AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications

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AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications by Cristian Darie

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AJAX is a complex phenomenon that means different things to different people. Computer users appreciate that their favorite websites are now friendlier and feel more responsive. Web developers learn new skills that empower them to create sleek web applications with little effort. Indeed, everything sounds good about AJAX!


At its roots, AJAX is a mix of technologies that lets you get rid of the evil page reload, which represents the dead time when navigating from one page to another. Eliminating page reloads is just one step away from enabling more complex features into websites, such as real-time data validation, drag and drop, and other tasks that weren't traditionally associated with web applications. Although the AJAX ingredients are mature (the XMLHttpRequest object, which is the heart of AJAX, was created by Microsoft in 1999), their new role in the new wave of web trends is very young, and we'll witness a number of changes before these technologies will be properly used to the best benefit of the end users. At the time of writing this book, the "AJAX" name is about just one year old.


AJAX isn't, of course, the answer to all the Web's problems, as the current hype around it may suggest. As with any other technology, AJAX can be overused, or used the wrong way. AJAX also comes with problems of its own: you need to fight with browser inconsistencies, AJAX-specific pages don't work on browsers without jаvascript, they can't be easily bookmarked by users, and search engines don't always know how to parse them. Also, not everyone likes AJAX. While some are developing enterprise architectures using jаvascript, others prefer not to use it at all. When the hype is over, most will probably agree that the middle way is the wisest way to go for most scenarios.


In AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications, we took a pragmatic and safe approach by teaching relevant patterns and best practices that we think any web developer will need sooner or later. We teach you how to avoid the common pitfalls, how to write efficient AJAX code, and how to achieve functionality that is easy to integrate into current and future web applications, without requiring you to rebuild the whole solution around AJAX. You'll be able to use the knowledge you learn from this book right away, into your PHP web applications.


We hope you'll find this book useful and relevant to your projects. For the latest details and updates regarding this book, please visit its mini-site at http://ajaxphp.packtpub (dot) com.


The book's mini-site also contains additional free chapters and resources, which we recommend you check out when you have the time.


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