Home arrow JavaScript arrow Getting Attention with Interactive Effects

Getting Attention with Interactive Effects

If you're looking for a quick way to delight your visitors with the addition of Ajax to your site, look no further. This article, the fourth of a four-part series, will show you how to do color fades, timers, and more. It is excerpted from chapter four of Adding Ajax, written by Shelley Powers (O'Reilly, 2007; ISBN: 0596529368). Copyright 2007 O'Reilly Media, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission from the publisher. Available from booksellers or direct from O'Reilly Media.

  1. Getting Attention with Interactive Effects
  2. Color Fades for Success or Failure
  3. Ajaxian Timers
  4. Creating a Flashing Notice
  5. Creating a Flashing Notice concluded
By: O'Reilly Media
Rating: starstarstarstarstar / 9
October 11, 2007

print this article



Ajax Preview

The Ajax preview version of live preview doesn't echo the preview text as it occurs; rather, it takes all of the text when a Preview button is clicked, but instead of bringing up a separate preview page, the text is echoed in the preview area.

The advantage to this method is that the application isn't as CPU-intensive, since it doesn't have to catch all of the keyup events. It's also much friendlier from an XHTML perspective since the input can be formatted for proper XHTML handling before it's displayed. Live preview is just that: live. No real formatting can be done other than to strip out markup.

The page demonstrating Ajax preview is identical to that shown in Example 4-9 except for a few elements in the script and the addition of an identifier on the Preview button. Example 4-10 shows the page with these modifications highlighted.

Example 4-10. Using Ajax preview on comments

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Strict//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml" lang="en"
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=utf-
8" /> <title>Ajax Preview</title>
<style type="text/css">
background-color: #ffc;
       margin: 20px;
       padding: 10px;
       width: 500px; 
margin-right: 5px;
margin: 10px;
width: 550px;
<script type="text/javascript" src="addingajax.js">
<script type="text/javascript">

aaManageEvent(window,"load",function() {

// echo keypress
function showPreview(evnt) {

  // cancel button's default click behavior
  evnt = evnt ? evnt : window.event;

  // add preview
var commentText = document.getElementById("comment").value;
  modText = commentText.split(/\n/).join("<br />");
  var previewElem = document.getElementById("preview");
  previewElem.innerHTML = modText;
<form action="preview.php" method="post"> <fieldset>
<label for="comment">Comment:</label><br />
<textarea id="comment" name="comment" cols="50"
rows="10"></textarea><br />
<input type="submit" name="button" value="Preview"
id="previewbutton" />
<input type="submit" name="button" value="Save" /> // Should
these buttons not have
different values for name? //
<div id="preview">

The event that triggers the preview now is a click of the Preview button. To prevent the default behavior, submitting the form, from occurring, the event is terminated within the event handler function.

With Ajax preview, embedding XHTML elements in the comment won't trigger an error while the text is in an incomplete state like it does with Firefox 2.x (at least, at the time of this writing).

However, if you put in "bad" XHTML and you're using a browser that checks the content with innerHTML, you will get JavaScript errors when you do assign the text to the innerHTML element. Throwing an error isn't a bad thing, but throwing a JavaScript error is.

A better approach would be to place the code setting the innerHTML element within a try...catch block and provide an error message meant for the web page reader, not the developer:

  modText = commentText.split(/\n/).join("<br />");
  var previewElem = document.getElementById("preview");
  try {
previewElem.innerHTML = modText;
  } catch(err) {
     previewElem.innerHTML = "<p>An error occurred, please check
your comment for
(X)HTML errors.</p>";

Opera will just correct (or tolerate) the bad markup, as will Safari, IE, and OmniWeb, but Firefox and WebKit both trigger the error handling. Unfortunately, theres no way to pinpoint the error--not unless we want to attempt to create an XML document and then see what happens--a rather drastic approach, and one that goes way beyond the usefulness of this effect. A better technique is to avoid all errors by stripping out the markup and providing buttons to allow formatting of hypertext links and such.

Again, if you don't want the risk of XHTML in the comments, either escape the HTML characters or strip tags out altogether.

Another nice effect you can use with commentary and the like, especially if all comments are listed in the page, is using Ajax to update the data store and then "refreshing" the list without having to refresh the page. Throw in a color fade, and you've got a nice bit of polish without too much code.

>>> More JavaScript Articles          >>> More By O'Reilly Media

blog comments powered by Disqus
escort Bursa Bursa escort Antalya eskort


- Javascript for Beginners: An Introduction
- Introduction to JavaScript
- Adding Elements to a Tree with TreeView jQue...
- Using the Persist Argument in a TreeView jQu...
- Using Unique and Toggle in a TreeView jQuery...
- Using Event Delegation for Mouseover Events ...
- Using the Animate Option in a Treeview jQuer...
- Using HTML Lists with Event Delegation in Ja...
- Opened and Closed Branches on a TreeView jQu...
- Mouseover Events and Event Delegation in Jav...
- Creating a TreeView JQuery Hierarchical Navi...
- Event Delegation in JavaScript
- A Look at the New YUI Carousel Control
- Working with Draggable Elements and Transpar...
- Displaying Pinned Handles with Resizable Con...

Developer Shed Affiliates


Dev Shed Tutorial Topics: