The big unstoppable trendy Web 2.0 train is at full steam, allegedly knocking downing the walls of conventional website buildings. Sure, the technologies used may date back to the beginning of the century (wow that sounds like a long time ago!). However, thanks to the publicity and dare I say hype, we are now sitting at the beginning of the second internet bubble. AJAX and PHP by the authors Christian Darie, Bogdan Brinzarea, Flip Chereches-Tosa and Mihai Bucica deals with the underlying fundamental enabling technologies that are fuzzily named AJAX in a succinct, pragmatic and laser sharp vector.
First impressions can be deceptive. However, in this case, luckily not—Ajax and PHP is an excellent read for content creators and programmers of conventional websites that use PHP as their server side language. The content of the book deals with all the salient points for building a more dynamic, active and interesting web content. That is by applying asynchronous updates to partially refill parts of a webpage. The underlying techniques have the potential to create a responsive interaction for the end user that was only previous possible with thick desktop applications. Productivity enhancers such as auto-completion, spell checking, responsive and secure partial server side form validation are not only viable, but relatively straightforward to build.
Ajax and PHP is an excellent read for content creators and programmers of conventional websites
Chapters 3-10 explain by example various potentials such as form validation, chatting, auto completion, realtime charting with SVG, RSS readers, dragging and dropping.
Note: For extra online resources you may visit Christian Darie’s related site.
These days there are numerous AJAX frameworks that are available free. Most of which hide the horrible finicky details away. However, like learning to fly an airplane or drive a car, to be effective you’ll require the prerequisite background knowledge. And that is pragmatically delivered via detailed examples contained within the pages.
From long and sometimes painful experience, I particularly agree with the advice: _Always validate user input on the server_
Who’s this book for?
This book is for developers that wish to understand AJAX from the bottom up or those who wish to build dynamic web content via modern technologies including PHP.
Relevance to free software
AJAX is in the center of the nebulous Web 2.0 movement. Over the coming few years many traditional commercial desktop applications will either be replaced or subsumed by an interactive web interface, many not. For a website creator to remain competitive during this phase or dare I say fashion requires the knowledge contained within AJAX and PHP Building Responsive Web Applications.
If you want to understand how AJAX works or how to build a dynamic website with PHP, this by-example book will help. Further, for your viewing pleasure there is a demo site running live with all the examples mentioned, thus reading listings becomes fun.
There are not many cons to this book. It does what it needs to do accurately. If I really wanted to nitpick, then I could say that, if you are looking for a book for creating dynamic content quickly, then you should look for a book that covers specific AJAX frameworks that hide all the details and do all the work for you. The only problem for you then is, if something fails then, you’ll be working in the dark. At that point, this book’s content will give you the psychological handle bars you need to problem solve.
|Title||AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications|
|Author(s)||Cristian Darie, Bogdan Brinzarea, Filip Chereches-Tosa, Mihai Bucica|
|Over all score||9|