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AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications
 
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AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications [Kindle Edition]

Cristian Darie , Bogdan Brinzarea , Filip Chereches-Tosa , Mihai Bucica

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Product Description

Product Description

This book is for web developers willing to build better web applications. A basic knowledge of PHP, XML, JavaScript and MySQL, or a strong will to learn-as-you-type, is assumed.

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2088 KB
  • Print Length: 286 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1904811825
  • Publisher: Packt Publishing (March 10 2006)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005CZOS1K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #408,386 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
33 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Much More than AJAX and PHP Oct. 13 2006
By Christine M. Newlon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I admit, when I first opened this book, I thought it would contain a dry discussion of how to use AJAX methods with PHP. But the book turned out to be so much more than advertised, I think its title must be wrong. It should have been called, "How to Use AJAX Methods with PHP, MySQL, DOM, CSS, SVG, XSL, XML, RSS, and JavaScript Frameworks." I certainly never expected to read it cover to cover, but that's what I did.

In addition to integrating a wide range of modern web technologies, the book contains great examples of how to write building blocks for powerful web applications. These include form validation, chat, suggest, auto-complete, charting, grid, RSS, and drag-and-drop. Somewhere in the code for these functions are techniques for almost everything you might want to program into an application. What I really like about the book, however, is the ongoing explanation of how to write the code so it will be secure, and will perform correctly in every browser. Most books I have read don't bother with such details, but this one even lays out a method to create user-friendly error reporting in production mode. It has a strong focus on writing code that might actually be used in a production environment.

My only quibble with the authors is that they seemed to be avoiding OOP in their JavaScript, though they used it with their PHP code throughout the book. They said OOP emulation techniques required a longer learning curve. However, the result of their decision is JavaScript files that run for seven or eight pages. I really think that OOP would have been less intimidating to a new programmer than page after page of unbroken code. I would recommend that the authors at least use eye-catching headers for the major functions in these files to help the reader understand the structure of the code. (Readers of the book as published might want to take a highlight pen to the function headings.)

As someone who is attempting to write my first significant web application, I think this book is wonderful. I expect to wear it out before I'm through looking up techniques. I already know that my application will need chat, validation, suggest, and data grid. This book practically hands me the code for these. But more than that, it provides me with a view of the basic methods to do many other things.

Much of the major content of this book is code. While the authors explain how the code works, the reader will still need to know the basics of HTML, CSS, SQL, and scripting languages, such as PHP and JavaScript. Another major advantage of this book, however, is that the authors give web links to many of the best tutorials on these topics. In fact, it would be possible to start with this book, and use the authors' suggested links to look up almost every major web technology in order to learn it in the context of AJAX and PHP. All in all, that's a lot of value for a book that has less than 300 pages!
26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AJAX and PHP by Example Aug. 26 2006
By Jeffrey Heaton - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book teaches by example. The first few chapters introduce AJAX and what part PHP, Javascript and XML all play. Then the remainder of the book takes you through several example applications. The example apps are simple enough that you can easily follow. These applications include Form Validation, Chat, Suggest and Autocomplete, Charting with SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), using grids, and Drag and Drop.

Each example begins by showing you the source code and how to actually implemented/deploy that application. There is also a supporting appendix for additional information about deploying the examples on a web server. Then each chapter follows by by explaining how the example worked.

If you would like to quickly begin using AJAX from PHP this book is a great start.
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ideal for PHP Users April 18 2006
By Nathan Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
There need to be more Ajax books like this. No, let me rephrase. Rather, more of the Ajax books out there should've been like this one. I just finished reading through AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications and it is by far my favorite book on the topic of Ajax yet. The authors of this book: Bogdan Brinzarea, Mihai Bucica, Cristian Darie and Filip Chereche'-Tosa have done a great job of keeping the topics focused and applicable.

While other books I have read covered the concepts behind Asynchronous JavaScript and XML, they did so with a shotgun blast of information. While I appreciate an eclectic approach, it is irrelevant because many examples are for languages I never use. For instance, one single book might have a slew of exercises in ASP.NET and Java, with maybe a few chapters on PHP.

Sure, I could install Microsoft's .NET SDK or Sun's J2EE, but the likelihood of me every either using these two platforms is pretty slim. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against Microsoft or Sun as companies. I use Windows like everyone else, and am quite fond of OpenOffice. Suffice it to say, I am a front-end designer who is familiar with PHP.

