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|Digital List Price:||CDN$ 20.99|
|Print List Price:||CDN$ 45.37|
Save CDN$ 34.73 (77%)
AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications Kindle Edition
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|Length: 286 pages|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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