Hello Brett ! I'm a long time reader of your columns at IBM dW and an owner of your books (Java&XML, Java 1.5 , Building Enterprise Application volume1). Man, I enjoy your writing, you have the gift of writing well in addition of your sense of humor. Sir, we already have other Ajax books (Ajax In Action, Professional Ajax). Where do your book shines ? Can we develop Swing applications (more accuratly, desktop applications) that use Ajax ? BTW, I want to ask you about your blog, because it seems to me that your blog at java.net is no more active and your website doesn't has it either. Well Brett, thank you for being in the ranch and I waiting more articles and tutorials from you at dW.
Thanks for the kind words. I do think there are some key differences between Head Rush Ajax and the other Ajax books -- just as I think there are key differences between all Head First books, as compared to other "traditional" books.
But before I say anything else, let me be clear that I think that the other Ajax books are good, and important. So this isn't some sort of "My book is bigger than your book." :-)
But, the focus of all Head First/Head Rush books is on concept. We believe -- "we" being the Head First authors and team -- that concept is king. Lots of code examples are great, wonderful, but not nearly as important as really learning what's going on. So you'll read a -lot- about what the web browser really is in Head Rush Ajax. That might seem pretty basic, but it's core to really understanding Ajax. You'll learn a ton about asynchrony, and then spend a whopping two chapters on the DOM (that's almost 100 pages, which is way more than anything else I've ever seen). That's because we believe that if you can really wrap your head around these core concepts, then putting them together in specific and interesting ways is pretty easy.
So if you have lots of Ajax code, but really aren't sure how to come up with a new combination of technologies, or a new spin on the samples you have, Head Rush Ajax can really ground you. If all you're looking for is specific applications, and you think (even though most people don't) you really do understand the core principles in Ajax apps, then you might want to look at Ajax in Action, or Ajax Hacks.
That's my $0.02. Keep in mind I'm biased, though... but I think the consistent comments we get about Head First and Head Rush bear out that we emphasize concept heavily.
Series Editor, Head First<br />Author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596102259/newinstance-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Head Rush Ajax</a> and <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Head-First-Object-Oriented-Analysis-Design/dp/0596008678/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/104-5348268-5670331?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1192568453&sr=8-1/newInstance-20" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Head First OOA&D</a>