Ajax on Rails includes three fully worked out Rails/Ajax applications, and quick reference sections for Prototype and script.aculo.us.
Advanced material explains the most current design practices for Ajax usability. You'll learn to avoid user experience mistakes with proven design patterns.
Beyond the how-to, Ajax on Rails helps you consider when Ajax is (and isn't) appropriate, and the trade-offs associated with it. For those new to Rails, this book provides a quick introduction, the big picture, a walk through the installation process, and some tips on getting started. If you've already started working with Rails and seek to deepen your skill set, you'll find dozens of examples drawn from real-world projects, exhaustive reference for every relevant feature, and expert advice on how to "Ajaxify" your applications.
Scott Raymond is a Ruby on Rails developer living in Kansas City. His work has been highlighted on the Rails website and the Wall Street Journal Online. Besides participating in the framework's development, he has led international Rails training sessions, and was a presenter at RailsConf 2006.
The animal on the cover of Ajax on Rails is a Peruvian spider monkey (Ateles chamek), also known as a black-faced spider monkey. Native to the tropical forests of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil, this spider monkey weighs about 15 pounds (6.8 kg) and lives 30 to 40 years. The black-faced spider monkey's body, arms, and legs each measure about 20 inches, but its prehensile tail can be as long as 30 inches. The prehensile tail acts as an extra hand and can support the weight of the monkey when it needs to pick fruit with two hands or swing from tree to tree. The tail has a section of fleshy pads that it uses for grasping and feeling, which is crucial since spider monkeys are one of the only primates that do not have opposable thumbs; biologists believe the thumb impeded the spider monkey's ability to swing from branch to branch and was evolutionarily eliminated. The spider monkey's diet is 80 percent fruit, but depending on the season it also eats insects, leaves, and seeds. Even though the black-faced spider monkey is fairly common, deforestation has shrunk its livable habitat, and it is often a target for hunters as well as pet traders.
Pretty standard layout. Good clear type. Page numbers, chapter titles, and section titles at bottom of page for easy skimming / searching. Screenshots are clearly printed.
Overall the book is written in a instructive & readable format. There are also complete reference for Prototype & scriptaculous, which although you wouldn't necessarily "read" them provide explanation and examples of the various functionality provided.
This is a useful book for individuals looking to start adding AJAX features to their Rails application. Like most books, if you are already using the subject matter (AJAX) at a high level you will find much of the material to be a review of what you have perhaps already learned in the "trenches". Nevertheless, for beginners or experienced users alike, there is valuable information to be had. In addition to "how to do it" type material, there is also some theory about why and when to do it. For example, there are chapters covering "Usability", "Testing & Debugging", "Security" and "Performance".
The book describes itself as written for individuals with existing web development experience. While Ruby / Rails specific experience in not necessarily required - those are fundamental topics which are beyond the scope of this book. If you are new to Ruby or Rails, it is best to acquire separate books for those topics.
This is a very well written book on using the Rails MVC model and AJAX (or more precisely [AS]|[JFV] A [XHJ]) technology to quickly get cool websites up and running on rails. As a programmer, I felt it did a good job of showing you what's happening under the hood, why you wouldn't want to write it yourself for a big website, and how AJAX and Rails can help you get powerfully scripted content attached to the DB your boss likes with a minimum of typing and fuss.
So many times when you purchase a book you don't know much about, you are disapointed. Maybe it is just where I am at with learning ajax and rails, but I have been pleasantly surprised so far with how the Ajax On Rails book has helped me to understand how to make them fit together.
I would like to buy the buy, but what about the code ??
Comments about oreilly Ajax on Rails:
Based on the reviews, the author history and the resume of the book, I believed this could be a must have for anybody interested on Rails. Yet, I could not buy it until being sure the code is published.
This is a really good book. I was pleasantly surprised... but not too much, because Mr. Raymond is the best person to write this book. I read his writeup in Linux Journal, and listened to him at RailsConf 2006 and on the Rails Podcast, and he's great. He really knows his stuff.
This book does a great job of covering the basics. It could stand to be a little longer, in my opinion, but it is quite thorough nevertheless. The three application samples in the back are excellent... of course, I came here looking for the code, too, as promised. It's not here.
And that's why the four stars. I'd give it five stars, but having to type in those non-trivial applications myself, just for the learning experience, is quite a frustrating proposition!
But all in all: great book. If you're interested in Ajax and Rails, you gotta pick it up.
This book does a nice job of introducing the basics of Ajax and then progressing into how Rails has baked helpers right into the framework.
There is some duplication of coverage found in other books, but this is not necessarily a negative since not everyone owns every book.
The book includes three non-trivial examples with the code listed in the back. Unfortunately, though there are references to the code being available on the O'Reilly site, the code has not been loaded as yet.
If you are looking for the most in-depth book on Ajax as it relates to Rails, this is your only option. Other books have chapters or sections, but this book is exclusively about this top. You could find information about this topic online, but not organized so well, and not written so well. As such, definitely worth the price (IMHO).
other than that, this book so far is a good reference book to learn how to use ajax on rails