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Building a Web Site with Ajax: Visual QuickProject Guide [Paperback]

Larry Ullman

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Book Description

Oct. 3 2007 0321524411 978-0321524416 1
Ajax is at the heart of the Web 2.0 revolution. It isn't a technology but, rather, is a technique that leverages other technologies and techniques, such as CSS, XML, DHTML, and XHTML. Many Web designers and programmers would like to incorporate Ajax in their projects because of the amazing functionality it can add to a Web site, but they can't because of the steep learning curve. That's where this book steps in. It makes learning Ajax fun and easy -- a great place to start! Visual QuickProject Guides focus on a single project. In this case the project is creating a business employee directory, like an address book. What's being created is a better, new kind of Web site.

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About the Author

Larry Ullman is the Director of Digital Media Technologies and Lead PHP Programmer at DMC Insights, Inc., a firm specializing in information technology. In addition to writing, Larry develops dynamic Web applications, conducts training seminars, and is an Extension Instructor for the University of California at Berkeley.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  16 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Specific Example Of Ajax Dec 12 2007
By John Guerin - Published on
The author succeeds in leading the reader through an example application utilizing techniques that have been lumped under the name "Ajax". I suspect that many readers learn as I do by testing and experimenting with code examples. To get the most out of the book, these readers should have access to a desktop or ISP web server with Php capability.

Throught out the book, the author refers the reader to other resources that cover topics referred to briefly or noted as simply not in the scope of the book. Examples are installing Apache/PHP, verifying data input, security considerations etc.

The book is a excellent read for those who have already delved into one of the pre-Ajax volumes that covered MySql/PHP in depth and want an Ajax upgrade. Others with basic application implementation needs will benefit from the overview, example code and resource tips provided.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good AJAX begginer workshop in a book March 4 2008
By L. LePere - Published on
The book jacket lists it as a beginner level book. It says: "Familiarity with HTML, JavaScript, PHP and CSS would be helpful but is not required." It's true that the project doesn't involve anything terribly complicated in any of these areas. Still, if ALL of these are unfamiliar to you, I'd guess it would be quite difficult to follow what is going on simply because there are so many components interacting. (Actually there are a few more involved as well: MySQL, SQL and XML).

Every step of the project is explained at a level that assumes you might not have seen that type of code before. But the exact syntax of each line of code isn't always explained so you may have to follow up with more reading and research if you want to adapt what you've learned to your own project later.

Several things I thought were particularly good about this book. One: given that browsers do a good part of the processing with AJAX through JavaScript, and given that you can't count on consistent behavior across browsers--or even on JavaScript being enabled, I was pleased to find that the project was designed to create a non-AJAX version first and then to add the AJAX layer on top of that.

Two: there was a good amount of error-checking built in to the application even though it is a fairly simple one. That's something as a not-so-proficient programmer I often find myself overlooking.

And three: tips on debugging in PHP and in JavaScript are included. Although they are pretty basic tips, if you are a beginner, they will be helpful.

I'd say this book can give you as much for your investment of time as many a day-long workshop would and at much lower cost.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on Ajax and server side and client side problems Jan. 25 2008
By samcsharp - Published on
I already have a book from Larry Ullman (on PHP5 and SQL). So I know the man is both a great programmer and an excellent teacher. I already know the basics of Ajax (XMLHTTPRequest object, asynchronous requests etc). But I'm always interested in studying case studies. The book was unexpensive and short so I went for it. And I'm really happy I did. The project developed in this book clearly shows how to deal with server side problems and even to deal with a client on which javascript is disabbled (or blocked by a security app).
Two thumbs up for this book.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Introduction to Ajax Oct. 12 2007
By Neil Corke - Published on
I had eagerly awaited the release of this based on the quality of Larry Ullman's other books and outstanding support, and a niggling desire to learn about Ajax.

This is written in the same easy-to-follow style of the author's previous publications and well worth the purchase price. It takes the reader through creating a single Ajax example with PHP and MYSQL, and clearly explains the concepts as you go. As usual, there is an accompanying web page with downloadable files and other information.

Highly recommended!
6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Buy Nov. 8 2007
By J. Conklin - Published on
Larry Ullman has done another excellent job in writing this book. Larry consistently produces products that are easy to understand and implement for any level of web designer/programmer. I highly recommend any book written by Larry, and suggest visiting his website, which is extremely worthwhile and fun.

His examples are easy to understand, and pertinent to the job at hand. I own several books by Larry, and have found them all to be very helpful, not matter what the task may be. Keep up the good work Larry, and I look forward to your next release.

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