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Ajax by Edmond Woychowsky

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Ajax by Edmond Woychowsky

Ajax by Edmond Woychowsky

Image courtesy Prentice Hall

The Bottom Line

This is a very technical book for Web developers who want to learn Ajax. It covers the basics of Ajax including XHTML, XML, JavaScript, and the XMLHttpRequest. It also goes into detail about other technologies like Xpath, XSLT, and Ruby on Rails.
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  • Lots of great examples and code samples.
  • Good coverage of several different XML options.


  • Very little information on server-side technology.
  • Very technical.


  • The first four chapters cover the basics of Ajax including JS and XHTML.
  • Chapter 5 shows how to use Ajax with HTML and JavaScript and no server-side scripts.
  • Chapters 6-8 cover using XML and the XMLHttpRequest object to create applications.
  • Chapters 9-11 cover XPath and XSLT and how they relate to Ajax.
  • I like Chapter 12 because it shows you how to be lazy and get away with it.
  • Chapters 13 and 14 cover using Ruby as your server-side scripting language.
  • Chapter 15 explains how to write cross-browser Ajax with the DOM.
  • Chapter 16 talks about some other tech including Ajax libraries, JSON, and ATLAS.

Guide Review - Ajax by Edmond Woychowsky

This is a great book for Web programmers who want to learn Ajax. There are tons of code samples and lots of programming. It is not a book for beginners. I liked it, but I'd already read like four Ajax books before I picked this one up and I can write OO code like Java and C++.

What I liked about this book

I loved the examples using Ruby. Ruby is so new that it's easy to get excited about it. And it was fun working with code in Ruby when I wasn't specifically reading a Ruby book or Web site.

He also covered a lot about XML that was really useful if you're going to be working with XML content. Sending data as XML is a good idea because it's more compact than sending the entire Web page, and the XMLHttpRequest is sometimes thought of as the backbone of Ajax.

What I didn't like so much

It was very technical. That is actually a good thing, but not for many Web designers. If you're a graphics-oriented Web designer then you should avoid this Ajax book. It will just reaffirm your belief that programmers are at best strange.

It refers to Ajax as standing for Asynchronous JavaScript And XML, which as nice as that sounds is misleading. It has been noted that JavaScript is essential to Ajax, but XML is not. And in fact, many of his examples don't use any XML.

When It's All Said and Done

If you think of yourself as a programmer first and a designer second, then this will be a great Ajax book to pick up. But if you're new to JavaScript, XML, or programming you should look at something that takes you up to speed in Ajax at a walk rather than the gallop this book runs at.

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