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Ben Os
Ben Os
20,008 Points

A question about AJAX basics course

In the start of the AJAX basics course our beloved Dave McFarland says that the technical name of AJAX is XHR.


This is my question:

Is it accurate to say that AJAX is called "XML HTTP-request object" (XHR) because we request XML data in an HTTP-rquest object or "packet" ?

Or is the "object" is what we get in return (the XML data itself) ?

AJAX is not called XMLHTTPRequest oject. AJAX stands for asynchronous javascript and xml. It was designed based on the XMLHTTPRequest object which is a built in object in any modern browser. The XHR object can request data from a server. The server then send back a response which can be in XML format. Nowadays the xml part can sound misleading as a lot of times we can request data in JSON format....I guess asynchronous javascript and json...AJAJ...but that just does not sound as cool as AJAX

1 Answer

Dave McFarland
Dave McFarland
Treehouse Teacher

Hi Ben Aharoni

What Alexander La Bianca says is correct. Thanks Alexander. AJAX stands for "asynchronous JavaScript and XML" -- the XMLHTTPRequest object is a browser object. In other words it's an object like the DOM, or cookies, or any of the other built-in objects in a browser.

Microsoft introduced the XMLHTTPRequest object way back in IE 6 (I think). Back then JSON wasn't really a thing, and XML was a common data interchange format. The name has stuck, but now we mostly use JSON formatted data to send and receive data from APIs and web servers.

Ben Os
Ben Os
20,008 Points

I now understand why the technical name is XHR but the should-be-specific name is AJAJ even though AJAX is the common in an era of mostly JSON formatted data exchange.