PHP and script.aculo.us Web 2.0 Application Interfaces: Review

Posted on December 29, 2009, under Reviews 

php-and-script.aculo.us-web-2.0-application-interfaces-thumbnailPackt Publishing sent me a copy of PHP and script.aculo.us Web 2.0 Application Interfaces by Sridhar Rao, asking me to write a review of this book. I was quite excited about this opportunity, being the first time when a modern publishing company is asking my opinion regarding one of the books from their collection.

As both the title and the subtitle suggest, this book is meant for PHP and AJAX developers. Since there are quite some readers of this blog that use these technologies in their web applications, I have accepted the PacktPub’s invitation.

This book comprises of 13 chapters, each being hand-crafted to make sure that developers can learn and master the art of making beautiful web applications. No chapter is left without code snippets in it. The book provides a URL address where you can download the code samples. Moreover, the downloadable files contain instructions on how to use them.

What this book covers

The 264 page e-book covers everything from adding simple JavaScript effects to an element, to implementing popular AJAX features including “Drag and Drop”, “Autocompletion”, “In place editing”, to even
more advanced topics such as creating a shopping search engine.

Chapter 1 kick-starts your script.aculo.us journey. You will explore the overview of the script.aculo.us library, real-world usage, and a quick example.

In Chapter 2 you will learn about the powerful Prototype library. You will explore various features like DOM, AJAX, event handling, and helper functions.

In Chapter 3 it’s time to get started with PHP and MySQL in building a complete Login Management System, getting AJAX into the picture, and creating your own Tag Cloud.

In Chapter 4 you will benefit of hands-on examples to learn how to add multimedia and effects to web applications using script.aculo.us.

Chapter 5: You will learn how to make make simple, clean, and beautiful user interfaces using the “drag and drop” feature. Drag everything and drop something.

In Chapter 6 you will learn how to use InPlaceEditor and InPlaceCollection for editing on the fly.

In Chapter 7 you will explore another 2.0 feature called autocompletion to create more robust and engaging applications.

In Chapter 8 you will learn the hands-on examples with different types of sliders and how to integrate them into our web applications.

Chapter 9 is your reference guide for all the script.aculo.us features in one go.

In Chapter 10 you will learn how to build your own tadalist application from scratch to live.

In Chapter 11 you will build your own social bookmarking application from scratch to live.

In Chapter 12 you will learn how to build a new design for a 2.0 shopping site from scratch to live.

Chapter 13 you will build the clones of 43 things, 43 people, and 43 places from scratch to live. These clones are some of the most famous applications of the Web 2.0 era.

Easy to learn

Sridhar Rao writes in a very easy to understand fashion without using high-level jargon. In each chapter, before starting the coding part, he makes a very clear introduction to every discussed topic, whether it’s about a JavaScript effect, a prototype feature, an event handler or a server-side technique. Although the code samples from the book use PHP, they can be easily adapted in other languages. “Prototype library has been covered in depth and features have been explained in a way that would not only help a beginner but also amaze gurus”.

Over 220 pages of practical information

“This book has a fast-paced and practical approach. It focuses on features, tutorials, quick-explanations, tips-n-tricks, and live real-world examples, using script.aculo.us. It contains complete code for all projects, all in an AJAX way.”

A lot of code samples

“The script.aculo.us library has been fully explored with the help of snippets, codes, and examples. Exclusive hands-on examples have been provided that will act as a reference guide whenever needed.”

Who this book is for

If you are a developer that looks forward to explore his/her creative side and needs to build simple, yet agile and useful applications then this book is definitely a choice to consider. “PHP and script.aculo.us Web 2.0 Application Interfaces” assumes basic knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript and PHP. You will learn how script.aculo.us provides interactivity and beauty to your projects so that it engages users and appeals to the masses. This book would be very interesting to read for a PHP begginer. As for the gurus, they will get a completely new way of adding interactivity to their web applications.

If interested, you can purchase this book through PacktPub website.

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