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):
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
Joined: Jul 10, 2001
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.
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>
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.
I am sure Nate and Ryan went through the same process.
Now to step back into my hole. Eric
Joined: Jul 10, 2001
Originally posted by Eric Pascarello: I personally am a .NET developer as everyone that talks to me on the forum knows.
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.
Joined: Nov 08, 2001
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.
Kenneth A. Kousen
gunslinger & author
Joined: Sep 18, 2002
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.
Kenneth A. Kousen, Ph.D. (assorted certs)
President, Kousen IT, Inc.
Author of Making Java Groovy: http://www.manning.com/kousen http://www.kousenit.com
Joined: Sep 20, 2001
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.
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?
Joined: Sep 02, 2005
Joined: Nov 19, 2005
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?).
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.