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Book Review: Ajax for Web Application Developers

Are you looking for a good reference book on AJAX? Then you might want to consider Ajax for Web Application Developers. Published by Sam's and featuring lots of reusable code, it should make a fine addition to your programming library. Keep reading for an overview of what you can learn from this book.

Author Info:
By: Akinola Akintomide
Rating: 4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars4 stars / 4
May 07, 2007
  1. · Book Review: Ajax for Web Application Developers
  2. · Creating and Using the JavaScript Engine
  3. · Ajax Patterns
  4. · My Thoughts

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Book Review: Ajax for Web Application Developers
(Page 1 of 4 )

The Reviewer

Whew! Finally I am done. I just finished 250 pages of a good book and I have to admit, a rollicking great read. This book is by Kris Hadlock, published by Sam's Publishing and has a list price of US$35. Kris Hadlock is a contract web developer and founder of Studio Sedition (a web development firm). He is also a technical writer for InformIT. This is his first book and I sincerely hope he writes a few more.

First, let me give you a few painfully honest facts about myself (the reviewer). I am a lazy coder and believe ardently in reusable code. I subscribe to several great web sites for the sole purpose of finding code that I can tweak to fit any occasion. I write code with the same mentality I had when doing engineering design projects: somebody somewhere has done something similar before, so find it and edit it. Fortunately this mentality works, and creating an original front end is relatively less work for my personality. The book was probably custom designed with someone like me in mind; note that the subtitle is "Reusable Components and Patterns for Ajax Driven Applications."

Let's take a quick look at the major divisions of the book before delving into the writing style, details to note in the book and the book's major theme.

Getting Started

This section has chapters which talk in detail about XHR (XML HTTP Requests) which is what the whole AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML) protocol is built on. It also covers Responses in JSON (Javascript Object Notation) and XML (extensible mark up language), as well as rendering the response in XHTML and CSS. Most of it is very detailed, with the most important pieces being the logic behind using AJAX and reusable code for creating the request (XHR) object.

Other interesting pieces of reusable code include sample XML and JavaScript for parsing your response (be it in JSON or XML), and some extremely good looking CSS code for rendering your response.

Note that the book is for intermediate or advanced programmers and knowledge of JavaScript is needed. Also helpful will be knowledge of PHP/MYSQL and object oriented programming techniques. However if you are a relative beginner you can read this book concurrently with other books which explain JavaScript and PHP MYSQL in depth. His emphasis on logic and his writing style (more on that later) make it a good read even for programmers who do not know JavaScript.

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