- Copertina flessibile: 221 pagine
- Editore: APRESS; 1st ed. edizione (26 settembre 2007)
- Collana: Accelerated
- Lingua: Inglese
- ISBN-10: 1590597648
- ISBN-13: 978-1590597644
- Peso di spedizione: 481 g
- Visualizza indice completo
Accelerated DOM Scripting with Ajax, APIs and Libraries (Inglese) Copertina flessibile – 26 set 2007
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Aaron Gustafson pushed pixels and bits as a freelancer for many top companies (Aetna, Deloitte & Touche, Delta Airlines, Guinness, IBM and Scholastic, to name a few) before taking a position at Cronin and Company, a regional advertising agency. At Cronin, Aaron got the digital department off the ground and set the standards (pun intended) for all web development within the agency. His work on websites for Bertucci's, Konica Minolta, Mystic Aquarium, TriZetto and several Connecticut state agencies garnered numerous state, national and international awards for Cronin, for both design and web standards. In early 2006, Aaron left Cronin to focus on building his own web shop (Easy! Designs, LLC) and writing more. In addition to being a member of the Web Standards Project (WaSP), Aaron sits on the advisory panel for WOW (formerly World Organization of Webmasters) and is a member of the Guild of Accessible Web Designers (GAWDS). He serves as production editor for A List Apart, is a contributing writer for Digital Web Magazine, and contributed several chapters to the newly-updated Web Design in a Nutshell, Third Edition (O'Reilly). Aaron has been a featured speaker at numerous conferences, including COMDEX, MacWorld and SXSW, and has been called on to provide web standards training in both government and corporations. He blogs at easy-reader.net.
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Luckily, there are plenty of tools available, but one has to look beyond the W3C to find them. Such helpful allies are the Firebug and Web Developer extensions for Firefox, and JSLint - an irreplaceable JS code verifier that offers a variety of strictness and integrity settings. Snook explains how to use these to your advantage, using console.log to catch errors in Firebug, and writing well structured code that passes minification and obfuscation.
Snook explains the importance of taking a wholistic approach to web development, treating HTML and CSS with due respect, ensuring semantics in markup and steering clear of using JS presentational purposes that would be better handled in a stylesheet. He also explains the concepts of nodes as they appear in a page by showing them in a tree structured chart. For instance, a tag is a node, but so is the sum total of the text inside it. As a general rule of thumb, all tags are nodes, but so are their non-tag contents. This is important to remember when attempting to manipulate the DOM via cloneNode.
Another tricky concept, which is handled differently depending on the browser, is event bubbling. Despite the name, this has nothing to do with socializing and everything to do with the way actions are triggered in a browser. Snook explains how this can be used to one's advantage, by assigning an event listener to a containing element, such as a UL, and when it is clicked, checking if the click originated from a particular child element, such as a link within a LI with a certain class. Now you are cooking with fire, because you can build out complex menu systems.
After laying a solid foundation of teaching the fundamentals, the book moves on to the juicier parts - using libraries. Snook cautions against jumping straight into using a library without understanding the nuances of what is happening "under the hood," because if you ever need to debug at a core level, you're stuck.
That being said, in chapter 5 he shows how to do some complex data exchange, mimicking a desktop environment, mentioning how this could be enhanced by Prototype, YUI or jQuery. Chapter 6 is all about doing the really cool stuff - adding visual motion to your pages. Snook shows how to achieve identical tweening effects with Scriptcaculous, jQuery and Mootools.
In chapter 7, Stuart Langridge takes the helm, and explains how to write your own custom form validation. Let me just say from experience that this is typically the best way to go, because the business requirements around what constitutes a valid form entry can often get pretty hairy. For me, it is usually easier to write this by hand, with the help of a library, rather than try to find a one size fits all plugin. Langridge shows how to do this on both the server side, via PHP as well as in the browser using JS. It should be noted that whether or not you're doing client-side validation, server-side is a must-have (JS can be switched off, PHP can't).
In chapter 8, Aaron Gustafson shows how to build an incredibly slick FAQ page, using JS to create an accordion style menu system. He does it in such a way that if JS is unavailable, the it reverts back to a standard page. This notion of adding functionality is called progressive enhancement whereas orchestrating an acceptably elegant fall-back scenario is termed graceful degradation.
For those familiar with Ruby on Rails, chapter 9 is for you. Dan Webb goes step by step, showing how to build a dynamic Ajax drive help system. He uses Prototype for some of the heavy lifting of data processing, and his own custom extensions dubbed Low Pro to assist in making his code unobtrusive. With the core functionality in place, he uses Moo.fx to add in animations.
Aside: The aforementioned Mootools is a full library which had its origins in Moo.fx. Mootools and Prototype both include core DOM functions, and can be considered mutually exclusive. However, if you want the animation style and syntax of Mootools, and area already using the base of Prototype, Moo.fx is a nice add-on. Likewise, Moo.fx and Scriptaculous are mutually exclusive.
Well, that wraps up my review. Hopefully it has encouraged you to dig in further to this well written book. The people involved definitely know their stuff, and the topics covered are highly relevant to the fast pace of web development today.
Chapter 3 tackles the sometimes tough subject of object oriented programming. Depending on your background and experience in programming, the idea of OOP may seem foreign to you. However, the author does an incredible job of highlighting the benefits, formatting, and examples throughout the entire chapter. Some of the benefits discussed are: Namespaces, closures, and encapsulation. To me, this chapter was one of the most valuable in the entire book as it helps you to understand the programming at the core of the libraries that are discussed. Knowing what is going on under the hood is extremely important as you develop and troubleshoot your code.
Chapter 5 moves into the world of Ajax and Data Exchange. This chapter discusses all of the nuances of Ajax. These are the important things that need to be addressed before you start implementing Ajax in your applications. Understanding the data formats that are returned. Understanding the HTTP codes. Understanding the different ActiveX Objects. Understanding how to prepare for and handle failure. All of these things are very important as you use Ajax. After you learn what is going on under the hood and how to put the pieces together, the author shows you how libraries can help you in the process.
Chapter 6 discusses Animation, what most people think of when they hear Ajax. As with the previous chapter, you start off by building a simple animation object, then look to see what the libraries have to offer.