Foundations of Ajax

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Overview

Ajax burst onto the Web development scene by offering highly interactive, desktop-like Web applications that can be deployed through any modern Web browser without the need for special plug-ins. Ajax is built on existing Web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, and it is used in conjunction with your favorite server-side language. Foundations of Ajax explains how to combine these technologies effectively to implement Ajax into your new or existing Web applications. Like you, we are developers who are ...

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Overview

Ajax burst onto the Web development scene by offering highly interactive, desktop-like Web applications that can be deployed through any modern Web browser without the need for special plug-ins. Ajax is built on existing Web technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, and it is used in conjunction with your favorite server-side language. Foundations of Ajax explains how to combine these technologies effectively to implement Ajax into your new or existing Web applications. Like you, we are developers who are in the trenches, tasked with building Web-enabled applications that provide real value to our customers. As the Web continues to grow, the demand for more expressive and engaging interfaces will continue to increase.

Much of the early hype surrounding Ajax centered on its use by Internet powerhouses such as Google and Amazon. However, just because the initial forays into Ajax were pioneered by leading software development firms doesn't mean your application wouldn’t also benefit from these techniques. You already know how to develop Web applications, so this book uses specific, focused examples to teach the Ajax tools and techniques you’ll need to bring your applications to life. Armed with this book and your existing development expertise, you too will be able to apply Ajax techniques to your application to enrich the end users experience.

When we first saw the potential of Ajax, we knew we had to start leveraging it for our own applications. Along the way weve learned some hard-earned knowledge that we thought needed to be shared with the rest of the development community. With this book, you’ll be able to easily extend your own applications with Ajax and have fun while doing it. We hope that someday well be reading about your great Ajax-enabled application!

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Nathaniel T. Schutta is a software engineer from the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with extensive experience in the financial services arena primarily developing J2EE-based Web applications. He holds a master of science degree in software engineering from the University of Minnesota. For the last several years, he has focused on user interface design by contributing to corporate interface guidelines, and has consulted on a variety of web-based applications within his organization. A longtime member of the Association for Computing Machinery's Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group, and a Sun Certified Web Component Developer, Nathaniel believes if the user can't figure out your application, you've done something wrong. Along with his user interface work, he has contributed to two corporate Java frameworks, developed training material, and lead several study groups. During the brief moments of warm weather found in his home state of Minnesota, he spends as much time on the golf course as his wife will tolerate. He's currently exploring Ruby, Rails, and after recently making the switch, Mac OS X.

Ryan Asleson is a software developer who lives and works in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota. He holds a degree in chemistry from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Ryan has been building Web applications since 1998 and has extensive experience with JavaScript and Web development tools. He helped transition his organization from servlet-based content creation to JavaServer Pages (JSP) and has also maintained a corporate Web application framework based on Java Enterprise Edition. Ryan's interests include performance tuning and standards based development. When not working, Ryan enjoys spending time with his family and doing outdoor activities like fishing, hunting, and water sports.

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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introducing Ajax 1
Ch. 2 Using the XMLHttpRequest object 23
Ch. 3 Communicating with the server : sending requests and processing responses 39
Ch. 4 Implementing basic Ajax techniques 75
Ch. 5 Building the ultimate Ajax developer's toolbox 131
Ch. 6 Testing JavaScript with JsUnit 161
Ch. 7 Exploring JavaScript debugging tools and techniques 193
Ch. 8 Putting it all together 219
App. A Developing cross-browser JavaScript 251
App. B Introducing Ajax frameworks 257
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2006

    Good introductory look at Ajax, but too Java-centric

    With so much energy having been pumped into server-side programming over the last five years, the new trend is a return to developing rich clients. I've previously read several of the intermediate-to-advanced titles currently in print, so I appreciated this book's fundamental tone and approach to teaching what Ajax is and how web programmers can use it in their web applications. The book is what one just wanting to get up to speed with the next big thing would expect, and in that regard is very valuable: short chapters, lots of code and examples that can be directly copied into projects. br br The main concerns of programming with CSS, XML and JavaScript are dealt with properly. The basic construct used to create an XMLHttpRequest object and work with it is replicated throughout the book, showing how easy it us to get up and running with Ajax. There are a few minor syntactical differences in the coding styles used by either author, but those are minor. The book's first four chapters are really good learning tools towards learning Ajax programming, GET'ing and POST'ing data to the server, and processing both text- and XML-based responses. br br The book is very modern, using several up-to-date examples of Ajax programming like those employed by NetFlix and A9, and makes frequent use of sidebars to note cross-browser incompatabilities for those unavoidable DOM quirks. Chapter 4's examples are very useful, pragmatic utilities most sites could use at some point. br br The one glaring point of criticism I have is that the book should have been titled 'Foundations of Ajax for Java'. Not that it's a bad thing, but in contrast to most other books that take a framework-agnostic approach to showing Ajax, often using .NET, PHP, CGI and Java examples, this book sticks with the approach of using servlets (and later, JSPs) to processing remote scripts, and bases the later chapters on testing and debugging on available Java tools. Again, there isn't anything inherently wrong with this, but the approach is a little one-sided for those of us not working in Java shops. br br Overall, this is a great read for any programmer at any level, to be followed by other APress titles on Ajax that deal with more advanced JavaScript programming. It also makes a good teaching reference for a classroom setting.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

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