Book Review: Sams Teach Yourself Ajax, JavaScript, and PHP All in One

Sams Teach Yourself books are great resources in a large array of topics. They have released Sams Teach Yourself Ajax, JavaScript, and PHP All in One in paperback version on July 12, 2008. This book is great for webmasters because it includes three of the most popular technologies used on the web.

Like all the rest of the "Sams Teach Yourself" line of books, this one is easy to follow, easy to understand, and takes you from a beginner to an intermediate and beyond. There are a number of visual aids including screenshots and diagrams to help you understand what you have read. Another great help is the amount of code examples used throughout the book; there are examples for most of the topics covered.

The book starts with a general overview at the beginning and works towards a more detailed explanation at the end. In chapter one, you will learn the basics of the web, HTML, CSS, and Ajax. By the end of chapter nine, you will understand JavaScript, using it to manipulate the DOM and add usability to your site. By chapter thirteen you will be using Ajax and by the end of chapter eighteen, you will be using Object Oriented PHP to make your site dynamic. Once you have taken all of that in, you can learn about XML responses, web services (REST and SOAP), and gain a basic understanding about a few popular Ajax tools and libraries that are available.

An added feature with this book is beyond the pages of helpful information. There is a CD provided with the book that includes all of the software needed to get a basic web server up and running. It includes XAMPP, jEdit, Prototype, Scriptaculous, Rico, XOAD, searchable PDF tutorials, and source code for the examples in the book. Most of these are freely available for download on the web, but it is nice to have them all in one place, especially for a beginner that doesn't know what to look for.

This book is well worth your time to read, especially if you are a beginner looking to get not only introduced to these web technologies, but also get started using them. You can pick up your copy at Amazon.com and get started building dynamic websites using Ajax, JavaScript, and PHP.

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