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AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications [Paperback]

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Item description for AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications by Cristian Darie...

AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications 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 technologies work together. This book is written web developers with a basic knowledge of PHP, XML, JavaScript and MySQL. After teaching the foundations, the book will walk you through numerous real-world case studies covering tasks you'll be likely to need for your own applications: * Server-enabled form-validation page * Online chat collaboration tool * Customized type-ahead text entry solution * Real-time charting using SVG * Database-enabled, editable and customizable data grid * RSS aggregator application * A server-managed sortable list with drag&drop support using the JavaScript toolkit

The appendices guide you through installing your working environment, using powerful tools that enable debugging, improving, and profiling your code, working with XSLT and XPath.

Chapter 1: AJAX and The Future Of Web Applications is an initial incursion into the world of AJAX and the vast possibilities it opens up for web developers and companies, to offer a better experience to their users. In this chapter you'll also build your first AJAX-enabled web page, which will give you a first look of the component technologies.

Chapter 2: Client-Side Techniques with Smarter JavaScript will guide you through the technologies you'll use to build AJAX web clients, using JavaScript, DOM, the XMLHttpRequest object, and XML. While not being a complete tutorial for these technologies, you'll be taken to the right track of using them together to build a solid foundation for your future applications.

Chapter 3: Server-Side Techniques with PHP and MySQL completes the theory foundation by presenting how to create smart servers to interact with your AJAX client. You'll learn various techniques for implementing common tasks, including handling security and error handling problems.

Chapter 4: AJAX Form Validation guides you through creating a responsive, modern form with real-time validation based on server data.

Chapter 5: AJAX Chat presents a simple online chat that works exclusively using AJAX code, without Java applets, Flash code, or other specialized library, as most chat applications work these days.

Chapter 6: AJAX Suggest and Autocomplete builds a Google-suggest like feature, that helps you find PHP functions, and forward you to the official help page for the chosen function.

Chapter 7: SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is a text-based graphics language that can be used to draw shapes and text. (SVG is supported natively by Firefox 1.5, and requires a SVG plugin with other browsers). In this case study you learn how to implement a realtime charting solution with AJAX and SVG.

Chapter 8: AJAX Grid teaches you how to build powerful updatable data grid. You'll learn how to parse XML documents using XSLT to generate the looks of your grid.

Chapter 9: AJAX RSS Reader uses the SimpleXML PHP library, XML and XSLT, to build a simple RSS aggregator.

Chapter 10: AJAX Drag and Drop is a demonstration of using the framework to build a simple list of elements with drag&drop functionality.

Appendix A: Configuring Your Working Environment teaches you how to install and configure the required software: Apache, PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   284
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 7.4" Height: 0.7"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 1, 2006
Publisher   Packt Publishing
ISBN  1904811825  
ISBN13  9781904811824  

Availability  0 units.

More About Cristian Darie

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Cristian Darie is a software engineer with experience in a wide range of modern technologies, and the author of numerous books, including his popular AJAX and PHP tutorial by Packt, his ASP.NET E-Commerce tutorial, by APress and his forthcoming SEO tutorial for PHP developers by Wrox Press. Cristian is studying distributed application architectures for his PhD, and is getting involved with various commercial and research projects. When not planning to buy Google, he enjoys his bit of social life. If you want to say "hi," you can reach Cristian through his personal website at http: //

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Databases > Specific Databases > MySQL & mSQL
2Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Home & Office > Internet
3Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Programming > General
4Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Web Development > Scripting & Programming > General
5Books > Subjects > Computers & Internet > Web Development > Scripting & Programming > PHP

Reviews - What do customers think about AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications?

not worth the price  Jul 16, 2008
This book does offer good insights into php and ajax. It however tends to not teach as much as redirect. It points to a lot of free resources on the web to explain things it should have had as it's own chapter.

I also spends way to many pages showing duplicate code. For example in the 2nd chapter it spends significant time creating a function called createXmlHttpRequestObject. This function is about 1/2 a printed page. then in every later chapter this same function is printed at least twice per chapter. This isn't the only example and in ends up that you have 10-15 pages of code for each section most of which is duplicate from previous sections. You could easily cut 50-100 pages from the book by removing the duplication.

The book also doesn't spend any time on security. Specifically it doesn't show how to create a secure login or to validate that the javascript on the client is authorized to get the data that it is requesting. Everything is free and open with only basic validation that data is in the correct form.

That being said it does provide a broad range of ways to use ajax. I would happily spend $10 on it again. Unfortunately i spent over double that :(
Ideal book for those who currently have some PHP, XML, JavaScript and MySQL already under their belt.   Jun 1, 2008
AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications is the ideal book for those who currently have some PHP, XML, JavaScript and MySQL already under their belt. Little time is spent on the basics of these technologies other than a brief history of the Web and predictions for future Web applications making this book a great segue for those looking to take their basic skills to the next level. The code is well documented and commented so if you are the type of person who prefers to jump right in and work with code, then this book is for you.

