This week's giveaway is in the Android forum.
We're giving away four copies of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons and have Godfrey Nolan on-line!
See this thread for details.
The moose likes HTML, CSS and JavaScript and the fly likes How about AJAX in Action? Big Moose Saloon
  Search | Java FAQ | Recent Topics | Flagged Topics | Hot Topics | Zero Replies
Register / Login


Win a copy of Android Security Essentials Live Lessons this week in the Android forum!
JavaRanch » Java Forums » Engineering » HTML, CSS and JavaScript
Bookmark "How about AJAX in Action?" Watch "How about AJAX in Action?" New topic
Author

How about AJAX in Action?

Bruce Jin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 666
I bought �ajax In Action� and was greatly disappointed. It has a few pages about ajax and all other pages are about Javascript and its best practices.

I have a feeling "Foundations of Ajax" will be an empty book too because AJAX is a very simple thing and it needs only an online tutorial to teach you everything.

But I have not read "Foundations of Ajax" and I hope it will offer more.

I have been using AJAX here and there in my projects. It is a good stuff! (and very easy to use too!)


BJ - SCJP and SCWCD
We love Java programming. It is contagious, very cool, and lot of fun. - Peter Coad, Java Design

Crazy Bikes created by m-Power
Ryan Asleson
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 15, 2005
Posts: 39
Foundations of Ajax is very focused on Ajax. Our motto while writing the book was "Everything you need to know; nothing you don't." For most developers, the only "new" part is the XMLHttpRequest object and how to use it properly. We figured that most developers already have knowledge of HTML and their server-side language of choice and that they didn't need our help with that. So, we decided to stick to what the audience needed most: Implementing Ajax via the XMLHttpRequest object and the tools and techniques that will make such and endeavour successful.

Take a look at the table of contents found here (PDF):

http://www.apress.com/book/supplementDownload.html?bID=10042&sID=3022

You'll see that Foundations of Ajax is a fast-paced tutorial through the Ajax world and it's immediate tools an techniques.

The examples in Foundations of Ajax are very small and focused, so that the subject at hand can be readily digested and learned. We don't clutter up our examples with things like database access because we felt that the average reader already knows how to do that (using their server-side language of choice) and doesn't need our help with that.

Take a look at Foundations of Ajax. We think you'll be pleasantly surprised!


Ryan Asleson<br />Co-Author, <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Foundations-Ajax-Foundation-Ryan-Asleson/dp/1590595823/sr=1-1/qid=1158926537/ref=pd_bbs_1/002-7412154-2924860?ie=UTF8&s=books" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Foundations of Ajax</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Pro-Ajax-Java-Frameworks/dp/1590596773/ref=sr_11_1/002-7412154-2924860?ie=UTF8" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Pro Ajax and Java Frameworks</a><br /><a href="http://taconite.sf.net" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Taconite</a> Lead Developer
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Bruce Jin:
I bought �ajax In Action� and was greatly disappointed. It has a few pages about ajax and all other pages are about Javascript and its best practices.

I have a feeling "Foundations of Ajax" will be an empty book too because AJAX is a very simple thing and it needs only an online tutorial to teach you everything.

But I have not read "Foundations of Ajax" and I hope it will offer more.

I have been using AJAX here and there in my projects. It is a good stuff! (and very easy to use too!)


Well many reviews of 'Ajax in action' talk the contrary to your opinion. If you are a super user of a new technology, it is more than often that any of the so called books will be felt useless.


Kishore
SCJP, blog
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24183
    
  34

Historically, most JavaScript programs have been a few lines, a few dozen at the most. There is a lot of very sloppy JavaScript code out there, but because of its small size, this hasn't mattered much. This is why tool support for JavaScript has traditionally been weak: full-blown JavaScript IDEs haven't really been necessary.

With AJAX, we see JavaScript being taken to the next level, with very substantial libraries and relatively large amounts of code. Without very sound programming practices in place, any attempt to write a nontrivial AJAX application runs the risk of collapsing into a puddle of goo. Both these books do a tremendous job of introducing the tools and techniques you will really need to create JavaScript programs at a new level of quality.


[Jess in Action][AskingGoodQuestions]
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

all other pages are about Javascript and its best practices.


What did you expect? The 'J' in Ajax stands for Javascript. Without Javascript, there could be no Ajax.

The strength of Ajax In Action, in my opinion. is that is spends a great deal of time discussing how to prevent your Ajax apps -- which will be heavy on Javascript by necessity -- from turning into a steaming pile of unmaintainable crap through the use of accepted design patterns and best practices.

If you're not interested in Javascript, Ajax is not a technology for you.


[Asking smart questions] [Bear's FrontMan] [About Bear] [Books by Bear]
Nate Schutta
Author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 09, 2004
Posts: 39
I�d just like to add that it�s all about the audience. Sure, there are some people out there for whom Foundations of Ajax, Ajax in Action and the other books coming out will be an �empty� but for many other developers the material will be just what they need to get started. You can learn just about anything from the web these days but I still buy books � they�re portable, great resolution, and the material is already gathered for me. I would hope that any developer can find something of value from all the books on Ajax.


