I recently used a Vanilla framework, personally I don't like them (frameworks that is) but to get my script to the next level I used it. I now have time to craft my own script.
You might want to look in to getting a server side script operational vai a regular form so you know what works and what needs fixing.
Then sort your AJAX out to post / get and return the values you want, then build your page around that.
If your post falls off the page, bump it. ...
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If you can't think outside the box, you will be trapped forever with no escape...