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on 5 December 2005
If you're completely new to AJAX (and the XMLHttpRequest functionality), then this book is a good place to start as it has some useful examples of very common tasks that many web developers would like to use AJAX with.
The book does however tail off a little with help on debugging javascript with Firefox etc, and for anyone with a basic knowledge of AJAX, then this book may be just repeating things you already know (for example it doesn't deal with multiple AJAX requests working in tandem). There is also many online tutorials that will get you to the level taught in the book... although not in quite as much detail.
As a basic resource though into teaching yourself the basics, the book does it job well, and you would definately come out being far more confident in knowing the uses of AJAX, and how to use it in many situations.
A good step up from this book would be "Ajax in Action" by David Crane (a very useful resource for intermediate/advanced AJAX solutions, and great big step up from this book).
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on 4 July 2006
If you're not familiar, rusty, or, (like me), someone who gets an anxiety attack when Javascript is mentioned, this is the book to start you on the AJAX track. The reason I don't say its the definitive reference, or anything grander, is that AJAX is really a technique built around just one or two lines of Javascript. After that the book has no choice but to fill the rest of its pages with very informative Javascript examples, and some great references to development tools and techniques, that are not necessarily AJAX specific. If you are already a Javascript guru you might be better served just seeing a couple of examples on the web to introduce XMLHttpRequest() and ActiveXObject() and then jump straight in to finding an AJAX framework like Dojo, Rico or Google AJAXSLT that suits your purpose. Like JBoss at Work, where the main subject of the book seemed to also occupy less of its content, I think it will get used a lot as a reference because it does have very useful day to day stuff in it. However, I won't need to go back to it much for AJAX now I'm on the framework trail myself.
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on 1 November 2005
I suggest this book to all people looking for a very good presentation on Ajax. At the end of the book you will be able to use Ajax but I suggest to buy a book about JavaScript if you haven't done already.
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on 2 February 2007
If you're looking for a Ajax/Javascript 101 then this isn't it. This book is all about the evolution of Ajax and best practice approach. The examples demonstate all the common examples (Combo boxes, Auto Refresh, Tool Tips) that put the buzz in Ajax. The emphasis is on understanding the inner workings of these techniques and maintaining usability.

The underlying thinking throughout this book is on best practices. To make you think exactly what you want to do with Ajax and how to do it without pulling you're hair out.

Key Chapters encompass building the toolset you need, how to test effectively and how to debug properly (i.e. the foundations of good technique).

Most people will opt to use a framework to accomplish their needs and this book introduces some popular ones and arms you with the knowledge to make a qualified decision on which one to use. For the most up-to-date review of frameworks [...] is one of the best resources on the web.

Personally I would recommend Taconite (Ryan Asleson's Framework - one of the Authors) - [...] I combine this with an effects framework. MooFx is one I like.
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