Book Review: AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications(Page 1 out of 2)
Welcome to the first book review on PHPit, which is the first one in the new "Book Reviews" section on PHPit. There are many PHP & MySQL books these days, and more are being released every day, which makes it a hard task to pick a good PHP book. That's why I've decided to create this new section which will help you pick the best PHP books available. I will take a look at certain PHP books, and do a thorough review on each of them. Every review will end with a conclusion and a recommendation.
If you're a book publisher, and want me to review your books, let me know by contacting me (through the contact form).
If you own any PHP books, and want to write a review on PHPit, let me know as I'm very happy to receive any contributions.
With all the introductions out of the way, let's start with the first ever review on PHPit.
The publisher of "Ajax and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications" sent me a free copy for reviewing purposes. Obviously this won't influence my judgement at all.
Title: AJAX and PHP: Building Responsive Web Applications
Publisher: Packt Publishing
Authors: Cristian Darie, Bogdan Brinzarea, Filip Chereches-Tosa and Mihai Bucica
Length: 273 pages (10 chapters + one appendix + index)
The title immediately tells you what the book is about: AJAX and PHP, and that's exactly what you'll learn about in this book. Unfortunately the book doesn't come with a CD which holds the demos, but thankfully there is a website dedicated to the book available at http://ajaxphp.packtpub.com/. There you will be able to find live working demos of all the examples in the book, and you will also be able to download all the code examples, and believe me, this is absolutely necessary. Typing the code examples from the book is pretty much out of the question, unless you want to spend hours typing.
Although there are ten chapters in this book, you can pretty much divide the book in two different sections. In the first section, which includes chapters one, two and three, you are introduced to the theory of AJAX and PHP. How it works, its history, etc. Then in the second section, chapters four to ten, you will be taken through seven different examples of using AJAX, like form validation, an AJAX chat, and more. I really liked this structure, since it allows you to focus on the first three chapters, after which you can pretty much steamroll through the last seven chapters. Of course I might be slightly biased here, since I already know a lot about AJAX, so a beginner may not like this style, but it certainly fit me.
In the first chapter you are first given a little bit background information on how the web (HTTP protocol) works, and I'm glad to see that this information is included in the book. AJAX completely changes the way interaction between client and server happens, and it's important to understand how it all works behind the scenes before jumping right in. Chapter one also includes some useful illustrations on how AJAX works to make it a bit clearer, although this can still be somewhat confusing. Of course no-one likes chapters which only cover theory, so chapter one finishes with a good example demonstrating the use of AJAX. Since this is only the first chapter, the example is briefly explained, but most things are left unexplained for later chapters.