Bulletproof AJAX

When all of this AJAX stuff started coming out, I wanted in. I saw the cool stuff that was being done and I wanted to part of it. Unfortunately, my JavaScript skills were woefully underdeveloped. I had spent most of my time developing my (X)HTML/CSS kung fu, and had done little to increase my JavaScript kung fu, due in large part to the many frustrations I had with DHTML back in the day. But once AJAX came on the scene, my curiosity was piqued. Unfortunately, I had no clue where to start.

I read the on-line tutorials and went through several books, but for some reason, they all went over my head. It was incredibly frustrating — I could program reasonably well in PHP, but JavaScript eluded me. And then I discovered Jeremy Keith’s DOM Scripting and the scales, as they say, fell from my eyes.

I saw that AJAX was merely the icing on the cake, and that JavaScript could be so much more than I thought, thanks to Keith’s wonderful writing and clearcut examples. Now, I see JavaScript, not as something to use only when I want to add some pizzazz to a site, but rather as a powerful tool that, when used properly, can improve a website substantially.

Simply put, I’d put Dom Scripting right up there with Jeffrey Zeldman’s Designing With Web Standards as one of those books that absolutely changed the way I look at and approach my craft. It’s that good.

And now Keith is back with his follow-up to DOM Scripting, Bulletproof AJAX. Taking his cue from Dan Cederholm’s Bulletproof Web Design, and its focus on creating web sites that are as flexible as possible, Keith’s latest focuses on applying those same principles to AJAX. As he puts it in the book’s introduction:

Far too many Ajax applications are built like a house of cards, dependent on just the right stack of technologies in the browser. Browsers that don’t support the required technologies are locked out and their users are turned away. To avoid this, you need to create flexible applications using bulletproof Ajax.

Sounds good to me. I’m looking forward to going through a copy soon, and I expect it to be as revelatory and forward-thinking as DOM Scripting.

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