"Adding Ajax" is ideal for intermediate to advanced web developers who are worried and confused about Ajax, thinking that it will force them to start over with their craft. This refreshing guide will calm those fears by offering an entirely new approach to the topic. Rather than introduce Ajax as a completely new way of doing things, this book shows you how to integrate Ajax with existing sites, and does so by building to Ajax rather than building from an Ajax foundation. By reading this book, you will learn how Ajax allows you to create "rich" web applications, but more importantly, you'll see how the practices you already follow feed right into Ajax - and that, in most cases, you already work with the technologies involved. Adding bits and pieces often makes much more sense than tearing down and rebuilding, and you'll learn to integrate Ajax with your usual process.
This book: provides an overview of the Ajax technologies, and the importance of developing a strategy for change to your site before sitting down to code; offers nuts and bolts coverage of the heart and soul of Ajax: how to work with the XMLHttpRequest object; introduces and demonstrates several of the more important Ajax libraries, including Prototype, script.aculo.us, rico, Mochikit, and so on; and gets into the interactive element that is Ajax, including how to work with events and event handlers that work across browsers. It also explores the concept of web page as space, and covers three popular approaches to managing web space; explains how to make data updates, including adding new data, deleting, and making updates, all from within a single page; explore the effects Ajax has on the Web -- breaking the back button, losing browser history, dynamic effects that disappear when the page is refreshed, and more; covers advanced CSS effects, including drag and drop 'scroll bars', pagination, and the use of SVG and the Canvas object; and explores mashups - Ajax's ability to bring in different web services, and combine the data in any number of ways, directly in our web pages.
At the end of "Adding Ajax", there's reflection on whether starting over might be a fun idea, but by then you should be much more comfortable with it.