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Learn AJAX Programming And Make Your Web Site Dynamic!

Learn AjaxAJAX, which stands for Asynchronous Javascript And XML, is a group of web programming techniques used to create interactive web applications. With AJAX, web pages can retrieve data from a server in the background (asynchronous) without interfering withthe existing page. AJAX techniques have led to an increase in interactive (dynamic) interfaces and content on web pages. Data is usually retrieved using the XMLHttpRequest object.

AJAX uses a combination of HTML and CSS for page styling and layout. The document object model (DOM) is accessed with JavaScript to dynamically display and interact with the presented information. This makes up the method for exchanging data asynchronously between your visitor’s browser and server, thus avoiding page reloads when new information must be displayed to the user.

AJAX programming is essentially a way to get rid of the hourglass; when a user interacts with an AJAX application, the page quickly gives them what they want. If these are your customers, that’s a very good thing! Google Maps is a prime example of AJAX in action. You can change the map or directions you are looking at on the fly with no page reload. You can also zoom in and out, change from street view to satellite to plain map view and drag the map to view other locations – all without page refreshes and long waits.

The Best Learn AJAX Book

The best way to understand how to integrate AJAX scripting into your websites is to learn AJAX programming. If you are going to do web design or web programming for a living, you can find what you need to know in the following learn AJAX books. Even if you are a casual web designer or Internet marketer who must use pre-written AJAX scripts on your web sites, having a couple well-written reference books at your side can save you hours of frustration. This page will show you the best books we have found for beginning AJAX programming.

Ajax: The Complete Reference

Ajax: The Complete Reference Review
Title: Ajax: The Complete Reference
Author: Thomas Powell
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media; (February 21, 2008)
ISBN-10: 007149216X
ISBN-13: 978-0071492164
Page Count: 654 Pages

Description: “Evolve from the click-and-wait programming pattern to the latest Web 2.0 paradigm using this comprehensive guide to Ajax. Written by Web development expert Thomas Powell, the book lays out every feature of Ajax alongside detailed explanations and real-world code examples.

Ajax: The Complete Reference explains how to create and test Ajax-enabled Web applications using the XMLHttpRequest object as well as alternative JavaScript-based communication mechanisms. You’ll explore a variety of sample applications featuring emerging user-interface conventions and build applications that address real-world networking and security issues. A robust communication library is developed throughout the book that enables you to architect flexible Ajax applications. The latest technologies such as Web services, Flash-Ajax integration, client-side templates, Comet, and Offline Access are also covered. Discover the future of Web development today!”

  • Work with traditional JavaScript communication approaches like iframes
  • Explore all the quirks and details in the XMLHttpRequest object
  • Handle disparate data formats, including XML, JSON, CSV, YAML, and more
  • Deal with networking issues, including timeouts, retries, response ordering, and a variety of server and content errors
  • Simplify JavaScript programming using open-source Ajax libraries like YUI
  • Secure Ajax applications using authentication, obfuscation, and encryption
  • Implement common Ajax UI patterns such as auto suggest, click-to-edit, and drag-and-drop
  • Solve troubling Ajax architecture problems, including back button, history, and bookmarking issues
  • Learn Ajax’s role in Web 2.0 and Web services
  • Explore push style communication using Comet and Flash
  • Discover the future of offline Web application access and operation

Reader Reviews:

“What I like the most about this book is very detailed explanations on how to attack and solve problems. I also love the way how this book has a lot of examples that are compatible to most of the modern browsers. All examples are already presented on the site that goes along with the book. The author also give tips on making design decision when making either small or large scale websites. It is very well written with full of examples that come with detailed explanations. “ -Keun, CA

“I’ve bought this book a year ago, looking for materials to help me with the implementation of AJAX on many of my projects and this is the one it really suit me; the perfect book! Very practical, easy reading and good and helpful examples. One last point: The author reads the comments, questions.. and he answers all of them. I strongly recommend it this material as it will be very helpful, I guarantee it! “ -Fernando, Paraguay

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Scriptin’ with JavaScript and Ajax: A Designer’s Guide

Scriptin' with JavaScript and Ajax: A Designer's Guide Review
Title: Scriptin’ with JavaScript and Ajax: A Designer’s Guide
Author: Charles Wyke-Smith
Publisher: New Riders Press; 1 edition (August 27, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0321572602
ISBN-13: 978-0321572608
Page Count: 312 Pages

Description: “JavaScript is the brains of your Web page — it enables you to modify a document’s structure, styling, and content in response to user actions without requesting new pages from the server. Scriptin’ with JavaScript and Ajax teaches you how to master this powerful and elegant language so you can develop intuitive user interactions that take the user experience to new levels of sophistication and responsiveness.

