I am embarking on a new project and I’d like to use AJAX. Being unfamiliar with AJAX I decided to buy some books on the subject. After an hour or so spent browsing Barnes and Noble I settled on two books: Pro Apache Struts with Ajax and Practical Ajax Project with Java Technology both from Apress Publishing.
Below you’ll find mini-reviews of each book and the reason for this post.
I have been using Struts for about two years now. By no means am I an expert but I am quite proficient. I was drawn to this book for two reasons: 1) I could use some more in-depth knowledge of Struts and 2) Combining Struts and Ajax seemed like a natural progression.
I perused the book before purchasing it and I found some interesting pieces of information and a very nice introduction to Ant. So I figured it was worth a shot. If the Struts part of this book is so in-depth, imagine the Ajax portion!
To say the least, the Ajax information in this book is lacking. By lacking, I mean the XMLHttpRequest object is explained and that is about it. If you look in the Index under “Ajax” there are a few references, but everything listed is in the appendix.
Although this book is interesting and still worth the price I found the title to be very misleading. I almost feel cheated because it seems like the publisher is trying to win sales on the back of the Ajax hype.
This is an excellent book. For a technical book it is a really great read!
The book is laid out in different projects starting from an implementation of Johnny Carson’s Karnak through a simple webmail application and onto a chat and RSS reader application.
Also included in the book are some design patterns and anti-patterns. Although this falls more into the academic arena these sections are also a good read.
In the end, I would definitely recommend this book to someone who is looking for an introductory course in AJAX. As I mentioned, it is more of a big tutorial so those looking for a reference book may want to look elsewhere.