So, after complaining a bit about XMLHttpRequest, I did some looking around today to see how big of a pain in the ass it would be.

Turns out, not very.

I spent a couple hours fighting with a test page, until Resig pointed out that I needed to specify text/xml as the content type for the XML document (thanks again, John). From there, I just needed to touch up the JavaScript a bit to get it working the way I wanted it to.

I’m pretty psyched about the prospects of this whole Ajax business. It’s a lot easier to do than I expected it to be; the most difficult parts come in with DHTML, for the most part. My JavaScript skills could use polishing anyway, so I’m planning to re-write the segfault editor (members only, sorry) I did last year in PHP. To begin with, I might clone Ta-da List, just to get some practice before throwing myself at the bigger project.

I never liked the idea of relying on the client to provide processing. PHP always seemed safer because it runs server-side, so you don’t have to worry about the user disabling JavaScript or running an ancient browser that doesn’t support it. By now, most users have upgraded to at least IE 6 or (hopefully) Mozilla Firefox, so this is where the web is headed. If some really cool sites hadn’t already shown off the capabilities of the technology, I probably would have dismissed the idea entirely. Thankfully, some talented people got to it before I did and convinced me it’s worth tinkering with.