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To the authors: best way to start learning Ajax?

Paul Santa Maria
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Joined: Feb 24, 2004
Posts: 236
Hi -

I know virtually nothing about "Ajax". What's the best way to get started? Pick a framework at random? Start from the bottom up, cutting/pasting and experimenting with some JavaScript snippets?

What are your thoughts about a good, gentle, not-too-frustrating introduction to Ajax?


Paul M. Santa Maria, SCJP
Christophe Verré
Sheriff

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14688
    
  16

Concerning books, a brain friendly way to start would be Head Rush Ajax. You'll learn the minimum in no time.
Using Ajax is not so difficult, but using it properly is another story. If you want to know more, you can try Ajax In Action. Very instructive.

A little intro:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ajax_%28programming%29


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Ryan Asleson
Author
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Joined: Sep 15, 2005
Posts: 39
Your best bet is to start small and work from there. You can search the web for some tutorial articles on Ajax, and of course any of the fine books available will help you too.

Either way, I recommend that you first learn the basics of Ajax using the bare XMLHttpRequest object. You don't need to completely master it, but you should have at least a vague idea of what it does and how it works, because most Ajax frameworks are built on top of the XHR object. If you have an understanding of what the framework or library is doing for you under the covers, you'll be better equipped to handle problems when they arise.

To get started with Ajax, do a small example like validation or something like that. Doing so will give you a feel for how Ajax interactions work and behave, and once you have that you can move to bigger and better things.


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
Paul Santa Maria
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2004
Posts: 236
Ryan - thank you very much: exactly what I was looking for.

Satou - I leafed through "Head Rush Ajax" the other night. Although I like the author (I have both the first *and* second editions of Brett McLaughlin's most excellent "Java & XML"), that particular book was definitely not for me. But thank you for the recommendation!

Your .. PSM
Eric Pascarello
author
Rancher

Joined: Nov 08, 2001
Posts: 15376
    
    6
I like to go out to the store buy an industrial size container of the stuff, get a nice sponge and start scrubbing. I start with a small spot and work my way up to the bigger stains.

(Its friday, need some fun)

Eric
Paul Santa Maria
Ranch Hand

Joined: Feb 24, 2004
Posts: 236
Sorry, Eric - but I've always preferred "Comet"

PS:
I browsed through "Ajax in Action" at my local Borders the other night, too. Looks like an awesome book - good job!

PPS:
They didn't have any copies of "Pro Ajax and Java Frameworks", so I don't have any opinion on that one, yet. Who knows - maybe I'll win a copy here ;-)
[ September 22, 2006: Message edited by: Paul Santa Maria ]
 
It is sorta covered in the JavaRanch Style Guide.
 
subject: To the authors: best way to start learning Ajax?