Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Head First Ajax 1st Edition

3.7 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596515782
ISBN-10: 0596515782
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$8.69 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$32.33 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
41 New from $10.69 64 Used from $0.77
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

$32.33 FREE Shipping. Only 6 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Head First Ajax
  • +
  • Head First jQuery (Brain-Friendly Guides)
  • +
  • Head First JavaScript Programming
Total price: $98.86
Buy the selected items together

Editorial Reviews

About the Author


New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Head First
  • Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596515782
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596515782
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #659,270 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Related Media

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By calvinnme HALL OF FAME on September 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book is for people who already know HTML very well and are familiar - but not necessarily experts - with CSS and Javascript. If you are not in that category you should probably check out "Head First HTML and CSS" first. This is not a reference book, but a book for understanding and, more importantly remembering Ajax via an unusual presentation style. That unusual presentation style includes fake interviews, lots of illustrations, and question and answer sessions. You are also presented several designs and shown the right and wrong ways to approach problems. Ajax requires a non-traditional approach to web application design, and head first books are always good at adjusting your thought process as painlessly as possible.

The topics covered include designing Ajax applications, Javascript events, multiple event handlers, asynchronous applications, the document object model and its manipulation, frameworks and toolkits, XML requests and responses, Javascript Standard Object Notation, forms and validations, post requests, leftovers, and utility functions.

I liked this book not only for its casual and fun presentation style, but because it starts explaining Ajax at the beginning and does not get confusing as you go forward. The author knows how to ramp up the difficulty level without you really noticing. Plus, you don't feel like you need half a dozen other books to understand what's going on. The author is clear in her explanation of what the book's limitations are.
Comment 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While "Ajax: The Definitive Guide" is certainly exhaustive, it's hard to have confidence in a text so riddled with errors. Other O'Reilly titles I've purchased in the last few years suffer from the same problem: very poor copy editing. In a "Definitive Guide," this is inexcusable.

Furthermore, he author's decision to rely on the Prototype framework is misguided. It saves a few lines of code per page, but one expects a "Definitive Guide" to define, explore, and use the actual objects and methods defined by the language itself, not those defined in one of many, many external libraries.

It is also somewhat comical to read on page 10 that developers, rather than browser vendors, "are to blame for not adopting standards" and that they are "stuck with the mentality of the 1990s, when browser quirks mode, coding hacks, and other tricks were the only things that allowed code to work in all environments," and then to read on page 191 that "Yes, there are always caveats in the world of standards compliance" and that "Example 7-2 will not work in Internet Explorer because Internet Explorer does not support the CSS2 rules that are used to make this work." And on page 187 that "Internet Explorer does not natively support :hover on elements other than <a>. For this reason, instead of using the CSS that will work for all other browsers, we must use this...."

(It's hard not to laugh, too, at a sentence that begins with "To take the file menu example fully to the Web 2.0 level....")

By the time all the errata are corrected and a second edition issued, it might be appropriate for the author to wag his finger at developers who can't yet afford to to be totally standards-pure, but by then the faddish jargon will seem very dated.

And until O'Reilly starts employing copy editors, I'm not buying the first edition of any title they release.
3 Comments 70 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
First, a preface...I like Head First Books. I feel they make great primers for advanced subjects because of their plain-language approach, the playful fun they have, and the focus on the whys as opposed to a cookbook approach.

Now the review (intended for the 1st edition):

The selected content, and the order presented is excellent. I have little to add that hasn't already been shared by previous reviews.

The editing however is laced with errors. I'm only a third through the text so far and have encountered and corrected 6 significant errors in the code. These are all backed up on the HeadFirst errata page, but I have to ask...where was the editor on this book? If I wasn't very familiar with Javascript, much of this code wouldn't work without debugging.

One example as a case in point:

Beginning on page 118, there's a sequence of instructions and code to get you to build a simple tab animation with images. If you build and test the code as written in the text, it has no hope of working as the code was obviously written with different image names than the ones provided with the downloadable code. (the text has you create code [pg.119] to build image filepaths such as "images/beginnersTop.png", when the file it intends to point to is actually "images/beginnersTabActive.png".

The script I'm referring to is intended to be used as an example of bad coding choices...not bad code. It is there to show options for separating behavior from presentation. Despite that, presenting broken code is just not acceptable.

My advice...good book but wait for the next edition when O-Reilly will have hopefully fixed these errors.

And to the editor...you really dropped the ball on this one. A disappointment in an otherwise exemplary series.
Comment 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback
There is a LOT of code in this 950 page book. I guess there is something here for everyone because there is code not directly related to Ajax but is directed to HTML structure or CSS presentational aspects or to frameworks that may include Ajax conveniences.

In fact, the amount of code may interfere with the author's object of appealing to two very different types of people with this book: Web developers and project managers looking for a high-level view. Except for some intro chapters and the odd breather between 10-15 page code listings, I don't think any project managers *I* have worked with would extract much from the book.

The book has 4 sections:
Part 1 - Ajax Fundamentals: the basic technologies that could form the core of a typical Ajax application.

Part 2 - Ajax Foundations: approaches to standards-compliant structure, separation of the presentational layer and client-side behaviors. Code code code!

Part 3 - Ajax in Applications: describes the specific implementations of these technologies into Web applications. More code!

Part 4 - Wrapping Up: tips on optimization.

In addition, there are some reference appendices on XML and XSLT; on JavaScript frameworks; on Ajax implementation risks; and most interestingly, a catalog of freely available Web service APIs.

One thing I did not like about the code listings was the use of Prototype style $() function syntax. This means when I see something like:
var titleText = $('title').firstChild;
I had to check whether .firstChild was a reference to a Prototype object or a reference to the standard DOM object. If the standard object, it would have been a whole lot clear just to have written document.getElementById().

The book index is actually pretty good. With 950 pages stuffed with content, you will probably be thankful for that!
Comment 22 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Head First Ajax
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Head First Ajax

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?