SAMS Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes
SAMS Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes
SAMS Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes
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Price: $3.76 FREE for Members
Type: eBook
Released:
Publisher: Sams
Page Count: 240
Format: chm
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0672328682
ISBN-13: 9780672328688
User Rating: 3.6667 out of 5 Stars! (3 Votes)

SAMS Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes ebook


Phil Ballard ebook


Sams Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes is a concise introduction to the basics of building Ajax applications and the architecture and operation of these applications. You will learn the techniques employed in using Ajax, introducing Ajax and explaining how it may be used to solve realistic user interface problems. You will be able to immediately begin building web applications, and will have platform from which to explore more advanced aspects of Ajax.

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Sams Teach Yourself Ajax in 10 Minutes is a concise introduction to the basics of building Ajax applications and the architecture and operation of these applications. You will learn the techniques employed in using Ajax, introducing Ajax and explaining how it may be used to solve realistic user interface problems. You will be able to immediately begin building web applications, and will have platform from which to explore more advanced aspects of Ajax.


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| 4 out of 5 Stars!


Good cheap introduction

  

Who is the author?

Phil Ballard is behind themousewhisperer and crackajax.

Description

The small book of some 220 pages has four parts.

The first part resumes what you need to know before doing any AJAX: HTML, HTTP, JavaScript, PHP, XML. Explains javascript-access to XML DOM.

The second part introduces AJAX. AJAX is motivated snippets as text.

The third part show how to use the XMLHttpRequest object with text and with XML, asynchronously, with SOAP, and lists some gotchas. The SOAP example constructs the SOAP requests directly in javascript and takes the SOAP response apart in the same way.

The fourth part briefly recommends three toolkits for AJAX programming:
prototype.js, encapsulation.
Rico, which goes on top of prototype.js, which lets you register page elements for manipulation from an AJAX-response. Also gives drag & drop, which is not AJAX, but often will be followed independent XMLHttpRequest creation.
It is not tied to any framework or library and lets you understand what is behind the libraries by experimenting directly with the XMLHttpRequest object. There is a little use of PHP on the server.
In the explanations, I feel that UML sequence diagrams would have helped, for example on page 79. With AJAX, it is important to understand what methods are called, when they are called, and where they are.

I like that the authour seems in favour of using AJAX for returning html text, and of using the simple REST philosophy, when these simple techniques are sufficient for a particular design. Too often people get tempted into using more complex technologies without being clear about whether they are really necessary.

The SOAP example constructs the SOAP envelope manually and takes the SOAP response apart manually. Of course, SOAP is a lot of work if you do it that way! Realistically, must use a library that encapsulates the SOAP protocol and lets you communicate in terms of objects. SOAP is remote procedure call. It is only advisable to use SOAP if you really need the generality of remote procedure call and if you do, SOAP is a better option than making your own protocol.

For who is the book?

The book is for web programmers that already know HTML, HTTP, JavaScript and want to start using AJAX. The book recaps the important points of these topics as far as they will be used in the book.

| 3 out of 5 Stars!


The audience for this book is somewhat confusing...

  

In a perfect world, you could pick up any new technology in 10 minute chunks. But the world isn't perfect, and some technologies don't even come close to this 10 minute standard. This could be a case in point... Teach Yourself AJAX in 10 Minutes A Refresher on Web Technologies: Anatomy of a Website; Writing Web Pages in HTML; Sending Requests Using HTTP; Client-Side Coding Using JavaScript; Server-Side Programming in PHP; A Brief Introduction to XML
Part 2 - Introducing Ajax: Anatomy of an Ajax Application; The XMLHTTPRequest Object; Talking with the Server; Using the Returned Data; Our First Ajax Application
Part 3 - More Complex Ajax Technologies: Returning Data as Text; AHAH - Asynchronous HTML and HTTP; Returning Data as XML; Web Services and the REST Protocol; Web Services Using SOAP; A JavaScript Library for Ajax; Ajax "Gotchas"
Part 4 - Commercial and Open Source Ajax Resources: the prototype.js Toolkit; Using Rico; Using XOAD
Index

I don't think that this is a bad book... It's just that it tries to cover a whole lot of material in a short format, and as such ends up with a muddled target audience. Ajax is a combination of technologies, so you just can't cover a single subject and be done with it. The first part of the book attempts to be a refresher for HTML, JavaScript, and numerous other subjects that can be large books unto themselves. But if you need this refresher, it's likely that you're not at a point where you could effectively use Ajax anyway. Part 2 is solid information, albeit constrained depth information...

I found the book most helpful if I viewed each chapter on its own merits based on my interest level. For instance, the "gotchas" chapter is good if you're trying to avoid common issues that Ajax applications encounter. But I'm not sure if there's enough "single chapter" material here to make it an attractive recommendation to someone who already is dabbling in Ajax and has other reference material. And I definitely wouldn't recommend it as a first exposure to Ajax for a newbie...

| 4 out of 5 Stars!


Good general overview of AJAX

  

I was looking for some basic information on AJAX, such as the XMLHttpRequest object. I was not aware that simple HTM (or any other text) could be passed back from the web server, now I know and that's very useful to know, since those are more useful to me that XML. This book gave me the general basic info I needed. Now that I've got a working knowledge of AJAX, I can find another book with more detail for more advanced uses of the capability.

I think the book wasted space with it's attempt at an intro to html and intro to javascript. I'm not sure that anyone unfamiliar with these aspects of web development needs to be tackling AJAX, because they're probably not the least bit knowledgeable of server-side technology.

I would have appreciated the server-side scripting to be ASP instead of PHP (with which I'm not familiar), but that's a minor issue since the scrips are small and easy enough to grasp what they're doing.

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