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Ajax Design Patterns Paperback – Jul 9 2006

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 656 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 9 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596101805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596101800
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.2 x 23.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 962 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,316,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"Ajax Design Patterns fills the literary void that exists in AJAX design by using real examples of best practice to enhance your apps. As with most AJAX titles it's pretty intense and hardcore reading, but then if you're into AJAX you're probably pretty hardcore too. Thankfully, Ajax Design Patterns is one of the most organised books on any programming subject. It's a massive book, but you won't get lost as the chapters are sensibly divided up and the sound layout means there's nothing whatsoever to fear. The book gets inside what makes top apps like NumSum tick and there's even a look at the code of DHTML Lemmings thrown in for good measure!" .Net, October 2006

Book Description

Creating Web 2.0 Sites with Programming and Usability Patterns

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa04d1378) out of 5 stars 16 reviews
55 of 58 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa010f8d0) out of 5 stars Good techniques Aug. 11 2006
By MarriedRhombus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is filled with too many stories, facts and fictions. There are lots of success stories told about Ajax. Every so called "design pattern" discussion begins with a fictional story. I'm not sure if this is good, but for me it just bloats the book and adds unnecessary readings for my eyes that too easily get tired.

Most of the "patterns" discussed in this book are specific solutions. I believe design patterns are solutions to generic problems. To make it feel like you are really reading a design patterns book, the author uses the generally accepted way of presenting patterns (problem/forces/solution). It just made the book worse rather than better. Anybody who has read a real design pattern book and then read this book will soon feel the artificiality.

One minor thing is that its server side examples are written in PHP. Of course, that is not a problem for PHP guys. It should, however, be mentioned in the description.

Still, I am keeping this book. There are many JavaScript coding techniques that are very impressive and I feel will be very useful. I just need to use a couple of my highlighters to mark specific readings and techniques and so my eyes can avoid the other verbosity.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa0269dbc) out of 5 stars Probably mistitled, but still some very good information... Nov. 4 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Although I think the book is mistitled, there's still a lot of value to be gleaned from Ajax Design Patterns by Michael Mahemoff. It's almost more like a cookbook than a patterns guide...


Part 1 - Introduction: Introducing Ajax; A Pattern-Led Tutorial; Ajax Design - Principles and Patterns

Part 2 - Foundational Technology Patterns: Ajax App; Display Manipulation; Web Remoting; Dynamic Behavior; Extended Technologies

Part 3 - Programming Patterns: Web Services; Browser-Server Dialogue; DOM Population; Code Generation and Reuse; Performance Optimization

Part 4 - Functionality and Usability Patterns: Widgets; Page Architecture; Visual Effects; Functionality

Part 5 - Development Patterns: Diagnosis; Testing

Part 6 - Appendixes: Ajax Frameworks and Libraries; Setting Up The Code Samples; Patterns and Pattern Languages; References; Index

Each of the chapters, such as Widgets, show a number of techniques and features that you can use in an Ajax application. In this particular case, there's the Slider, Progress Indicator, Drilldown, Data Grid, Rich Text Editor, Suggestion, Live Search, and Live Command-Line. Although each of these are presented as a "pattern", I think that's really a misuse of the term as it's commonly utilized in our industry. Patterns are general architectures that have been developed over time to solve particular types of design issues. A pattern called "Slider" is really just an example of how a slider widget can be used effectively in an Ajax application. Because of the specificity of a slider, I see that as more of a recipe than a pattern.

Having cleared that gripe, it's still an effective book. Each pattern/recipe starts with a basic usage story, followed by the problem statement, the forces that come into play, the actual solution, decisions that need to be addressed, real-world examples, alternatives to this particular feature, related patterns/recipes, and references to more information about the feature. This particular format makes for a very comprehensive discussion of each item, more so than you'd get in a straight tutorial or reference guide. As such, I think it makes for a good addition to the Ajax bookshelf...

