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Ajax For Dummies Paperback – 24 Feb 2006

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: For Dummies; 1 edition (24 Feb. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471785970
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471785972
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 884,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Steve Holzner, PhD, received his undergraduate graduate degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his PhD at Cornell University. He also taught Physics at Cornell University for over ten years and is the author of Physics For Dummies, Quantum Physics For Dummies, Physics Workbook For Dummies and Quantum Physics Workbook For Dummies.

Product Description


"...done a great job of explaining the various technologies behind Ajax...." ( Practical Web Design, June 2006)

"...surprisingly good book..." (Computer Shoppers, June 2006)

From the Back Cover

Create Web applications that act like desktop ones

Brush up on JavaScript, use free Ajax frameworks, and make your sites rock

What if shoppers at your online store could fill their carts without waiting for multiple page refreshes? What if searches produced instant results on the same page? With this book you won′t have to wonder "what if" you can use Ajax to make it happen! Get the scoop on all the technologies and start cranking out great applications.

Discover how to

  • Use CSS with Ajax
  • Connect to Ajax communities
  • Handle browsers that don?t do JavaScript
  • Tie Ajax into Google
  • Work with XML DOM
  • Connect Ajax to PHP and JSP

See all Product Description

Inside This Book

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Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a review of the kindle edition.

The formatting of this ebook is absolutely terrible. All the bits are present, but not necessarily in the right order, the right size, the right color, or the right font.

It seems that the software which converts the original to kindle format gets confused by drop-caps, figures, tables, and source code.

It further appears that no human -- or at least none with any sense of pride -- bothered to check the conversion.

Having seen the sample, I thought that I would be able to tolerate the formatting, especially for the bargain price of £3.77, but a quarter of the way through the book, I found myself totally frustrated.

I returned it for a refund, since to do otherwise would simply encourage these half-baked conversions.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book has good clear step by step examples to drive home the concepts of AJAX. It has code examples that can be downloaded to back up the book examples. So anyone who wants to get up and running withAJAX can start here and will not be over whelmed. I did find that a couple of chapters dedicated to client and server frameworks on AJAX overly long, a little out of date.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A gem for beginners to Ajax, provided they are very proficient with Javascript and XML. But I suspect it will 'age' very quickly and most IT textbooks do.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x972f3f60) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x973059c0) out of 5 stars Hello, does the word "proofreading" mean anything to you? 21 May 2006
By Inveterate Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
This might be a wonderful book but it's hard to tell through the proofreading errors. I'm only 27 pages into chapter 2 and I've already found 25 errors. The errors might be manageable to someone who already knows how to program in JavaScript. But for those new to the language the errors will drive you crazy. There's no excuse for this kind of sloppiness in publishing. Whoever proofread this book ought to be fired.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97305dc8) out of 5 stars Good coverage with some unique features... 29 April 2006
By Thomas Duff - Published on
Format: Paperback
Ajax is obviously one of the hot web technologies these days, and now we have the Dummies title that covers it... Ajax for Dummies by Steve Holzner. While it might be easy to write this off as "just another Dummies book", I don't know that I'd be so hasty...


Part 1 - Getting Started: Ajax 101; It's All About JavaScript

Part 2 - Programming in Ajax: Getting to Know Ajax; Ajax in Depth

Part 3 - Ajax Frameworks: Introducing Ajax Frameworks; More Powerful Ajax Frameworks; Server-Side Ajax Frameworks

Part 4 - In-Depth Ajax Power: Handling XML in Ajax Applications; Working with Cascading Style Sheets in Ajax Applications; Working with Ajax and PHP

Part 5 - The Part of Tens: Ten Ajax Design Issues You Should Know About; Ten Super-Useful Ajax Resources


As I said, I wouldn't write this off as just another Dummies title. For one, Steve Holzner has an excellent track record of writing tech books that have become the go-to references in the industry. As per usual, he also does a great job on this book, albeit in the "Dummies" style of presentation and writing. There is an abundance of code and screen shots that make it easy to follow along, and he presents just enough background on JavaScript and other Ajax components to bring you up-to-speed if those are not your strong areas. The only "nit" I have is that some of the code and screen shots in Chapter 2 don't quite mesh. The code statements for what should be on the screen don't quite match what actually printed out. It's as if the screen shot was made with a slightly reworded JavaScript routine. It still is essentially the same, but it threw me slightly as I was going through the material.

I felt the book really came to life in Part 3 with coverage of the different frameworks. I don't think any of the other books I've read on Ajax to date have had quite this much information on all the different frameworks you can implement to eliminate much of the "heavy lifting". Since Steve does a good job of presenting the pros and cons of each, you'll quickly determine if a framework is the way you want to go, and which options might be best for your particular project.

While not the most technical book on the subject, Ajax for Dummies does bring some angles to the table that aren't present (or as strong) in other books. It'd be a good introduction to the subject matter, or a nice second volume to gain a different perspective on the technology.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97305e40) out of 5 stars Code Samples didn't work 30 Aug. 2007
By David Smith - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Usually the "for Dummies" books are well, written, humorous and informative. This one, however, needed to go back for some serious editing.

The writing style was stilted and hard to follow, not to mention there were plenty of errors.

But I could overlook that if the content was valuable. Unfortunately, there were many problems with the content in this book.

First, the example code did not match the screen shots. Mostly it was some trivial wording changes, but things like that lower the reader's confidence in the veracity of the book.

Second, the way Holzer steps you through the code is both confusing and a waste of space. He shows a code snippet - but just the lines he's describing. Then the next snippet is the first snippet plus a few more lines (in bold), and on and on, so that you almost never see the entire code file in one piece, and in some cases he doesn't show the entire contents of the file at all.

That wouldn't be so bad, because of course you can download all the examples from the website. The problem is, about half of them don't work, and being an Ajax Dummy, I don't know how to debug them. I tried them in Firefox and Safari, and got the same results in both.

The author and publisher need to go back through this book and revalidate everything, and rewrite the code samples so they're more like every other programming book out there.
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97305be8) out of 5 stars Holzner is one of the best tech writers 27 Jun. 2006
By Jerry Saperstein - Published on
Format: Paperback
I admit to being a fan of Steve Holzner. The man is an excellent technical writer with a knack for communicating the most complex concepts in simple, concise language.

I had (and still have) no particular interest in Ajax, but because I try to stay conversant with all platforms, I felt that if anyone could explain Ajax quickly, it would be Holzner.

I am not disappointed.

I don't think this book, despite its being a "dummies" title, will do a neophyte much good. If you aren't at least minimally familiar with HTML, Javascript, XML, PHP, CGIt CSS and some other technologies, you'll get lost really fast.

On the other hand, for people who already possess at least some basic knowledge of these technologies, Holzner's book will quickl provide the conceptual framework you need for understanding Ajax.

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97308324) out of 5 stars An well-rounded guide for beginners 29 Aug. 2006
By R. Williams - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book is for people who know OF Ajax, but want to know more ABOUT Ajax. It walks through the layering of the different technologies that make Ajax what is, and in a very organized, logical, and effective way. The style and humor of the series is present as always, and there are lots of great examples and exercises included.

After completing the book and working on various projects, it becomes less useful and you'll probably want to switch to a more reference-oriented book. For beginners though, this book cannot be beat.
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