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Ajax Bible Paperback – Apr 2 2007

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From the Back Cover

Build interactive Web applications with Ajax

Create live searches and online spreadsheets

Discover programming mistakes to avoid!

Create blazing-fast Web applications with powerful Ajax

If you think that mastering Ajax is too difficult, guess again. You can create Web applications that look and feel like desktop apps in less time than you think with the comprehensive Ajax instruction in this in-depth book. You'll find easy-to-follow tutorials, hundreds of tips and tricks, and so much practical information that even skilled developers will reach for this book first. Let this Bible be your guide as you jump into the hottest Web programming technology in years.

  • Master the fundamentals—JavaScript®, XML, dynamic HTML, and CSS
  • Tie Ajax into Google with the Google® API

  • Handle simultaneous XMLHttpRequest objects in Ajax

  • Use Ajax frameworks such as Ruby on Rails, AjaxTags, and others

  • Understand the Document Object Model (DOM)

  • Create floating menus and effects with CSS

  • Encrypt data over plain HTTP using JavaScript

  • Adapt real-world examples to your own programs

Companion Web site

Find all the code used throughout the book at

About the Author

Steven Holzner, PhD,is the author of nearly 100 technology books including Ajax For Dummies and the Ajax Visual Blueprint. He specializes in writing about online applications, and has authored popular books on the components of Ajax including JavaScript, XML, browser objects, and Web services. He teaches classes to programmers around the country on the central skill in Ajax—using XML online and in-depth. He has been a contributing editor to PC Magazine, and was on the faculty at Cornell University and MIT.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
A Bible in Size Only July 24 2007
By D. Dodd - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is way bigger than it needs to be. The code examples take up enormous amounts of space. When stepping through an example, the entire example code is (usually) repeated with the new line under discussion added. Even the simplest example takes up pages of text. Every new example gets the cross-browser code for obtaining an XMLhttprequest object. Do we really need that repeated for each example?

The examples are mostly very simple, usually replacing one line of text with another. Then there's the screenshots. How informative is it to see two entire Internet Explorer windows, complete with toolbars, and a tiny speck of text that changes to before the Ajax call to an after Ajax call? The coverage of client and server-side libraries is so minimal and the examples so simple that the author could have just listed what libraries are available.

Most of the book has nothing to do with Ajax. There are chapters on DOM, javascript, CSS but I can't understand who their target audience is. For instance, if you don't know anything about DOM, you won't learn enough to be useful. If you do know some (even a little), you won't learn anything at all.

The last five chapters are the advanced Ajax section. The first three are an introduction to PHP. Really. How to declare a variable. How to make a comment. No Ajax at all. Again, if you don't know PHP, you're better off getting a better book. If you think the last two chapters might build on this tutorial of PHP, you're mistaken. No more PHP. On to java server pages, javabeans, and an odd little ending with two page discussion of Model-View-Controller. Again, if you don't know JSP, you won't understand what's going on. If you do, you won't learn anything.

The book is a nice introduction to Ajax, it just contains way to much filler and never does anything in any depth.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Solid beginning to end coverage of Ajax... May 13 2007
By Thomas Duff - Published on
Format: Paperback
Finding a book on Ajax isn't too hard any more. Finding one that covers beginning to advanced Ajax (and does it well) is another story. Steve Holzner has put his entry into the field with Ajax Bible. This is one of the better titles out there, and there's something to appeal to all levels of developers.


Part 1 - Fundamental Ajax: Essential Ajax; Know Your JavaScript; Creating Ajax Applications; Serious Ajax Programming

Part 2 - Ajax In Depth: Introducing Ajax Frameworks; More Advanced Ajax Frameworks; Using Server-Side Ajax Frameworks

Part 3 - Ajax and the DOM, XML, CSS, and Dynamic HTML: The DOM and Event Handling; XML and Ajax; Cascading Style Sheets and Ajax; Dynamic HTML and Ajax

Part 4 - Advanced Ajax: Introducing Ajax and PHP; PHP - Functions and HTML Controls; Handling User Input in PHP; Ajax and Security; Filters, MVC, and Ajax


Holzner's written over 100 technology books, so I've come to expect a high level of writing from him. He definitely delivers here. Part 1 gives you all the information you need to start writing an Ajax-enabled application. The JavaScript chapter is designed to give you enough background if you've never worked with Ajax before, but not so lengthy as to dominate the entire book. The Serious Ajax Programming chapter will appeal to readers who have done some Ajax coding already, covering such subjects as multiple XMLHttpRequest objects and calling other domains. Part 2 gets into the whole topic of frameworks and how they can save you time and effort in your coding projects. No need to reinvent the wheel if someone else already has done that. Part 3 covers more of how you can take the returned data from the Ajax call and format your web page to display and use that data. And finally, Part 4 goes into some fairly advanced topics that won't mean much to the beginner, but might be exactly what the advanced developer needs.

What I especially liked are Holzner's code examples. In many books, you get a code example all at once. The following writing then tries to explain whatever was just shown. That's usually OK, but sometimes longer code snippets can get confusing. Holzner "builds" the code alongside the writing. So you first get the start and end of the function along with the explanation. Then you get that code along with a new bold section that explains the next step. This pattern is repeated until the entire code snippet is built. While some might feel that it pads the book with redundant pages of code, I prefer it as you see the specific part of the code being discussed without getting confused about additional lines you don't yet understand.

If there was a need for me to recommend a book on Ajax to someone without knowing their background, this would be a very safe bet. Beginners will get exactly what they need, and intermediate/advanced readers will find stuff that they don't know. Nice job...
Excellent for learning how AJAX works March 19 2009
By Cdaragorn - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is perfect for learning AJAX from the ground up. It goes into perfect detail with a lot of example code and great explanations. Considering how important AJAX is to web developers today, I consider this to be a must have in my reference books. The one thing I would say is that this book is more of a tutorial than a quick reference, and I would highly recommend getting the JavaScript Bible to go with it as an excellent reference book for everything javascript, including all the AJAX material.
I expected more Oct. 1 2007
By Raul Juarez - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book convers very well a lot of subjects on Ajax, and a lot it doesn't.

There are two chapters focused on PHP. These are on the Parte IV, named Advanced Ajax. But in this two chapters, if you try to find Ajax, you won't get Anything!!!

This book is not aimed for advanced or experts of Ajax, it's just for the beginner and maybe intermediate.

If your're searching a book for some advanced Ajax techniques. GET ANOTHER BOOK!!
Pretty Good Book Oct. 5 2008
By E. Montalvo - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just made it to chapter five and I am understanding the topic of AJAX pretty well. I have other AJAX books but they failed to explain a few imporant topics or they did it poorly.

This book is pretty easy to follow. I recommend it!