The Easy, Example-Based Guide to Ajax for Every Web Developer
Using Ajax, you can build Web applications with the sophistication and usability of traditional desktop
applications and you can do it using standards and open source software. Now, for the first time,
there's an easy, example-driven guide to Ajax for every Web and open source developer, regardless of
one step at a time, he introduces techniques for building increasingly rich applications. Don't worry if
you're not an expert on Ajax's underlying technologies; Woychowsky offers refreshers on them, from
standards throughout, ranging from Firefox to Ruby and MySQL.
You'll not only learn how to write "functional" code, but also master design patterns for writing rocksolid,
high-performance Ajax applications. You'll also learn how to use frameworks such as Ruby on
Rails to get the job done fast.
Download the Sample Program Code for this book.
Download the Sample Chapter from this book.
Because I am a member of the "we learn by doing" cult (no Kool Aid required), you'll find more code examples than you can shake a stick at. So this is the book for those people who enjoyed the labs more than the lectures. If enjoyed is the wrong word, feel free to substitute the words "learned more from."
Until around 2005, the "we learn by doing" group of developers was obscured by the belief that a piece of paper called a certification meant more than hands-on knowledge. I suppose that, in a way, it did. Unfortunately, when jobs became fewer and farther between, developers began to collect certifications the way that Imelda Marcos collected shoes. Encyclopedic knowledge might have helped in getting interviews and subsequent jobs, but it really didn't help very much in keeping those jobs. However, now that the pendulum has begun to swing in the other direction, it is starting to become more important to actually know a subject than to be certified in it. This leads to the question of "Why learn Ajax?"
The answer to that question can be either short and sweet or as rich and varied as the concept of Ajax itself. Let's start with the first answer because it looks good on the resumé. We all know that when something looks good on the resumé, it helps to keep us in the manner in which we have become accustomed, living indoors and eating regularly. Couple this with the knowledge of actually having hands-on knowledge, and the odds of keeping the job are greatly increased.
The rich and varied answer is that, to parrot half of the people writing about web development trends, Ajax is the wave of the future. Of course, this leads to the statement, "I heard the same thing about DHTML, and nobody has talked about that for five years." Yes, some of the same things were said about DHTML, but this time it is different.
The difference is that, this time, the technology has evolved naturally instead of being sprung upon the world just so developers could play buzzword bingo with their resumés. This time, there are actual working examples beyond the pixie dust following our mouse pointers around. This time, the companies using these techniques are real companies, with histories extending beyond last Thursday. This time, things are done with a reason beyond the "it's cool" factor.
Beyond my disdain for the drag-and-drop method of web development, there is a logical reason for the need to know something about HTMLbasically, we're going to be modifying the HTML document after it is loaded in the browser. Nothing really outrageous will be done to the documentmerely taking elements out, putting elements in, and modifying elements in place.