There is a full gamut of examples to test out. I liked the way they list the full code in the text, in addition to offering the option of downloading it from Packt. I've read too many programming books that assume you're right there at your computer while reading. I don't know about you, but I like to take books with me to read when I can grab a spare minute here or there.

Before I get into the contents of the book, let me point out a few caveats, in case you are considering purchasing it (which I would still recommend, if you're into PHP). In some of their code examples, they use XHTML 1.1. This is all well and good, but they neglect to specify content-type, meaning that it defaults back to text/html. So, while it still works just fine in a browser, it is against the W3C recommendation for how to serve various media types.

XHTML 1.1 should be served only as application/xhtml+xml, so their code examples would be better off as XHTML 1.0 Strict, because they aren't making use of any of the additional features to be found by stepping up to 1.1. Another thing to correct in their code would be line-breaks, which are consistently written throughout as [br/] when really it should be [br /]. Though seemingly innocuous, that single space is important. (Note: I used square brackets in the place of angled brackets, since Amazon does not allow for HTML in their reviews.)

Anyway, here is what topics are covered in the book: JavaScript and the Document Object Model, some CSS, XMLHttpRequest, proxy servers, and MySQL. They also touch on how to make use of Prototype and Script.aculo.us. Using this armament, they show you how to create fun stuff such as: live form validation, chat room (with color picker), auto-complete search, real-time SVG charts, XSLT grids, an RSS reader, plus a drag-and-drop to-do list.

While some of these topics are covered in other books out there, I had not found one which covered them all from a PHP standpoint. Now that I have, I think I will probably give book reading on Ajax a rest (not REST) for awhile, because I think that with this book, I am contented. Now it's just a matter of going out there and actually making use of the topics that were covered.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Solid package bundled with great AJAX and PHP code May 19 2006
By Mohammad Emran Hasan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
If you are a PHP programmer who is looking to start integrating AJAX in your upcoming projects, then this book will be a perfect start for you. The book focuses more on code rather than theory, and explains the pile of code in an easy manner.

The book starts with a great chapter explaining how web evolved and why the need for AJAX was created. It then explains what AJAX is and how it works - a difficult task to explain to the beginners, but the authors did it wonderfully. For the kick-starters, the chapter ends with a simple yet interesting hand-on example of a quick AJAX app, something that inspires many.

The next chapter goes into the basics of JavaScript, DOM, XMLHTTPRequest and related key points and explains each of them with good examples. This makes sure that you know what you'll do and why you'll do things in a specific way.

Before going into building core AJAX functionalities, the authors then introduces you to handling several PHP situations with AJAX (error handling, returning outputs, etc). Also, they show you how you can create the bridge between AJAX and MySQL.

After telling you everything you need to boost your own site with AJAX, they start to tell you how you can avail different AJAX functionalities in your site - Form Validation, Auto complete, Real-time Charting, Drag-n-drop, and so on. These are divided in the rest of the book in chapters. Each of them has a real-life working example that can make you think "Oh man!! I was looking for this to be in my site!!!" Although it's more code than theory, you won't loose the path as they start the chapters with a problem-solving manner and after showing the code, explain them step-by-step.

The book marvels at boosting you with both knowledge and practical application of AJAX to start with. But, it lacks in telling about the many great AJAX frameworks out there for PHP. The authors could have gone further to include a chapter mentioning the PHP-based open-source frameworks currently available (such as AJASON, XAJAX, TinyAJAX, AJAX Agent, etc). This could have helped the readers avoid writing all the basic request handling codes by hand (in both JavaScript and PHP). Also, there could have been a more detailed explanation on where the usage of AJAX is not appropriate.

Apart from this, the book was a sheer pleasure to follow and the choices of examples were very relevant to the current web trends and should help anyone who wants to implement AJAX real soon.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I needed July 22 2006
By Brian Case - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ajax and PHP came at exactly the right time in my self-inflicted education as I am just now gaining functional literacy in OOP, Client/Server. PHP, CSS et. al..

There are a lot of things to like about this book, starting with its organization. It starts off by documenting what you need to know to best use of this book. And supplies the URL/Hyperlinks to get those literacies if you don't have them. (Thank you!)

It achieves a nice balance of choosing what needs to go into an appendix.

It dispenses with the common irritating practice of showing code "excerpts" in favor of showing the entire script and follows each script example with a "What just happened" section that is as clear and concise as you will find anywhere.

If you only buy one AJAX book, make it this one.

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