Professional Ajax : Review

Ajax, as you all know is something that is used in most of the new and exciting application released on the web nowdays, Web 2.0 to be precise. Professional Ajax, lights up most the area needed for a web developer to get started with AJAX. The book does a good job academically of showing how Ajax has evolved and how it is used in Web 2.0 applications. The book effectively cites examples in PHP, .NET, and JavaServer Pages. Practically, the authors exhibit a proper mix of (X)HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Dynamic HTML and XmlHttpRequests, showing how the technologies are blended for developing next-gen UIs. The first few chapters have enough information to get a novice started with AJAX.

Title : Professional Ajax
Authors : Nicholas C. Zakas, Jermy McPeak, Joe Fawcett.
Paperback : 432 pages
Publisher : Wrox
ISBN : 0471777781

Professional ajax begins with the evolution of ajax and about the subjects that brought AJAX into existence, javascript, frames, iframes to XMLHttp. The chapter heads to the main Prinicples of AJAX, Technologies behind Ajax and the some of the main examples. There is also a nice part on Confusion and Controversy in the end of the chapter.

Coming to the second chapter, the basics of the AJAX begins which follows up with HTTP Responses , Ajax Communitcation Techniques. Here the examples starts with few easy working with Database creation. Though it sounds only for professionals, Professional Ajax would do great even for people with little knowledge of PHP and Javascript. In this chapter the working with database, php and ajax is shown. Now for trying out the examples live, the codes are offered on the wrox website, http://www.wrox.com/WileyCDA/Section/id-105077.html . It further covers examples of XMLHttp Requests , Further Consideration of the topics and Cache Control.

Ajax Patterns is the third in which Communication Control Patterns is defined with reference to the communcation with server in second chapter, followed by detailed Page Preloading Example, Submission Throttling, Incremental Form and Field Validation Examples, Periodic Refresh, Fallback Patterns and cancellation of requests.

Chapter Four …. XML, XPath and XSLT. Chapter deals with XML, XPath and XSLT support and working in Browsers like IE and Firefox – Cross-Broswer XML

Chapter Five …. Syndication with RSS/Atom . The evolution of RSS 0.91 – RSS 2.0, Atom , FooReader.NET (http://reader.forgetfoo.com/) .
Comment at Amazon: A terse description of content syndication is presented, but then followed exclusively by an analysis the FooReader.NET web-based RSS aggregator app. It’s nice, but doesn’t take a more holistic view of how Ajax is being used elsewhere.
Topics include : Evolution of RSS, Atom ,Client side Components, Server-side Components, Trying the client to the server, Total Setup and testing.

Chapter Six …. Web Services . Now this is something interesting.The use of SOAP begins here, SOAP is a combination of an XML-based language and any number of common protocols for transmitting this data.
Topics include : SOAP, WSDL, REST, Design Decisions, Creating a Windows Web Service, Web Services and Ajax (with IE, Mozilla and Universal Approach ),Cross Domain Web Services, Setting Up the Proxy.

Chapter Seven …. JSON – Javascript Object Notation .
Topics include : What is JSON, Types of Literals, Encoding/Decoding, JSON versus XML, Server-Side JSON Tools, Creating an Autosuggest Text Box

Chapter Eight …. Web Site Widgets
Things sort of get more interesting here, starts with topic Creating a News Ticker Widget and a detailed explanation on it, animation, NewsTickerFeed Class, Styling, Implementation. Further portion includes creation of more nice widgets “Creating a Wheather Widget”, with use of Wheather.com SDK, “Web Search Widget”, “Site Search Widget” – I think it used in the K2 theme of WordPress.

Chapter Nine …. AjaxMail
This 66 page chapter opens up everything needed for a ajaxed Mail service such as Gmail. Though I just had a overlook of the chapter, I believe the example shown is only through POP/SMTP (No PHP SendMail) but it sure is a marvelous chapter. It covers all the basic things starting from the root Architecture .
Topics include: Architecture(Configuration, Retrieving E-mail, getting the mail list,getting specific message, handling attachments, trash, marking message as READ ), Performing Actions, The User Interface, types of views, Functions, types of methods.

Chapter Ten …. Ajax Frameworks
This chapter focuses on three frameworks, JPSpan, DWR & Ajax.NET. it’s installation, working and error handling.

The best AJAX book so far.

Sreejith

The book is available at Amazon

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