Even in these standards-compliant days, browser support for AJAX remains diverse, to say the least, and it is akin to having MSIE in one corner and the rest in the other. Mind you, Microsoft did introduce the tools in the first place but they used ActiveX and Mozilla created a new object type rather than continue this method of operation. Given that ActiveX is a Windows-only technology, I can see why Mozilla did what they did and it is a sensible decision. In fact, IE7 appears to have picked up the Mozilla way of doing things.
My taking a more granular approach has got me reading SAMS Teach Yourself AJAX in 10 Minutes as a means for getting my foot in the door. As with their Teach Yourself … in 24 Hours series, the title is a little misleading since there are 22 lessons of 10 minutes in duration (the 24 Hours moniker refers to there being 24 lessons, each of one hour in length). Anything composed of 10 minute lessons, even 22 of them, is never going to be comprehensive but, as a means for getting started, I have to say that the approach seems effective on the basis of this volume. It has certainly whet my appetite for giving AJAX a go and it’ll be interesting to see how things progress from here.