The biggest strength of this book is that is provides practical code examples that teaches the reader how to combine and use these technologies together. Some of the most handy examples are server-enabled form validation, an online chat tool and an RSS feed reader. Even if you only need to know one of these items, though there are plenty more, it's well worth it to pick up this book. No only will you be able to create these applications yourself, but you'll learn best practices and understand the why and how of each program as well. Additionally, the book's companion website is quite good and allows you to download all of the code. This can be especially helpful if you find yourself getting stuck somewhere and want to do a side-by-side comparison of the your code and the book code. There are even five free additional PDF chapters for download including an updated version of Chapter 5 - AJAX Chat - which uses JSON instead of XML.

However, if you're the type of person that is looking for a very concise, step-by-step book, you may find yourself frustrated. Just as its strengths are in letting you jump right into the code, if you're not at the stage where you're comfortable with any of the included technologies, you'll quickly find yourself overwhelmed with a lack of direction and an abundance of code. Additionally, while the use of bold type clearly indicates emphasis on specific code lines, if anything could improve this book, just for readability's sake, it would color-indicated code.

In conclusion, if you've already gotten your feet wet with PHP, XML, JavaScript and MySQL then AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications will help you get to the next level with real-world code examples and projects. You'll not just "copy code" but gain an understanding as to the "why and how" of creating AJAX Web applications.
Packt Publishing Nails Another One!  May 21, 2008
The good folks at Packt Publishing have really nailed it with this title. This is one of the best books I have read on the topic of PHP and AJAX. They really broke down what the point and objectives of using AJAX with PHP are and then explained how to do things in a way that makes plenty of sense.

This book has no lack of code to copy, luckily most of the code can be found on the companion site hosted by Packt Publishing. I must say that as of my experience all the code was in working order, which was a pleasant change from some other coding books I have read recently.

The XMLHttpRequest code in AJAX and PHP is quite impressive including try/catch formula for catching exceptions and failures in the code and handling them properly, again a very welcome change to some of the coding books or recent. I was particularly impressed with the structure of the code regarding the handling of responses as well as all the explanations of the code used in each example, never did the authors leave you wondering what any piece of code did, or why it do so.

The book is a short 260 pages, and just full of useful information. A great follow up to this book would be anything DHTML as that is where most of the AJAX examples want to seem to lead a reader. Having a knowledge of DHTML is not important however a firm understanding of PHP and JavaScript would really benefit a reader choosing AJAX and PHP.
Grea book for beginners and intermediates.  Nov 10, 2007
AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications

This is a great book for beginners as well as intermediate users of AJAX.

I have about 5 years of experience with PHP and 7 with Javascript and I had none with AJAX. I read a few tutorials online about AJAX and after reading some of this book, I love it.

This book is a great start with AJAX, especially if you are a PHP programmer like myself.

If you are looking to start building with PHP and AJAX, I recommend this book.
Not best practices, not cross browser, not teaching  Aug 15, 2007
The book would be ok as a reference or code examples with brief explanations. However, the code practices used, when compared to other current books left me very disappointed.

The Good:
- Good examples, all code is documented
- Different projects - code provided online
- The end results are good. (for Windows)

The Bad:
- Coding. They practice what I'd call "potluck programming". Basically you get 1 php page with inline calls to JavaScript, PHP, HTML and even some CSS properties. Maybe some programmers like this approach, but personally, I've been moving away from it, keeping your HTML alone, and inline JavaScript calls non-existent. The whole programming is basically obstrusive, taking over the file. Just bad programming practices. This is the biggest gripe I have with this book. Any current book should be teaching the more modern and less obstrusive ways of programming.
- MAC support. A lot of the applications simply do not work, or work with lots of quirks under Safari and OS X. I know the market share is just around 5%, but it makes some of the applications worthless for those people.
- There is not much in the way of teaching, I wanted to learn a bit more. The book has a lot of code, but the explanation section seems very lacking. (10 pages of code, followed by a "what just happened" section with less than 10 pages of code (there is less explanation than code, even though a lot of the code is repeated in that section.)

Overall, I was expecting a lot more from this book. I use both PHP and starting to use Ajax, and was hoping this would help, but I would not recommend this book to anybody. There are better books that talk about both Ajax and PHP without having PHP in the title. Professional Ajax is one example and presents the code in different files (though it ocassional reverts back to inline JS).

If you want a book of examples, but don't care much about your coding style, you could very well enjoy the book. If you are striving to become a better programmer, and use unobstrusive practices, stay away from this book, as you will be thoroughly disappointed. Also stay away if you use a OS X for most of your work.

I would title the book: "Code for responsive web applications using AJAX and PHP".
You will not learn how to build those applications, but they will be kind enough to provide you with their code.

Edit (here is what I mean by potluck/inline javascript, obtrusive and JS dependent code)
Copy and paste did not work - so I'll give you a general idea:
On the main (X)HTML/PHP page, you have inline calls to JavaScript/Ajax functions like:
Body onload="jsFunction" // inline JS

Basically the application do not work with JS disabled, they don't degrade gracefully, making them not very accessible. That is my main issue with the book.

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