Today’s application-like Web experiences (such as and Google Maps) and Web 2.0 sites (such as and Twitter) are powered by JavaScript and Ajax. Using the techniques shown in this book, you will be able to start creating similar experiences in the sites you design. Scriptin’ with JavaScript and Ajax will teach you how to:

  • Start developing with JavaScript fast!
  • Write lightweight but powerful object-oriented code
  • Modify the Document Object Model
  • “Progressively enhance” your pages with JavaScript to provide the highest levels of accessibility to all users
  • Learn sophisticated techniques for making your pages respond to user actions
  • Use the downloadable Scriptin’ library of helper functions to speed development and ensure cross-browser compatibility
  • Use Ajax scripting techniques to update specific areas of the page with data from the server
  • Create powerful interface interactions, such as sliding panels and tree menus
  • Evaluate frameworks such as jQuery and Prototype to find the best one for your needs
  • Build an online application that looks and responds like a regular desktop application
  • Easily adapt the Scriptin’ code examples for use in your own projects — download them at

Reader Reviews:

“It gives a great overview of JavaScript and Ajax. The writing style is engaging and approachable, and the examples build on themselves in the same way that a program would be written, with more functionality added in increments, so that the end result is not only a program that works but one that the reader can understand and reuse. This is not a JavaScript or Ajax reference, nor does it try to be. Rather, it guides you to a point where you can understand how to use these technologies in your own work. If you’re already a JavaScript/Ajax expert, you might want something else. For me, this book met its objective of developing practical skills, and gives me a good foundation on which to build.” -Steve, MA

“I found this book to be excellent in bringing JavaScript together. The author used a project to teach JavaScript and included a simple modular approach to create and debug. This book is perfect for the beginner. HTML, CSS, PHP and JavaScript were brought together nicely and understandably. Highly recommended as a new builders aid. “ -S.R, MN

“There are lots of JavaScript and AJAX books out there now, but few really combine both skills into one book. This book by Charles Wyke-Smith is the book you are looking for if you want to quickly get started learning JavaScript with all the latest features (including libraries) and how to incorporate AJAX features as well. A great book and worth buying if you want to learn JavaScript and AJAX the proper way!!!” -Frank, PA

“The author distills lessons down to essentials and manages to present concepts in ways that are more accessible to newbies. The prose is easy to read and the examples — unlike so many other books of this sort — are clearly explained. Often I’ve had trouble relating the examples used in programming books to projects that I am working on. Somehow Wyke-Smith explains things well enough so you can understand how to break your own projects down into the requisite parts.” -Tribippy, OH

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Web Development with JavaScript and AJAX Illuminated

Web Development with JavaScript and AJAX Illuminated Review
Title: Web Development with JavaScript and AJAX Illuminated
Author: Richard Allen, Kai Qian, Xiang Fu, LiXin Tao
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett Publishers; (November 7, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0763754897
ISBN-13: 978-0763754891
Page Count: 320 Pages

Description: “Web Development with JavaScript and AJAX Illuminated provides readers with the cutting-edge techniques needed for web development in Web 2.0. It is ideal for the undergraduate student delving into the world of web development or novice web developers looking to further their understanding of JavaScript and Ajax. This text illustrates how to create dynamic, interactive web applications with ease and interesting real-world case studies throughout the text offer students a glimpse of actual web development scenarios. Make sure you are up to speed on using Ajax – which is quickly becoming the number one tool in the web industry.”

Table of Contents

  • AJAX Defined
  • Web Pages Using Web Standards
  • XML – The X in AJAX
  • JavaScript and the Document Object Model
  • Web Remoting Techniques – The A in AJAX
  • Dojo Toolkit
  • AJAX Challenges and Best Practices
  • AjAX Case Study
  • The Future of Web Applications
  • Appendix

Illuminate your AJAX web development!
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Ajax Programming for the Absolute Beginner

Ajax Programming for the Absolute Beginner Review
Title: Ajax Programming for the Absolute Beginner
Author: Jerry Lee Ford, Jr.
Publisher: Course Technology PTR; 1 edition (October 13, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1598635646
ISBN-13: 978-1598635645
Page Count: 320 Pages

Description: “Learn Ajax the easy way! If you are new to programming with Ajax and are looking for a solid introduction, this is the book for you. Developed by computer science instructors, this series teaches the principles of programming through simple game creation. You will acquire the skills that you need for more practical programming applications and will learn how these skills can be put to use in real-world scenarios. Best of all, by the time you finish the book you will be able to apply the basic principles you’ve learned to the next programming language you tackle.”

Table of Contents


  • An AJAX Overview
  • An Introduction to JavaScript
  • A Deeper Dive Into JavaScript
  • Understanding the Document Object Model
  • AJAX Basics
  • Digging Deeper Into AJAX
  • Working With XML
  • Working With Cascading Style Sheets
  • Working With AJAX and PHP
  • Important AJAX Design Issues

Appendix A: What’s on the Companion Website?
Appendix B: What’s Next?

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Bulletproof Ajax

Bulletproof Ajax Review
Title: Bulletproof Ajax
Author: Jeremy Keith, Aaron Gustafson (Technical Editor)
Publisher: New Riders; 1st edition (February 19, 2007)
ISBN-10: 0321472667
ISBN-13: 978-0321472663
Page Count: 216 Pages

Description: “Web site designers love the idea of Ajax – of creating Web pages in which information can be updated without refreshing the entire page. But for those who aren’t hard-core programmers, enhancing pages using Ajax can be a challenge. Even more of a challenge is making sure those pages work for all users. In Bulletproof Ajax, author Jeremy Keith demonstrates how developers comfortable with CSS and (X)HTML can build Ajax functionality without frameworks, using the ideas of graceful degradation and progressive enhancement to ensure that the pages work for all users. Throughout this step-by-step guide, his emphasis is on best practices with an approach to building Ajax pages called Hijax, which improves flexibility and avoids worst-case scenarios.”

