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Web Development Solutions: Ajax, APIs, Libraries, and Hosted Services Made Easy

As a web user, you'll no doubt have noticed some of the breathtaking applications available in today's modern web, such as Google Maps and Flickrdesktop applications than the old style web sites you are used to. You've probably also wished that you could create such things, and then thought "nahhh, I'd need to know a lot of complicated code to be able to even start creating sites like these." Well, think again. There is a lot of complicated code involved in cutting edge "Ajax style" web applications, but a lot of the hard work is already done for you, and available on the Web. JavaScript libraries exist to provide most of that Ajax/DOM Scripting functionality out of the box. Application programming interfaces (APIs) exist to allow you to transplant complicated applications such as Google Maps and Flickr right into your own web sites. And hosting services such as Flickr and YouTube provide all you need to store and retrieve your media (be it images, video, or whatever) at your leisure, without having to worry about bandwidth issues and file naming nightmares. All you need to know is enough to successfully wire together all this functionality successfully and responsibly, and this book shows you how. It starts from the very beginning of your journey, showing you what's available, what you need, and how to set up an effective development environment. After a solid base has been built, it shows you how to build up each aspect of your site, including storing, retrieving, and displaying content, adding images and video to your site, building effective site navigation and laying it all out beautifully using CSS, promoting your content so you will attract visitors to your site, and adding special effects to enhance usability and design asthetics...all with ready-made functionality available on the Web! Life as a web developer has never been easier.

Summary of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Stop the Web … You're Getting On!
  • Chapter 2: The Dilemma of "Rolling Your Own" Solutions
  • Chapter 3: What You Need to Get Started
  • Chapter 4: Spoiled for ChoiceWhat the Web Offers You
  • Chapter 5: Retrieving and Displaying Content with REST and Ajax
  • Chapter 6: Adding Media Files
  • Chapter 7: Promoting Your Content
  • Chapter 8: Layout and Navigation
  • Chapter 9: Adding Special Effects
  • Chapter 10: What to Do and Where to Find Help When Things Go Wrong
About the Author

Christian Heilmann grew up in Germany and, after a year working with people with disabilities for the red cross, he spent a year as a radio producer. From 1997 he worked for several agencies in Munich as a web developer. In 2000 he moved to the States to work for Etoys and, after the .com crash, he moved to the UK where he currently works as a lead developer for Agilisys. He publishes an almost daily blog at http://wait-till-i.com and runs an article repository at http://icant.co.uk. He is a member of the Web Standards Project's DOM Scripting Task Force. Mark is a Londoner, born and bred. He spent many years doing various IT jobs for City University, including working on the support desk and systems administration. After tiring of the relaxed environment and long holidays, he entered the real world. In 2000 he joined Purple Interactive, a commercial web company with clients such as Barclays, IBM and Honda. One site produced there was an unofficial F1 site, later acquired by Formula One Management. After leaving the world of motorsport, he joined Yahoo! in June 2004. He blogs at http://cackhanded.net/.We want to identify as many opportunities as possible surrounding this book and its technology cluster, events, resources, themes, broadcast opportunities, websites, etc. that could help promote the book and get it seen by the end-customer.
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