What is this interactivity?
Sample of charts made with D3, a charts animation library
But it wasn't always this way.
There were no updates to the language until 2009.
Let's think about that. This is the difference between 1995 and 2009 in cell phones.
Cell Phones in 1995
Cell Phones in 2009
Then in 2005, something happened. Google Maps launched. Before Google Maps there was Mapquest. And every time a user wanted to view another part of a map, he would have to wait for a full page refresh and the page to fully reload.
With Google Maps, a user could drag around the map and it would smoothly update. There would be no full refresh. The user could smoothly interact with a webpage as if it were a desktop application or a video game.
The technology behind this type of interactivity was called an
XHR, which stands for
XHR allows a website to receive new data (like a set of street names and coordinates of a different location) without a page refresh. This is important - because while a site like Google Maps could not send a detailed map of the entire planet to any user going to its website, it could send the new map information as a user dragged the cursor around. So it felt to the user like all of that information was always on the computer. All of this occurred without a page refresh.