compress code on the server, preferably not on the fly.
Code Generation and Reuse
- Cross-Browser Component Create cross-browser components, allowing programmers to reuse them without regard for browser compatibility.
Functionality and Usability Patterns (28)
All of these widget patterns will be familiar to end-users, having been available in desktop GUIs and some in non-AJAX DHTML too. They are included here to catalogue the interaction styles that are becoming common in AJAX applications and can benefit from XMLHttpRequest-driven interaction.
- Drilldown To let the user locate an item within a hierarchy, provide a dynamic drilldown.
- Microcontent Compose the page of "Microcontent" blocks - small chunks of content that can be edited in-page.
- Microlink Provide Microlinks that open up new content on the existing page rather than loading a new page.
- Popup Support quick tasks and lookups with transient Popups, blocks of content that appear "in front of" the standard content.
- Portlet Introduce "Portlets" - isolated blocks of content with independent conversational state.
- Live Command-Line In command-line interfaces, monitor the command being composed and dynamically modifying the interface to support the interaction.
- Live Form Validate and modify a form throughout the entire interaction, instead of waiting for an explicit submission.
- Live Search As the user refines their search query, continuously show all valid results.
- Data Grid Report on some data in a rich table, and support common querying functions.
- Progress Indicator Hint that processing is occurring.
- Rich Text Editor
- Slider Provide a Slider to let the user choose a value within a range.
- Suggestion Suggest words or phrases which are likely to complete what the user's typing.
- Drag-And-Drop Provide a drag-and-drop mechanism to let users directly rearrange elements around the page.
- Sprite Augment the display with "sprites": small, flexible, blocks of content.
- Status Area Include a read-only status area to report on current and past activity.
- Virtual Workspace Provide a browser-side view into a server-side workspace, allowing users to navigate the entire workspace as if it were held locally.
- Highlight Highlight elements by rendering them in a consistent, attention-grabbing, format.
- Lazy Registration Accumulate bits of information about the user as they interact, with formal registration occurring later on.
- Direct Login Authenticate the user with an XMLHttpRequest Call instead of form-based submission, hashing in the browser for improved security.
- Host-Proof Hosting Server-side data is stored in encrypted form for increased security, with the browser decrypting it on the fly.
- Timeout Implement a timeout mechanism to track which clients are currently active.
- Heartbeat Have the browser periodically upload heartbeat messages to indicate the application is still loaded in the browser and the user is still active.
- Autosave Autosave un-validated forms to a staging table on the server to avoid users losing their work when their session expires if they get called away from their desk while filling out a long form.
- Unique URLs Use a URL-based scheme or write distinct URLs whenever the input will cause a fresh new browser state, one that does not depend on previous interaction.
Development Practices (8)
- DOM Inspection Use a DOM Inspection Tool to explore the dynamic DOM state.
- Traffic Sniffing Diagnose problems by sniffing Web Remoting traffic.
- Data Dictionary Visualize DOM tags in a table format, with a row for each attribute. (Contributed pattern)
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