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Beginning Ajax Paperback – Mar 19 2007

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

As one of the prime enablers of innovations such as wikis, blogs, and third-party APIs, Ajax is redefining the way Web applications are created. This book familiarizes you with the core technologies behind Ajax, and shows you how to start building Web sites using Ajax techniques. It explains concepts step-by-step, using proven examples, so that you can immediately begin applying the information.

You'll see how building Ajax-enabled sites and applications allows more interactive user interfaces than ever before. You'll learn about the differences in capabilities between client-side and server-side development techniques, as well as how Ajax crosses this boundary. You'll discover how Ajax techniques can be summed up by patterns (which are development models that you'll use repeatedly). With a mastery of these techniques, you'll be able to breathe new life into your Web sites and applications.

What you will learn from this book

  • Ajax pros and cons so you know the best way to use it
  • The fundamental JavaScript and DOM techniques underlying Ajax

  • Methods for using the XMLHttpRequest object (the primary Ajax enabler) to call ASP.NET, PHP, and Java applications

  • How to store and transmit XML data that many Ajax applications use

  • How to debug JavaScript in your Ajax applications manually and how to write error handlers

  • Ways to combine applications through Web services or APIs to create mashups

Who this book is for

This book is for Web developers who want to start building sites using Ajax techniques and are familiar with (X)HTML, JavaScript, and basic CSS.The reader will also need to be familiar with either PHP or ASP.NET for the server-side examples, although an extensive knowledge of either is not expected.

About the Author

Chris Ullman is a freelance Web developer and technical author who has spent many years working with ASP/ASP.NET. Coming from a computer science background, he started initially as a UNIX/Linux guru, who gravitated toward Microsoft technologies during the summer of ASP (1997). He cut his teeth on Wrox Press ASP guides, and since then he has written and contributed to more than 25 books, mostnotably as lead author for Wrox’s bestselling Beginning ASP/ASP.NET 1.x series. He has contributed chapters to books on PHP, ColdFusion, JavaScript, Web Services, C#, XML, and other Internet-related technologies. After he left Wrox as a full-time employee in August 2001, he branched out into VB.NET/C# programming and ASP.NET development, and he started his own business, CUASP Consulting Ltd, in April 2003. He maintains a variety of Web sites from (his “work” site) to (a selection of his writings on music and art). He now divides his time between his family and composing electronic sounds for his music project, Open E.

Lucinda Dykes is a freelance Web developer, teacher, and technical author who has been writing code and developing Web sites since 1994. She started her career in a high-tech area of medicine but left medicine to pursue her interests in technology and the Web. She has been involved in client-side development with JavaScript for many years through her company, Zero G Web, and teaches JavaScript courses online for an international group of students at She has also authored numerous technical books about XML, XHTML, and Web application development with Dreamweaver.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Very disappointing March 28 2008
By Tana - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is really disappointing. The code examples are not at all well suited for the book's supposed target (starting level).

The first example (page 21) is too complex for a beginners' book *and* for a first chapter... and they even say so! (Quote: "Note that this example is quite complex.") I wonder, if they knew it was too complex to grasp at a first glance, why didn't they change it? They introduce even XSL without any need -this can only discourage a beginner. Believe me, I can think of a thousand better examples, and I'm not an expert in Ajax.

It doesn't get any better in the next chapters. The authors can't manage to explain fundamental things like the XMLHttpRequest object, which is an essential part of Ajax, and consequently should be an essential part of a book about Ajax for beginners.

So... I really don't recommend this book. I usually enjoy Wrox books, but I have to say this title is absolutely not worth the money. If you are a beginner, try Wiley's Ajax for Dummies instead. Hope this helps!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What a Terrible Book Aug. 30 2011
By Michael J Brown - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have had a PC in my home since 1991. I hold certifications in C/C++ and Unix System Admin, and I am working on my LPI certification, so I have read many computer science books. This book is horrendous. There are code mistakes throughout the book, and the free code from the publisher has the same mistakes.

In the chapter three shopping cart project the code has the <a href ... tag inside of double quotes, you can't put HTML tags inside of quotes.

If I could I would give this book a negative rating. Save your money and buy your books from O'Reilly, WROX is the absolutely worst publisher of computer science books I have ever come across in my 20 years of personal and professional experience.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Bad smells abound May 11 2010
By Chris Keller - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book has a decent approach to the material, and explains the use of many tools and techniques.

However, the code examples are hard to follow at best, and often don't even work as printed. The programming style used in the code examples is garbage; the examples have generic, non-descriptive variable names, are not indented, and have syntax errors. As a book targeted for beginners, I would think that more time would go into polishing this central aspect.
Poor examples, approach, and implementation methods outdated Jan. 19 2011
By Z. Keene - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was really looking forward to digging into AJAX and learning to use it effectively with PHP. This book didn't do that at all. It starts out with an example that covers nearly every aspect of AJAX and just expects you to understand why and how all of these methods were implemented. Going further into the book didn't help. Although you began to understand better the ideas that were implemented in the first example half way through the book, they made the examples even more complex with pages of code to do simple tasks; like anyone is going to write these complex routines that require pages of code when it can just as easily be done with much less. The book is very JavaScript centric and focuses very little on the languages it interacts with(PHP/ASP). Im not sure if its because it was wrote in 2007 or if they just decided to omit it but it doesnt mention PHP's inherent AJAX functions at all (which make implementing AJAX require significantly less coding). Overall look for a newer book that covers language specific implementations, much more has been done with the idea in the past couple years that the book just doesnt get to
Decent Language Reference June 9 2010
By A. Humpherys - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm giving it three stars for the JavaScript language reference included as an appendix. I've been trying to find one for ages. There's really good documentation for PHP, but for JavaScript it's nearly impossible to come by. The appendix laid it out well.

As for the two missing stars vague descriptions, complex examples, and examples and ideas that you probably wouldn't actually use account for those...

Note: I only paid about 6 bucks for this book. I have no qualms about tossing it if I find one better -- it's a bit disappointing, but it does convey the basic idea of Ajax. I'm a bit of a novice at JavaScript (I have used it though), but I consider myself skilled at PHP. I was able to create several Ajax functions for a site I've been working on with the aid of this book. So as far as I'm concerned it's fulfilled its $6 of usefulness... Time for a better book.