As a true "patterns" guide, I think it misses what it tries to set out to do. As a cookbook for Ajax techniques, it works quite well...
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa04a7264) out of 5 stars A "must have" Ajax Resource for every Web 2.0 developer. Feb. 26 2008
By Rodrigo Costa - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Let me get something straight here: Michael Mahemoff really knows how to teach, this book is one of the most appropriated books for those who want to learn about AJAX and in this review I'll tell you why I think so.
First of all, the book starts explaining all the basics of AJAX with its definitons, how it works, related technologies and more. But the best point is: the author always explains using real-life examples, which makes everything easier to understand. The following chapters cover the AJAX Design Patterns properly. You can think about these design patterns as specific solutions, for example "how to made an auto-complete box with ajax", which will give you a great variety of "what can I do with ajax" things. The book also covers some architectural patterns too.
I think the main goal of this book is not only the great diversity of solutions that you can apply in your projects, but how the author explains them. He always starts the explanation of a design pattern with a brief history of how this pattern can help you giving real examples on where these patterns have being applied. Don't forget that one of the main goals of Design Patterns is to create a "vocabulary" to make an easier reference about a specific subject, and this book completely achieves this goal by giving names for each one of those solutions represented as a Design Pattern.
That's why I believe this book is a "must have" for any AJAX professional or student.
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ff55930) out of 5 stars The Best Ajax Book! July 25 2006
By Frank Stepanski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
If you think you know anything about Ajax, you're wrong. After you read this book you'll realize how little you knew. Michael Mahemoff has a PhD in Computer Science, but it might as well be on Ajax since I've never read a book with so much useful information about it. There are about 8 or 9 Ajax books on the market right now and none of them come close to giving the useful information this one does and that is only after reading the first 150 pages. This book really is the complete tutorial and reference to learning and using Ajax properly.

The first 2 chapters go over the basic components of Ajax and some basic code examples different techniques Ajax is used to enhance functionality and usability: live search, progress indicators and the one-second spot highlight. The end of chapter 2 is a kind of teaser of what is to come in explaining some of the patterns that will be discussed with website examples to illustrate how they are done: data grids, suggestion, popup, virtual workspace, browser-side cache, fat client, drag-and-drop, image slideshow, web services, etc.

Chapter 3 focuses on the basics of an ideal Ajax application and some the design principles that programmers should follow such as following web standards, accessibility, bandwidth issues, latency, and graceful degradation, among others. He sets you in the right direction in thinking how you should code your application with all these ideas in mind since proper patterns will give you smoother working applications with fewer problems when it is released into production. It is a very interesting chapter that does not go into much code but is more of a background on the issues that need to be thought about before developing your architecture. Some of these things you may have already read about in various blogs but is put together wonderfully in this early chapter.

Many of the chapters to follow go through various solutions and Michael goes through various techniques ion how to solve it giving the advantages and negatives starting in chapter 4. The first solution is an Ajax App that helps user enter data quickly with instant validation, integrated searches, and dynamic form field updates. Then he asks questions in order to create this application by first giving a background on how standard web apps (flash, java, desktop, etc) have done this in the past and how Ajax can do this now.

This is done throughout the book in covering different patterns with code illustrations, code snippets and web site examples. This is not a book that you can quickly breeze through mid you. It will take some time for you to read and understand everything the author is trying to get across, but you will have a greater understanding of how to use Ajax effectively and you probably will go back to this book time and time again after you finally finish it. I've never encountered a book quite so informative, but I'm so glad I did especially on such a topic such as Ajax that will be around for many years to come.

The end of the book has a great appendix on the many Ajax libraries and frameworks (Backbase, Dojo, Mochikit, OpenRico, Script.aculo.us, Moo.fx, JSON, SAJAX, Atlas.NET,, etc) that are out now.

Very well done.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa01ac90c) out of 5 stars too long... Feb. 8 2008
By Baskin Tapkan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Got this book in late 2006, and just about a month ago, I finished. I was involved in creating web forms using Rich Internet Applications (RIA) early last year, and I was hoping this book would give me some guidance.

Simply put, I did not see what I was hoping to get but there were so many duplicate use-cases, stories which resemble one after another (as some other reviewers did, I did not count how many), but overall the examples were too specific (as an example check this out from CodeExample: Yahoo!Mindset (on page 335)
OnClick = "setup('1505998205%3Ac26b16%3A105900fde%3Aff4', 'ajax");

I really don't think this statement belongs in a book. In the same story, there is even a mention of Hurricane Katrina. I mean, come on... let's cut the chase. Too many sets of the same "Real-World Examples" used in many different pattern makes the context blurry. It certainly lost me. Yes, it took about 10 months for me to read this book, but I had other projects and priorities.

Overall, the first chapters are well put, explaining what Ajax is etc. But it needs further tuning downstream. I give it 3 out of 5.