Ajax in Action – Review

Ajax in Action helps you implement that thinking–it explains how to distribute the application between the client and the server (hint: use a “nested MVC” design) while retaining the integrity of the system. You will learn how to ensure your app is flexible and maintainable, and how good, structured design can help avoid problems like browser incompatibilities. Along the way it helps you unlearn many old coding habits. Above all, it opens your mind to the many advantages gained by placing much of the processing in the browser. If you are a web developer who has prior experience with web technologies, this book is for you.

Who should read this book?

Ajax is at the crossroads of a number of disciplines; readers will approach it from a number of directions. On the one hand there are professional enterprise developers with computer science degrees and several years of hands-on experience with large software projects, who need to sometimes pop their heads above the battlements and work with the presentation tier. On the other hand are creative professionals who have moved from graphic design to web design and “new media,” and taught themselves how to program using scripting languages such as PHP, Visual Basic, or JavaScript/ActionScript. In between there are desktop app developers retraining for the Web and sysadmins called upon to put together web-based management tools, as well as many others.

All of these possible readers have a real interest in Ajax. We’ve tried to address the needs of all of them, at least to some extent, in this book. We provide pointers to the basic web technologies for the server-side developer used to treating the web browser as a dumb terminal. We also give a grounding in software design and organization for the new media developer who may be more used to ad hoc coding styles. Wherever you come from, Ajax is a cross-disciplinary technology and will lead you into some unfamiliar areas. We’re going to stretch you a bit, and ask you to pick up a few new skills along the way. We’ve done the same in our own use of Ajax, even while writing this book. We have found it to be a very rewarding and enjoyable experience, with benefits extending to other aspects of our professional lives.

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