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Book Review - Ajax And Php Building Responsive Web Applications

Guest Author - Diane Cipollo

Author: Cristian Darie
Bogdan Brinzarea
Filip Chereches-Tosa
Mihai Bucica
ISBN: 1904811825
Publisher: Packt Publishing
9.4 x 7.4
284 pages
Published: March 2006

This book assumes a working knowledge of PHP, XML, JavaScript and MySQLR and that you have PHP, MySQL, phpMyAdmin and a server such as Apache installed on your computer. In this book the authors, Cristian Darie, Bogdan Brinzarea, Filip Chereches-Tosa and Mihai Bucica, teach their readers how to add Ajax client-side features to PHP driven web applications.

As you would expect, the authors begin by discussing what Ajax is, its history and which Ajax features you will be adding to the PHP applications discussed in the book. The authors take a modular approach when building these web applications.

The first programming task discussed in many computer books is client-side form validation and in this book the authors have done the same by showing how Ajax has changed the traditional form validation process. In the traditional process, the client–side validation occurs after the form has been submitted but before it reaches the server. The authors show you how to improve on this process by using Ajax to validate the user's input as he types.

Next you will build an Ajax chat application. The authors do not cover supporting processes such as chat rooms, chat user lists and login. They choose to concentrate on improving the message posting and receiving processes using Ajax to eliminate the need to reload the webpage when performing these tasks. Before Ajax and other XMLHTTP related programming, this was only possible using JavaTM, FlashR or other special programming.

Ajax was made popular due to Google SuggestTM. So it is only logical that the authors would show you how to build your own Ajax suggest and autocomplete application. The database used for the working example for this application is the PHP Function List at Next you learn how to build two real-time charting applications. The first is a graph drawn in real-time using SVG and the other is an Ajax grid using XSLT and XPath. Both of these applications update these charts without reloading the webpage.

The popularity of RSS syndicaiton makes this next application my favorite. You will build a simple RSS reader (aggregator) using Ajax, PHP, XSLT and SimpleSML. Finally, the last lesson is based on an existing web application ( You will learn how to use Ajax to add drag and drop support to this task management application. (To Do List)

The book has a supporting website which has working demos of the web applications featured in the book, sample chapters and a free case study eBook entitled AJAX Whiteboard. This is a simple Ajax web application that allows you to draw with your mouse.

The authors of this book blend their varying backgrounds for this project. Cristian Darie is a software engineer and technical author. His support page for this book can be found at Bogdan Brinzarea has a background in banking and security. Filip Chereches-Tosa is a web developer and Mihai Bucica works in the field of communication software. You can visit the

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