Head Rush Ajax

Posted By: dvampyr
Head Rush Ajax

# Paperback: 413 pages
# Publisher: O'Reilly Media (March 1, 2006)
# Language: English
# ISBN: 0596102259

Asynchronous JavaScript And XML, or its acronym, Ajax, is a Web development technique for creating interactive web applications. The intent is to make web pages feel more responsive by exchanging small amounts of data with the server behind the scenes, so that the entire Web page does not have to be reloaded each time the user makes a change. This is meant to increase the Web page's interactivity, speed, and usability.
The Ajax technique uses a combination of:
1. XHTML (or HTML), CSS, for marking up and styling information.
2. The DOM accessed with a client-side scripting language, especially ECMAScript implementations like JavaScript and JScript, to dynamically display and interact with the information presented.
3. The XMLHttpRequest object to exchange data asynchronously with the web server. In some Ajax frameworks and in certain situations, an IFrame object is used instead of the XMLHttpRequest object to exchange data with the web server.
4. XML is commonly used as the format for transferring data back from the server, although any format will work, including preformatted HTML, plain text, JSON and even EBML.
Thus, like DHTML, Ajax is not a technology in itself, but a term that refers to the use of a group of technologies together.
"Head Rush Ajax" uses the head-first approach that has worked so well in books on Java, Design Patterns, and HTML. This book is aimed at teaching designers, JavaScript programmers, and your 'everyday' web developer about Ajax. Many of the other books on Ajax are focused on little widgets and gadgets and tricks. However, none of them seem to actually talk about the web browser, asynchrony, and really focus on what Ajax is. Ajax may be a combination of technologies that have been around for a while, but that hardly means that everybody really gets what all those technologies are. So this book talks about JavaScript, and the web browser, asynchronous requests, and the Document Object Model, rather than blazing through that in 65 pages and spending 400 pages talking about esoteric user interface patterns and server-side languages. This is a book that a normal web developer or even a motivated designer can pick up, and get some light bulbs to turn on.
Readers will have their first working application before they finish Chapter one. This book skips all the hype, talks about what the web browser is, and how it's a far richer and more important player in web applications - and especially in asynchronous applications - than most people realize.
I highly recommend it to readers who are intimidated with the alphabet soup of acronyms and technologies that web development has become.
Amazon does not show the table of contents, so I do that here with a short description of each chapter:

1. Using Ajax - A short overview of the technology.

2. Speaking the Language - Discusses asynchronous JavaScript. Learn how to send requests on different browsers, master "ready states", "status codes", and some extra dynamic HTML tricks.

3. She Blinded Me with Asynchrony - Learn how to send users' requests to the server while users continue to work while waiting on a response.

4. Web Page Forestry - Using the Document Object Model you start writing code that updates web pages on the fly.

4.5 A Second Helping - Shows more DOM via a nifty DOM-based application. Learn some new event handlers, how to change a node's style, and create a user-friendly dynamic application.

5. Saying More with POST - Eliminates send(null) and shows how to send more data to a server in your asynchronous requests.

6. More Than Words Can Say - Talks about using XML in your requests.

7. A Fight To the Finish - Talks about JSON and XML, two different formats for transmitting data in asynchronous requests.

A.1 Extras - Ajax toolkits

A.2 Ajax and DOM Utilities - Utility code that may have seemed advanced when you first saw it in the book.