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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Advanced AJAX
Shawn M. Lauriat
Prentice Hall, 2007
John Lear
Appeared in:

The tag line for this book's title is 'Architecture and Best Practices' and it is this that drew my attention. I have been developing web applications using AJAX technologies for almost a year and so was looking for something that would expand my knowledge beyond the basics of the XMLHttpRequest.

The book itself is divided into 11 chapters, each covering a different aspect of web development. Reviewing the chapter titles revealed my first disappointment. There is very little about architecture in this book. What is covered is limited to nothing more than the Model-View-Controller design pattern. One of the most useful sections of this book covers the debugging tools available for the most popular browsers.

This brings me to my second complaint; a lot of the content of this book is not what I would call advanced, some of it is even what I would call basic programming skills. Three of the chapters cover Accessibility, Debugging and source code documentation. Worthy topics in themselves but not what I would expect to find bulking out an Advanced Level book.

There are some omissions as well. I would expect an Advanced book to deal with topics such as session management and to also cover some of the libraries that can be used to abstract away the many differences in how AJAX is implemented in browsers.

Despite these complaints 'Advanced AJAX' is not a bad book, just poorly named. If you don't already own a book cover this topic, you will find lots of useful information here. However, if you already own something on the subject, I would recommend that you give this book a miss.