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5. Power Tools for Web Developers > 48. Submit Background Form Data

Submit Background Form Data

Submit form data without using a Submit button and without replacing the current page.

Web pages have a variety of security restrictions designed to protect the end user. When it comes to fill-in forms, HTML pages can’t ordinarily submit form data without direct action from the user.

There is one exception. In the days of Java Applets, an applet could “phone home” to the server it came from, without user intervention. Web pages can now do that too. The XMLHttpRequest object makes it possible. The XML prefix is meaningless; any kind of data can be sent over HTTP using this object.

Getting Oriented

The syntax for Firefox’s XMLHttpRequest object is slightly different than for Internet Explorer’s version (a browser incompatibility). A jumping-off point for this technology is http://www.mozilla.org/xmlextras/. You can hear about issues with cross-browser syntax from the front line here:


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