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AJAX is an acronym that Jesse James Garrett, a user-experience expert who founded www.AdaptivePath.com, coined back in 2005. It quickly morphed into a buzzword who's descriptiveness (and verby-ness) as we'll see, goes way beyond its actual acronym definition. We'll take a quick look at what AJAX really is and how easy it is to implement, not to mention cook up a few more cool solutions for our "hypothetical" clients.

In this chapter, we're going to take a look at:

• The basics of using jQuery's AJAX .load() function and the more robust .ajax() function

• Working with JSON and hooking into other site's APIs

• Creating a custom AJAX enhanced home page and comment form

• Refining that functionality using animation and events

Let's get started by taking a look at what jQuery does for AJAX.

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