This week's book giveaway is in the OO, Patterns, UML and Refactoring forum. We're giving away four copies of Refactoring for Software Design Smells: Managing Technical Debt and have Girish Suryanarayana, Ganesh Samarthyam & Tushar Sharma on-line! See this thread for details.
"Foundations of Ajax" takes you through the whys and wherefores of Ajax, as well as the meat and potatoes, at a brisk pace. The examples are crystal clear. Multi-language code as used in Ajax is hard to describe clearly. Choosing a particular language for server-side code might have alienated some readers unfamiliar with that language. This book uses fixed XML files to sidestep the problem, which leads to startlingly simple descriptions.
In sum, I think that "Foundations of Ajax" is an excellent piece of work which belongs on every Web developer's bookshelf.
<pre> Review by : Lasse Koskela Rating : 8 horseshoes</pre> "Foundations of Ajax" is the first book I've read about the technology, regardless of the astonishing hype it has received lately. It was an easy read, I learned a lot, and, while I was left wanting something more, still, I'd say this is a great book for getting started on Ajax.
The downside to the book, in my opinion, is that while the second appendix does enumerate a long list of Ajax frameworks, only Taconite (the authors' own framework) is presented in any detail. Frankly, I would've wanted to see the authors present even short examples of more "mainstream" frameworks such as Dojo and Prototype. Somewhat related to this, while after reading the book, I feel I have a good foundation for Ajax and would certainly be capable of putting together some fancy Ajax widgets, I'm afraid I wouldn't get as much "done" as I could if the book would've allocated more inches on using state-of-the-art Ajax frameworks. Having said that, I knew that that wasn't a goal for the book so it's not really too big an issue for me.
<pre>Review by : Gregg Bolinger Rating : 8 horseshoes</pre> The first round of Ajax books have hit the shelves and Apress is trying to make their mark with Foundations of Ajax. A thin book with only 273 pages including the index, Foundations of Ajax hits the mark with its recipe style format and examples.
Foundations of Ajax starts out the way most tech books do with a bit of history and primer for what's to come. Most people familiar with web applications and design can probably just skip chapter 1 and possibly 2. But don't skip anymore. Chapter 3 jumps right in with your first fully functional Ajax enabled web page and it doesn't let up. Some of the examples are dynamic tool tips, textfield autocomplete, dynamic drop down lists, and my favorite, the progress bar. The elements of each example are well explained and easy to understand but aren't diluted with pages of theory and why's. This book is all how.
The last few chapters all deal with tools for the developer to help make Ajax development easier. It talks about Firefox extensions, JSUnit, and lightly touches on some Ajax frameworks though no working examples of any of the frameworks are shown.
I whole heartedly enjoyed this book and it really wet my appetite for Ajax and how I can use it to improve my own applications UI and provide a better experience for the end user. I'd highly recommend this to anyone wanting to learn the "Foundations of Ajax".