KillerSites Blog

Book review: Professional Ajax

May 6, 2006

A very good book for experienced web application developers who want to jump into this new way of creating a rich user experience with the web browser.

The writing is clear and straight forward. Each chapter begins with a concise (but informative) theoritical introduction, which is then followed with a practical example that is substantive enough to learn the programming behind the theory, yet not too long that you’ll get bored.

Clearly targetting the enterprise developer, this book covers how AJAX works with:

  • XML, XPath and XSLT
  • Web Services
  • JSON: a Javascript data format that is a lighweight alternative to XML

You can read rest of the topics covered in the book’s TOC.


I especially liked a section in chapter two (AJAX Basics) that covers the 3 methods used to create AJAX-like experience:

  • The hidden frame technique – what we used to do, to fake it in the late 90’s
  • The hidden iframe technique.
  • Using the XMLHttpRequest object – true AJAX (IMHO)

It was interesting to see working side-by-side comparisons of the methods available to web developers … and it makes you realize how useful the XMLHttpRequest object is!

What’s even more interesting is how the authors have actually combined these three methods in certain applications to create a more flexible AJAX implementation.


If you are an experienced web developer who wants to learn AJAX, get this book.