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Paperback Ajax and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications Book

ISBN: 1904811825

ISBN13: 9781904811824

Ajax and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications

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Book Overview

Building Responsive Web Applications with AJAX and PHP is the most practical and efficient resource a reader can get to enter the exciting world of AJAX. This book will teach you how to create faster, lighter, better web applications by using the AJAX ingredients technologies to their full potential. Assuming a basic knowledge of PHP, XML, JavaScript and MySQL, this book will help you understand how the heart of AJAX beats and how the constituent...

Customer Reviews

4 ratings

It's Much More than AJAX and PHP

I admit, when I first opened this book, I thought it would contain a dry discussion of how to use AJAX methods with PHP. But the book turned out to be so much more than advertised, I think its title must be wrong. It should have been called, "How to Use AJAX Methods with PHP, MySQL, DOM, CSS, SVG, XSL, XML, RSS, and JavaScript Frameworks." I certainly never expected to read it cover to cover, but that's what I did. In addition to integrating a wide range of modern web technologies, the book contains great examples of how to write building blocks for powerful web applications. These include form validation, chat, suggest, auto-complete, charting, grid, RSS, and drag-and-drop. Somewhere in the code for these functions are techniques for almost everything you might want to program into an application. What I really like about the book, however, is the ongoing explanation of how to write the code so it will be secure, and will perform correctly in every browser. Most books I have read don't bother with such details, but this one even lays out a method to create user-friendly error reporting in production mode. It has a strong focus on writing code that might actually be used in a production environment. My only quibble with the authors is that they seemed to be avoiding OOP in their JavaScript, though they used it with their PHP code throughout the book. They said OOP emulation techniques required a longer learning curve. However, the result of their decision is JavaScript files that run for seven or eight pages. I really think that OOP would have been less intimidating to a new programmer than page after page of unbroken code. I would recommend that the authors at least use eye-catching headers for the major functions in these files to help the reader understand the structure of the code. (Readers of the book as published might want to take a highlight pen to the function headings.) As someone who is attempting to write my first significant web application, I think this book is wonderful. I expect to wear it out before I'm through looking up techniques. I already know that my application will need chat, validation, suggest, and data grid. This book practically hands me the code for these. But more than that, it provides me with a view of the basic methods to do many other things. Much of the major content of this book is code. While the authors explain how the code works, the reader will still need to know the basics of HTML, CSS, SQL, and scripting languages, such as PHP and JavaScript. Another major advantage of this book, however, is that the authors give web links to many of the best tutorials on these topics. In fact, it would be possible to start with this book, and use the authors' suggested links to look up almost every major web technology in order to learn it in the context of AJAX and PHP. All in all, that's a lot of value for a book that has less than 300 pages!

AJAX and PHP by Example

This book teaches by example. The first few chapters introduce AJAX and what part PHP, Javascript and XML all play. Then the remainder of the book takes you through several example applications. The example apps are simple enough that you can easily follow. These applications include Form Validation, Chat, Suggest and Autocomplete, Charting with SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics), using grids, and Drag and Drop. Each example begins by showing you the source code and how to actually implemented/deploy that application. There is also a supporting appendix for additional information about deploying the examples on a web server. Then each chapter follows by by explaining how the example worked. If you would like to quickly begin using AJAX from PHP this book is a great start.

Just what I needed

Ajax and PHP came at exactly the right time in my self-inflicted education as I am just now gaining functional literacy in OOP, Client/Server. PHP, CSS et. al.. There are a lot of things to like about this book, starting with its organization. It starts off by documenting what you need to know to best use of this book. And supplies the URL/Hyperlinks to get those literacies if you don't have them. (Thank you!) It achieves a nice balance of choosing what needs to go into an appendix. It dispenses with the common irritating practice of showing code "excerpts" in favor of showing the entire script and follows each script example with a "What just happened" section that is as clear and concise as you will find anywhere. If you only buy one AJAX book, make it this one.

Solid package bundled with great AJAX and PHP code

If you are a PHP programmer who is looking to start integrating AJAX in your upcoming projects, then this book will be a perfect start for you. The book focuses more on code rather than theory, and explains the pile of code in an easy manner. The book starts with a great chapter explaining how web evolved and why the need for AJAX was created. It then explains what AJAX is and how it works - a difficult task to explain to the beginners, but the authors did it wonderfully. For the kick-starters, the chapter ends with a simple yet interesting hand-on example of a quick AJAX app, something that inspires many. The next chapter goes into the basics of JavaScript, DOM, XMLHTTPRequest and related key points and explains each of them with good examples. This makes sure that you know what you'll do and why you'll do things in a specific way. Before going into building core AJAX functionalities, the authors then introduces you to handling several PHP situations with AJAX (error handling, returning outputs, etc). Also, they show you how you can create the bridge between AJAX and MySQL. After telling you everything you need to boost your own site with AJAX, they start to tell you how you can avail different AJAX functionalities in your site - Form Validation, Auto complete, Real-time Charting, Drag-n-drop, and so on. These are divided in the rest of the book in chapters. Each of them has a real-life working example that can make you think "Oh man!! I was looking for this to be in my site!!!" Although it's more code than theory, you won't loose the path as they start the chapters with a problem-solving manner and after showing the code, explain them step-by-step. The book marvels at boosting you with both knowledge and practical application of AJAX to start with. But, it lacks in telling about the many great AJAX frameworks out there for PHP. The authors could have gone further to include a chapter mentioning the PHP-based open-source frameworks currently available (such as AJASON, XAJAX, TinyAJAX, AJAX Agent, etc). This could have helped the readers avoid writing all the basic request handling codes by hand (in both JavaScript and PHP). Also, there could have been a more detailed explanation on where the usage of AJAX is not appropriate. Apart from this, the book was a sheer pleasure to follow and the choices of examples were very relevant to the current web trends and should help anyone who wants to implement AJAX real soon.
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