Nate Schutta<br />Coauthor of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&camp=1789&tag=ntschuttacom-20&creative=9325&path=tg/detail/-/1590595823/qid=1127567332/sr=8-1/ref=pd_bbs_1?v=glance%26s=books%26n=507846" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Foundations of Ajax</a><br />My blog: <a href="http://www.ntschutta.com/jat/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Just a Thought</a>
Mark Spritzler
ranger
Sheriff

Joined: Feb 05, 2001
Posts: 17249
    
    6

While I am jsut started learning the stuff of AJAX, I see that AJAX requires a lot of JavaScript, as well as CSS, XML, and DOM.

I suggest that everyone that wants to learn this technology to get both books. I think they compliment each other really well.

Mark


Perfect World Programming, LLC - Two Laptop Bag - Tube Organizer
How to Ask Questions the Smart Way FAQ
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
Amazon has a good deal on buying both too!

The problem with writing a book on Ajax is who is your target audience. Ajax is a new area that people wanted to attack and we have everyone from senior developers to people who play with code for fun. Everyone is expecting something different.

When an author sits down to write a book, you have to find your target audience. Are you going to go for people that have no clue what JavaScript is? Are you going for peole that are experts in JavaScript? Are you going to go after a certain server side market? Can you make everyone happy?

I know that Dave Crane and I had to sit down and figure this out with our publisher. It was a hard choice. The Foundations guys went after the Java market while Dave and I went with all the markets with our book. I personally am a .NET developer as everyone that talks to me on the forum knows. Dave was a Java and PHP guy. So it made sense for us to develop a book that could cater to anyone. We attack the JavaScript one two different levels. A "low level" approach for beginners and a "high level" for the beginners and experts.

I am sure Nate and Ryan went through the same process.

Now to step back into my hole.
Eric
Kishore Dandu
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Posts: 1934
Originally posted by Eric Pascarello:
I personally am a .NET developer as everyone that talks to me on the forum knows.


Off topic:

My goodness. A .net developer working as bartender for Javaranch.

I don't know how to take it

Positive take:
1. Javaranch is open minded to the hilt such that some one reasonably related to practises in j2EE or java arena is accepted here.

Negative take:
1. Damn javaranch top brass are maligning the java movement by handing the keys to .net(technology which is a true copy and from a behamoth with awkward intentions) folks.

Please consider this as a offtopic and non-personal comment.
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
Kishore,

To make it worse I been coding in VB.NET for the past 2.5 years. My new job is in C# so I guess I am doing a little better.

Eric
Kenneth A. Kousen
gunslinger & author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 18, 2002
Posts: 89
    
    5
I have to disagree. I really like the Ajax in Action book, too. The best part is the set of example projects, which show how to use Ajax in practice.

That said, I think this book works best in combination with the Foundations book, not instead of it.

Ken Kousen


Kenneth A. Kousen, Ph.D. (assorted certs), President, Kousen IT, Inc.
Author of Making Java Groovy - http://www.kousenit.com
Bruce Jin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 666
Thanks for the responses.
I should point out that my disappointment was due to my expectation about Ajax. When I got �Ajax in Action� I quickly read the introduction about ajax (a few pages at the end of Chapter 2) and I was looking forward more about it in the following pages. However at the beginning of Chapter 3 the book says:

With what we�ve learned so far, it�s possible to build that super-duper Ajax powered web application that you�ve always dreamed of. It�s also possible to get into terrible trouble and end up with a tangle of code, HTML markup, and styling that is impossible to maintain and that mysteriously stops working one day�

I guess I was surprised that Ajax could really be explained in just a few pages.
Thanks.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

I guess I was surprised that Ajax could really be explained in just a few pages.


I would expect delightment rather than disappointment.
Bruce Jin
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 20, 2001
Posts: 666
Disappointment is that the thin topic is stretched to a bit thick book of 600+ pages. Remember our Foundation of Ajax is only about 200+ pages.
Thanks.
Bear Bibeault
Author and ninkuma
Marshal

Joined: Jan 10, 2002
Posts: 60804
    
  65

Disappointment is that the thin topic is stretched to a bit thick book of 600+ pages.


The rules of chess can be described with a few paragraphs. Would you expect a book on mastering chess to be one page long?
Jay Kamdar
Greenhorn

Joined: Sep 02, 2005
Posts: 22
This book seems good. I want to know about Javascript so ajax book will really help me
Michael Schuerig
Greenhorn

Joined: Nov 19, 2005
Posts: 1
If you take Ajax in Action as a more or less introductory tutorial you won't be disappointed. From the current crop of books -- as far as I know them! -- it appears the most thorough one.

That said, there are a lot of things still missing. I surely hope that publishers don't flood the market with ever more introductions and really advanced books start to appear soon. Topics that I'd like to see covered are

  • Test-driven development. This is already pretty straightforward for computational code. It is hard for code that interacts with a user or a server (impossible to do cross-browser?).
  • Error handling.
  • CSS layout for web-based applications. CSS mostly caters to the page design community; coaxing it into service for applications is no pleasure. Ceterum censeo, fixed pixel layouts are evil.
  • Client-side architecture. Beyond saying "use MVC", that is.

  •  
    Don't get me started about those stupid light bulbs.
     
    subject: How about AJAX in Action?
     
    Similar Threads
    XSL and AJAX
    Ajax pitfalls in Head Rush
    Complete Ajax Progress Bar Example?
    Foundations of Ajax by Ryan Asleson, Nathaniel T. Schutta
    Foundations of Ajax or Ajax in Action