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Unobtrusive Ajax

Jesse Skinner and Christian Heilmann
Published by O'Reilly Media
ISBN:978-0-596-51024-4
57 pages
£ $9.99
Published: July 2007
reviewed by Lindsay Marshall
   in the December 2007 issue (pdf), (html)
bookcover  

Another from the O'Reilly Short Cut series. I am yet again at a loss to know who buys these since they do seem to replicate information that is freely available but not in a nice, already printed form. That, of course, is not relevant to the content or presentation. And let me first comment on the presentation: the document came as a PDF (previous ``books'' in this series were sent as print-outs) and looks like your typical O'Reilly book but I do find that on the screen in my office the typefaces look slightly blurry and faint and not pleasant to read at all. It looks better when printed out but is still rather thin and faint.

The content, on the other hand, is excellent. It is readable and well thought and gives sensible advice about many aspects of web page development when using CSS and JavaScript, not just the use of unobtrusive techniques. But, most practitioners know most of the stuff in here -- it really is just a well written summary -- which leads me to suggest that the best use for this and other Short Cuts might be for when you have to persuade management that you need to adopt a new technique in order to move forward.

The ideas are nicely distilled and the advantages and disadvantages set out with just enough technical detail to be convincing but not enough to be too hard. Just let them read the book ...

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