Top positive review
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Another cracker from the HF stable
on 12 December 2006
You may, like me, be wondering what the 'Head Rush' appelation is all about compared to the 'Head First' series. This is a slimmer book than the 'Head First' series, coming in at 400 pages (compared to 700-800 for the HF series). Also, it's focussed on a smaller topic. Apart from that, though, it's exactly the same format as the HF books, with some old HF characters popping up. HF stalwarts may be surprised to find that Frowning Woman In Denim is absent from this book, though.
Brett McLaughlin proves he can do the HF style in this book. No worries there at all. In the first chapter, you could perhaps argue that some of the diagrams are over-annotated and have just too many arrows in them. In previous HF books, it was normally obvious what the flow of the diagrams were. Not so here, in a few places. However, from chapter 2 onwards, things are fine. In fact, the whole thing is a delight, as usual.
HR Ajax covers the basics very well and entertainingly so: what makes Ajax different from standard HTML requests, asynchrony, manipulating the DOM, and using XML versus JSON. Plus it mentions some browser-specific gotchas (including Opera and Safari), and provides very brief introductions to JS libraries like Rico and Prototype. Hardcore JS GUI-masters, this is not the book for you. Newcomers to Ajax, start here. You'll be glad you did.