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Enterprise AJAX
by David Johnson, Alexei White, Andre Charland

Prentice Hall PTR
1 edition
August 2007
496 pages

Reviewed by Ulf Dittmer, November 2007
  (7 of 10)

The subtitle of the book -- "Strategies for building high performance web applications" -- nicely sums up what this book is about: Not so much a tutorial about AJAX that takes the reader from 0 to 100%, but rather a collection of topics that relate to AJAX-based web applications, bundled into book chapters. The chapters span a wide gamut, from basic browser technologies like CSS/DOM/JavaScript and XMLHttpRequest, to more advanced stuff like the design of JavaScript code, Web Services, and the handling of sizable chunks of data within JavaScript. The book also covers issues of the software development process as they relate to AJAX applications, like usability, prototyping, testing and project risk management. Three case studies round out the book, but don't provide much additional insight.

If a chapter isn't of interest to the reader, it can generally be skipped without impacting the understanding of later material. Everything is explained with plenty of code examples, along with explanations of what gotchas to look out for when running under different browsers.

The book would have benefited from a more thorough proofreading. As it is, an annoyingly large number of typos, duplicated words and sentence fragments, and even incorrect picture captions and footnotes, have crept in. Nevertheless, the authors clearly know their stuff, and break it down into pieces that are easily digested and readily applied. Just about any web developer will get useful ideas out of Enterprise AJAX, no matter how big his projects.

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