AJAX: fast mastery for experienced Web developers!
Already an experienced Web developer? Apply your skills in today’s fastest-growing area of Web development: AJAX!
Building on what you already know, this fast-paced guide will show you exactly how to create rich, usable Internet applications. Joshua Eichorn teaches through sophisticated code examples, including extensive server-side PHP code.
You won’t just learn how to code AJAX applications: Eichorn covers the entire development lifecycle, from use cases and design through debugging. He also presents detailed application case studies, including a start-to-finish update of a non-AJAX application that addresses everything from feature improvements to changing usage patterns. Coverage includes:
· How AJAX changes the conventional Web development cycle
· Problems created by the AJAX paradigm -- and how to avoid them
· Adding AJAX to existing Web applications: key considerations
· Using core AJAX technologies, including the XMLHttpRequest object
· Consuming data returned to an AJAX application using both XSLT and JSON
· Building more usable AJAX applications: guidelines and downloadable resources
· Use cases: solving real-world problems in the AJAX environment
· Libraries and toolkits for simplifying AJAX development, including Sarissa, scriptaculous, and HTML_AJAX
· A complete guide to AJAX debugging
· Supporting browsers without XMLHttpRequest by using IFrames or cookies
· JSON data encoding debugging guide, which covers tools for Firefox and Internet Explorer
· A list of libraries, which includes PHP, .NET, Java, and other libraries that can be used with any server language
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Joshua Eichorn, senior architect for Uversa, has developed custom solutions that have incorporated AJAX concepts since before the term “AJAX” was coined. He has more than six years’ experience with Open Source projects, and created phpDocumentor, the #1 PHP documentation solution. He is currently lead maintainer of the HTML_AJAX PHP PEAR library, and helps to run the Phoenix, Arizona PHP Users Group. His blog, There and Back Again (blog.joshuaeichorn.com) , focuses on AJAX and PHP innovations.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
What You Will Learn
This book focuses on using AJAX to create a new style of Web applications. It covers the following topics:
Ways to perform AJAX communications
AJAX communications models, both Remote Procedure Call (RPC) and document-centric
Usability guidelines and tips
How to choose an AJAX library
Ways to measure improvements in task completion speeds
How to add AJAX to an existing application
How to build rich applications
How to debug AJAX applications
The Sarissa Extensible Markup Language (XML) AJAX library
Scriptaculous effects and widgets
HTML_AJAX, which is an AJAX library with PHP support
Organization of the Book
This book is divided into two main parts and three appendixes. The first part, which encompasses Chapters 1–7, covers the basics of AJAX and how it fits into the rest of the Web development world. It includes introductions to the basic technology (such as XMLHttpRequest), facts about how to get the most out of AJAX, and tips regarding usability. Chapter 7 covers debugging, because bugs are bound to happen in any development environment, and AJAX affects how you implement many current Web-development debugging techniques.
Summary of Chapters
The first part of the book builds a basic understanding of AJAX and shows how the technology works. It builds a foundation that will allow you to build complete applications. Specifically, it covers the following:
Chapter 1, "What Is AJAX?" provides an overview of AJAX, what it actually means, and where it came from.
Chapter 2, "Getting Started," is a guide to basic AJAX implementation covering AJAX communications powered by XMLHttpRequest, IFrames, and cookies.
Chapter 3, "Consuming the Sent Data," shows the various ways to use the data that you learned how to transmit between the client and server in Chapter 2. It includes both document-centric approaches (such as processing XML and displaying HTML) and RPC approaches.
Chapter 4, "Adding AJAX to Your Web Development Process," covers some of the ways that AJAX will change the development process and the ways in which you can deal with these changes. It also covers how to pick an AJAX library.
Chapter 5, "Getting the Most from AJAX," provides a mental framework for thinking about AJAX and deciding when to use it. The chapter also provides some basic tools for measuring the time it takes for a task to be completed.
Chapter 6, "Usability Guidelines," provides a set of usability guidelines for building AJAX applications.
The second part of this book introduces you to three AJAX libraries and then looks at use cases in which they are used. Specifically, it covers the following:
Chapter 10, "Speeding Up Data Display," builds a small application for browsing large amounts of data and dealing with a graph that is very slow to generate.
Chapter 11, "Adding an AJAX Login to a Blog" adds an AJAX login to a sample blog application, showing how an AJAX login could work and how it could be used to load additional information at the time it is needed.
Typographic conventions are used throughout this book to convey information. Italic font is used for emphasis and for citations of others' work. Code-based items are shown like this and include variable names, function and class names, and filenames.
Where to Get Examples Used in This book
The example programs used in this book can be found at http://understandingajax.net.
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