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John Resig is a programmer and entrepreneur who's been developing web applications for over eight years. Having primarily focused on back-end development for most of that time using Perl and MySQL, John changed his focus toward implementing usable web front ends. He holds a degree in computer science from Rochester Institute of Technology in New York, and has published several papers on data mining instant messaging networks. When he's not programming, he enjoys watching movies, writing in his blog, www.ejohn.org, and spending time with his girlfriend.
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chapter3 Creating Reusable Code
chapter4 Tools for Debugging and Testing
chapter5 The Document Object Model
chapter8 Improving Forms
chapter9 Building an Image Gallery
chapter10 Introduction to Ajax
chapter11 Enhancing Blogs with Ajax
chapter12 Autocomplete Search
chapter13 An Ajax Wiki
First, the bad news. Like all aPress books I've encountered, this one suffers from a few small, but glaring, editing errors. Small things - variable names that change between examples for no good reason, in-text refrences to things the author didn't mention (no doubt something missed between drafts), that sort of thing - crop up. It's not enough to break the book, but it is annoying.
Also, the first section of the book moves at break-neck speed. While some of it is review, for those of us who have been toiling in web tutorials and older books, a few re-reads are necessary to truly understand what's going on. Thankfully, Resig addresses things in a logical manner, so each topic flows nicely into the next, making returning to those parts as painless as possible.
Finally, in the chapter where he discusses public, private, and privledged object properties and methods, he completely glosses over how private properties and methods function. Instead, he merely tells the user to visit Douglas Crockford's site on the matter. It's a bit of a cop-out, and I figure that since I'm spending ~$30 on the book, the least he can do is briefly condence Crockford's ideas.
All that said, though, the positives outweigh the negatives by far.
Despite the quick pacing of the book, the information (ignoring editing inconsistencies) is delivered in a straightforward manner. Resig addresses most, if not all, of those little things which are important in the real world (testing/debugging, how to work with libraries, how to ensure your code doesn't interfere with someone else's code, etc), but are often ignored in other resources.
Part four pushes ahead to AJAX. The first chapters discussed the history of AJAX and some of its common uses. With a foundation of understanding what AJAX is, the next chapters were spent with practical examples of enhancing your blog (quick access to all posts dynamically on scroll), building an autocomplete search field, and creating an AJAX Wiki. I found that the blog and autocomplete were a little more valuable than the Wiki.