Friday, March 30, 2012

Beginning Ajax with PHP: From Novice to Professional

Beginning Ajax with PHP: From Novice to Professional

Ajax breathes new life into web applications by transparently communicating and manipulating data in conjunction with a server-based technology. Of all the server-based technologies capable of working in conjunction with Ajax, perhaps none are more suitable than PHP, the world’s most popular scripting language.

Beginning Ajax with PHP: From Novice to Professionalis the first book to introduce how these two popular technologies can work together to create next-generation applications. Author Lee Babin covers what you commonly encounter in daily web application development tasks, and shows you how to build PHP/AJAX-enabled solutions for forms validation, file upload monitoring, database-driven information display and manipulation, web services, Google Maps integration, and more. Youll learn how to
  • Take advantage of PHP and advanced JavaScript capabilities to create next-generation, highly responsive Web applications.
  • Enhance commonplace application tasks such as forms validation and tabular data display.
  • Manage cross-browser issues, ensuring your applications run on all major Web browsers.
  • Take advantage of the Google Maps API and add spatial mapping features to your website.
Youll also be introduced to other key topics like conquering cross-platform issues, countering potential security holes, and testing and debugging JavaScript with efficiency. All examples are based on real-world scenarios, so youll be able to apply what you learn to your own development situations.

Author Information

Lee Babin

Lee Babin is a programmer based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, where he serves as the Chief Programmer for an innovative development firm duly named The Code Shoppe. He has been developing complex web driven applications since his graduation from DeVry University in early 2002 and has since worked on over 50 custom websites and online applications. Lee is married to a beautiful woman by the name of Dianne, who supports him in his rather full yet rewarding work schedule. He enjoys video games, working out, martial arts, and traveling, and can usually be found working online on one of his many fun web projects at any given time.While Lee has experience in a multitude of web programming languages, his preference has always been PHP. With the release of PHP 5, many of his wishes have been fulfilled.

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More Product from Amazon:
Practical Web 2.0 Applications with PHP (Expert's Voice) by Quentin Zervaas.

PHP is a very popular web scripting language. AJAX is the hottest new interactive web technology. It only makes sense to write a book to combine the two.

This book does a great job of combining clear explanation of the concepts with real working code that you can reuse in your own applications. Giving me a head start with reusable code is something I always look for in a book, and this book provides a wide range of PHP and Javascript code that you can reuse.

Chapter 1 begins with a very good description of what exactly AJAX is, and how it differs from traditional web programming. Chapter 2 builds on Chapter 1 by explaining the basic components of AJAX. The XMLHttpRequest object is covered in great detail. Each property and method is explained. The book only explains how to use XMLHttpRequest to communicate to the server and does not cover hidden iframe's. However, that may be for the best, since I believe hidden iframes are mostly a legacy way to implement AJAX communication.

Chapter 3 gets right into it with connecting PHP with AJAX. Chapter 4 follows up with using the database. If you are not familiar with PHP or Javascript you may find some of the examples a little difficult to follow. Though if you've worked with C/C++/C# or actual Java, the syntax is close enough you should be able to follow what is going on. Though a good PHP and Javascript book will come in handy!

Chapters 5 and 6 cover forms and images, which are important parts of any AJAX web site. The author presents a calendar application that pops up forms to allow you to enter data. The book does a good job of explaining the difference between how traditional POSTed forms work compared to AJAX.

Chapter 7 shows how to create a real-world AJAX application. You are taken step by step through the creation of an AJAX photo album application. Chapter 8 discusses look and feel. It makes the very important point of when to use AJAX. Its a pain to program many of the AJAX "effects" by your self, so the author introduces you to the PEAR (PHP Extension and Application Repository) package. This can speed PHP and AJAX development quite a bit.

Chapter 9 discusses web services. Chapter 10 is very interesting as it discussed "spatially enabled web applications". This is the type of application that Google Maps is! Chapter 11 is important as it discusses cross-browser issues, and how to avoid them. Chapter 12 covers some of the unique security issues that AJAX presents. Chapter 13 explains how to test and debug AJAX applications.

The book ends with Chapter 14, which is an overview of the DOM. The DOM, or Document Object Model, allows you to easily parse and generate XML. This is very important for the XML messages that you will be exchanging with the server. If you are getting confused by some of the DOM usage earlier in the book, I would suggest reading this chapter after about Chapter 3 or 4.

This is a very good introduction to PHP and AJAX. The book is only 252 pages so it does not waste much time with introductory information. You really should be at least basically familiar with the following technologies before starting this book:
  1. Basic HTML/XHTML layout
  2. Java Script
  3. PHP
  4. SQL

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