AxsJAX Explained PDF Print E-mail

What is it?

Announced in November of 2007, the open source AxsJAX (pronounced Access Jax) framework was developed by Google for the purpose of creating more accessible Web 2.0 AJAX applications.  It allows developers to write scripts using the WAI-ARIA and assistive technologies (such as screen readers) which can, among other things, allow for better keyboard navigation, custom magnification, and inform visitors when live regions are updated within the application.  Another benefit of AxsJAX is that the scripts are not limited to the developer of the Web site, as the end-users themselves may also inject the scripts into the Web page by utilizing such tools as bookmarklets and Greasemonkey for better accessibility.

Who uses it?

AxsJAX is currently being used in most (if not all) of Google's products ranging from their search engine to Gmail, as well as other well known Web sites including Amazon, eBay, Craigslist, Weather.com, and even the xkcd Web comic.

How do I use it?

AxsJAX is served from a Web cloud, which means that besides a small loader file, you have nothing to download or maintain.  Simply go to the project's Web site, and visit the downloads page, for complete instructions.

Interested in learning more?

Google produced a very informative video, which is absolutely worth listening to if you're interested in developing your own AxsJAX scripts.  The video starts off with a basic introduction to AxsJAX, and then continues on with a technical description on how to setup and program using the framework.