This Step-by-step guide reveals best practices for enhancing Web sites with Ajax:

  • A step-by-step guide to enhancing Web sites with Ajax.
  • Uses progressive enhancement techniques to ensure graceful degradation (which makes sites usable in all browsers).
  • Shows readers how to write their own Ajax scripts instead of relying on third-party libraries.

Reader Reviews:

“Bulletproof AJAX by Jeremy Keith was an excellent beginners book to AJAX. The book starts with the very basics and walks you to the end where you create a fictional bookstore that utilizes AJAX. Overall, this book was a great read. I believe it will help a user have a complete grasp of AJAX. AJAX is a tricky subject, and Jeremy does a great job of tackling each subject in great detail. This is a must read for those who are interested in understanding AJAX and its place in the world of web standards. “ -Nate, OH

“The book is aimed at web designers as opposed to programmers. Jeremy does not use fancy techno-babble when regular simple English will suffice. He wants to make sure that anybody can understand the concepts of Ajax and that its components (JavaScript, XML, XMLHTTPRequest) can be used properly by anybody who is willing to learn. Not too many books are written like this (unfortunately) and it is a joy to read. This book is short, the bang for the buck is more than any other Ajax book on the market today, hands down. Go out and buy it! “ -Frank, PA

“This is clear, concise, and what I would describe as a “page turner” — you just have to keep reading once you start reading it. It is a basic intro to AJAX, but very solid and detailed. Highest recommendation.” -Epsilon, CA

“Bulletproof Ajax is an excellent intro to Ajax. It covers both coding Ajax and also design issues and other considerations, all in a very clear style. The coding examples start simple and are extended step-by-step so they’re easy to follow. So I heartily recommend it to anyone looking for an easy high-level intro to Ajax.” -Eric, WA

“This one is a breath of fresh air into the verbosity of other Ajax books. Keith keeps the topics as clear as they must be. I also found this book a valuable fast reference for DOM scripting. If you want a book to help you quickly understand the Ajax core technologies, well, this is it! “ -Costa, USA

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Head First Ajax

Head First Ajax Review
Title: Head First Ajax
Author: Rebecca M. Riordan
Publisher: O’Reilly Media; 1 edition (August 26, 2008)
ISBN-10: 0596515782
ISBN-13: 978-0596515782
Page Count: 528 Pages

Description: “Ajax is no longer an experimental approach to website development, but the key to building browser-based applications that form the cornerstone of Web 2.0. Head First Ajax gives you an up-to-date perspective that lets you see exactly what you can do – and has been done – with Ajax. With it, you get a highly practical, in-depth, and mature view of what is now a mature development approach.

Using the unique and highly effective visual format that has turned Head First titles into runaway bestsellers, this book offers a big picture overview to introduce Ajax, and then explores the use of individual Ajax components – including the JavaScript event model, DOM, XML, JSON, and more – as it progresses. You’ll find plenty of sample applications that illustrate the concepts, along with exercises, quizzes, and other interactive features to help you retain what you’ve learned. Head First Ajax covers:

  • The JavaScript event model
  • Making Ajax requests with XMLHTTPREQUEST objects
  • The asynchronous application model
  • The Document Object Model (DOM)
  • Manipulating the DOM in JavaScript
  • Controlling the browser with the Browser Object Model
  • XHTML Forms
  • POST Requests
  • XML Syntax and the XML DOM tree
  • XML Requests & Responses
  • JSON – an alternative to XML
  • Ajax architecture & patterns
  • The Prototype Library

The book also discusses the server-side implications of building Ajax applications, and uses a “black box” approach to server-side components. Head First Ajax is the ideal guide for experienced web developers comfortable with scripting – particularly those who have completed the exercises in Head First JavaScript – and for experienced programmers in Java, PHP, and C# who want to learn client-side programming.”

Reader Reviews:

“In a few minutes, Head First Ajax lets you understand the basics of this technology without any trouble. It is a must have for anyone involved on the web development and programming.” -Leobardo, TX

“This book is for people who already know HTML very well and are familiar – but not necessarily experts – with CSS and JavaScript. 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.” -Calvin, VA

“I could not put this book down. I have a decent amount of experience with JavaScript and the DOM, etc., but I always thought of AJAX as something alien that would be difficult to understand. It turns out that this is just a different way of using what I already know. The book is very well organized and helps to make the concepts very understandable.” -Eric, USA

“If you’re new to anything that Head First offers a book for, I strongly recommend you start with them. Their books aren’t the most in depth, but they do a great job of introducing the concepts and helping you wrap your head around the technology. “ -John, TX

“This was a well organized book to learn from. It presented the ideas in easily understood format with good examples and exercises. The book did a great job of explaining the concepts of .NET and OOPs in general so you can really understand what you are doing and why.” -Ken, MD

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