In an effort to address this, a new approach has been born. HIJAX seeks to marry the power of AJAX with Progressive Enhancement. What is this Progressive Enhancement you say? As far as Wikipedia says, "Progressive enhancement is a label for a particular strategy of Web design that emphasizes accessibility, semantic markup, and external stylesheet and scripting technologies, in a layered fashion that allows everyone to access the basic content and functionality of a Web page, using any browser or Internet connection, while also enabling those with better bandwidth or more advanced browser software to experience an enhanced version of the page.". What does this mean? I'll explain.
- Develop your application using non-AJAX calls
- Determine which calls to the server could be hijacked for AJAX calls
By employing this methodology, I think we can go a long way to combat the temptation to incorporate or identify AJAX functionality in the early stages of development. AJAX should be reserved as enhancements that imporve the end user's overall experience, and should only be considered once all the specified functional requirements have been met.