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AJAX - Creating Web Pages with Asynchronous JavaScript and XML by Edmond Woychowsky

Book Review Team
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<pre>Author/s : Edmond Woychowsky
Publisher : Prentice Hall
Category : Web design, HTML and JavaScript
Review by : Ulf Dittmer
Rating : 3 horseshoes
</pre>
This book misses the mark of explaining where and how to use AJAX.

Less than half the pages deal with AJAX itself; the rest is taken up by introductions to (X)HTML, JavaScript, XML, Path, XSLT and Ruby (on Rails) - technologies that are related, but which the brief coverage here doesn't do justice. Furthermore, pages upon pages of HTML element/attribute listings, DOM methods or XSLT functions don't further the insight into AJAX.

The sole in-depth example is a shopping cart application, which is fine, but plenty of simple ready-to-run examples that show various aspects of working with AJAX would help much more. Other examples use outdated techniques like XML islands and hidden frames, which muddles the picture further.

The authors' style of writing also gets in the way. It's probably supposed to be easy-going, but includes a stream of witty and self-deprecating remarks that detract from the content, and by the 10th repetition of "this is all mad-scientist stuff" this reviewer was yearning for some actual stuff, not fluff.

The chapters of the book that do talk about AJAX provide a decent introduction to the XMLHttpRequest object, and how to use it to transfer information back and forth from the server. It?s all bits and pieces, though, and no big picture is ever provided. Anyone who was inspired by Google Mail or Google Maps to build AJAX apps will not know where to start after reading this book.


More info at Amazon.com
More info at Amazon.co.uk
[ September 23, 2006: Message edited by: Book Review Team ]
 
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subject: AJAX - Creating Web Pages with Asynchronous JavaScript and XML by Edmond Woychowsky