Forum OpenACS Development: Thoughts on Google, XMLHTTP and OpenACS

Hello Everyone,

I'm sure many of us have read about and maybe experienced Google's latest projects. In particular Gmail ( and Google Suggest Beta (

A lot of the reviews, dev articles and blogs out there seem to point out that google has raised the bar on web user interfaces. One of the reasons that have allowed them to do so is through the use of XMLHTTP, in particular, the ability to make http calls to the web server without refreshing an entire page.

There are a few areas in OpenACS that I would love to see XMLHTTP used. For instance,

- in the who's online feature on top of the website can be refreshed using XMLHTTP without refershing the entire page.

- Form validation that fetches the validation error messages only as opposed to the entire form.

Are there plans to utilize XMLHTTP in OpenACS ?
Where else in OpenACS can we make use of XMLHTTP to imporve user interface and usability in general ?
Is it worth considering the use of XMLHTTP with OpenACS, in the first place ?
What are the pros and cons ?

Thanks and a Happy New Year to all.

Hamilton Chua

Posted by Hamilton Chua on
Relevant link. Excellent introduction to the built in XMLTTP object in browsers.

Posted by Jade Rubick on

I think rich internet applications are the next stage for the internet, and there are several ways to go about it. XML-HTTP seems like a very promising direction. I'm also very intrigued by Laszlo.

To answer your question, I think whether or not we use XML-HTTP really depends on the interest of developers. I personally am very intrigued by it.

Thank you also for that link. It was exactly what I was looking for after seeing the Google Suggest site, and the deconstruction of how it worked. I needed an easier primer, and this helped.