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4.0 out of 5 stars Great Book has Some Unfortunate Flaws, November 25, 2010
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This review is from: AJAX and PHP: Building Modern Web Applications 2nd Edition (From Technologies to Solutions) (Paperback)
First, big problem with Chapter 9 in that the Figure 9-3 and 9-4 are for Chapter 8. Second the code will not work because of violation of the essential tenant of defining all variables before you use them. That would go the grid.php on page 271. You want to define $response variable to insure code runs everywhere. This you can do with the line $response = new stdClass();

Second is the index.html link tag
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="scripts/themes/jqModal.css" > is incorrect

it should be

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="scripts/themes/jqModal.css" >

On page 265 this link tag is discussed for styling the grid.

<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="themes/coffee/grid.css" >

I had to modify it to add it to the downloaded sample.
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="scripts/themes/coffee/grid.css" >

Basically there is an additional scripts folder in the paths to be wary about when translating the chapter discussion with the downloaded sample.

Other than that, so far as I have not tried all chapters, the downloaded examples appear to work. The book has the caveat that u use the XAMPP software in the Appendix. Some of us use our own server set-ups and that may cause a hitch here or there that are easily overcome since u would be experienced with LAMP server set-ups such as mysqli support in case u did not turn it on. The point here u want to play with examples be sure u read the software requirements they were tested on.

The authors do a great job of breaking down the subjects with a balance between atomic examples and more functionality and thus build more complex examples. There are quite a lot of code dumps in the book which fills the pages. They are explained on subsequent pages. There are comments in the code that does help.

I have a problem with the AJAX code constantly changing throughout the book. It has to do with the authors introducing new concepts. I am not sure where at this point Chapter 5 what code I should adopt for handing the AJAX calls. Somewhere hopefully I will find a definitive statement pointing to the exact code that should be integrated into any independent work.

The grunt of the book is covered in the first four chapters and then the authors take u into serious use of the technologies so far worth exploring.

All the source files are available and they even include the SQL scripts to build tables which saves time so u can run the examples to see the functionality and not key in data.

Overall I find this book well worth the purchase if u are new to these technologies but have fundamental HTML, CSS, PHP, MYSQL, JS experience and if you are strong in those technologies but need to get up to speed in their integration with AJAX which is my case.

I do detest code examples that are not thoroughly tested foisted on readers who then have to either fail or are forced to use advanced skills to debug and fix. A recommendation to publishers is to build the examples and storyboard their explanation progression and then have the authors write.

Errors in the book figures are also something that shows poor quality control from the publishers as well as three authors and professional friends available to check the book. Since they are in the last chapter, I suspect like many books everyone grows tired and want to get it done - done is correctly done so your readers are not dismayed - at least those who try to actually run the examples as is.
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 9, 2013 10:06:59 AM PDT
Errata doesn't really belong on an Amazon page. You should submit this to packtpub.com, and leave this section to reviews. All books have errata, because people are too lazy to test code before they publish.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 9, 2013 4:13:50 PM PDT
Kevin this is not an errata. It is a review. The first few sentences are examples and most of the posting is a review if you read past those few.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 22, 2014 2:53:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 22, 2014 3:14:02 PM PDT
I agree Alonzo, your examples point out the types of errors to be found. I also agree that the code in the book -- and in the download -- should be WORKING code, which it couldn't possibly have been. (With all due respect Kevin, "too lazy" isn't a justification.)
Just my 3 cents ;-)
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