- 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)
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Head First Ajax 1st Edition
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About the Author
With twenty years experience in the field, Rebecca M. Riordan has earned an international reputation for designing and implementing computer systems that are technically sound, reliable, and effectively meet her clients' needs. Her particular area of expertise is database design and she is a five year Access MVP. Rebecca has also authored several database books and served as a senior technical support engineer for Microsoft's database products. As a Microsoft employee in Australia, Rebecca was the Senior technical support engineer for Microsoft's database products.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is very complicated to read. The examples aren't explained very well. If there was a dummies book on this topic, I would purchase it first. Then I would read this book.Published 12 months ago by Speedlearner
This book is terribly outdated now. The advent of jQuery makes much of the authors code seem overly complex these days. Read morePublished on June 27, 2013 by Kevin Anderson
While the concept of the book is good and appeals to the nerd/comic book lover in me, it was a bit overly complicated. Read morePublished on June 1, 2013 by M. J. Phillips
Head First Ajax by Rebecca Riordan is by far the best introduction to AJAX I've yet to encounter--and possibly the most lucid web development book I have read thus far! Read morePublished on April 30, 2013 by Susanne C
It is amazing how they make things easy to understand. It is entertaining and useful at the same time. I do recommend it!Published on April 6, 2013 by Jaime Montoya
Too much for somebody that wants to learn fast. Too much information. But if you are bookworm, this book is for you.Published on December 24, 2012 by Amazon Customer
Reading this book is a pain. First off, it is poorly organized. The author jumps from topic to topic with no continuity or building upon previous topics. Read morePublished on August 8, 2012 by Schmander