Customer Review

3.0 out of 5 stars It's ok, but not a huge amount of content, 6 July 2014
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This review is from: Bulletproof Ajax (Voices That Matter) (Paperback)
Jeremy Keith’s “DOM Scripting Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model” is the best written tech book that I have read in years (and I read a lot of tech books). As a result, I had high expectations for his “Bulletproof Ajax”. Unfortunately, I was disappointed.

At just under 200 pages (excluding the index), it’s the size of book that an experienced developer could get through easily in a weekend (I did). However, a significant number of those pages are not directly related to Ajax. Whereas in the DOM Scripting book it made sense to include a basic JavaScript tutorial, it seems unlikely that people would buy a book about Ajax if they didn’t already have some JavaScript knowledge. Remove the JavaScript tutorial and some trivia about the history of the name Ajax, and the book is a fair bit shorter. XMLHttpRequest is only introduced at page 45. For people who have read the DOM Scripting book (which anybody doing web-site development or testing really should), the chapter on Hijax can probably also be skipped. Hijax and Progressive Enhancement are things I wish more people would use, but if you've read the DOM Scripting book, you don't need to read it again.

On the plus side, in the remaining pages there are quite a few useful snippets of information and quite a few useful references worth following up. I would have liked stronger conclusions regarding data format choice and best practices for accessibility, but on accessibility at least it may still be impossible to provide a perfect or near perfect solution. I’ll take away from reading this book a few things to look for when code reviewing other peoples’ code, and a few things to take into account when developing my own, but not a huge number of either. I do like Jeremy Keith’s emphasis on Progressive Enhancement, but I think the DOM Scripting book covers it better.

So, it’s ok, but comes nowhere close to Jeremy Keith’s DOM Scripting book. Is “Bulletproof Ajax” worth the RRP? Well, yes it is, if you compare the cost of the book and the time to read it against the cost of time spent re-working systems that initially get Ajax wrong, or fail to use Progressive Enhancement. However, if you look at some other books around the same price and how much useful content they have, you might conclude that it's not great value, even if only relative to some other books.
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