I recently picked up a book written by the guys from Nitobi, a Vancouver-based software company, author of the Complete UI package. When I’ve been able to prise the book from my cat’s jaws (who seems to have taken a real fancy to it), it’s a damn good read!

I first heard of Nitobi from a presentation given by the co-founder and President, Andre Charland, at the Adobe AIR Tour in Vancouver earlier this year. Ever since then I’ve had my eyes on the company – they’re remarkably up my alley: emphasis on user experience? Check. Cool company culture? Check. Bloody neat JS-based software? Check. Plus, they’re located in my old backyard (downtown Vancouver).

I’ve been programming in javascript for many years, and endeavored to create dynamic, responsive interfaces that, well, do what you EXPECT them to (see my Generate Data script for one rather nifty illustration). But even my older apps use Ajax in one form or other. Even Form Tools uses the dated, and rather klutzy hidden iframe technique to let the JS interact with the server. But klutzy or not, it solved a problem at the time which couldn’t be solved properly with a costly page reload.

The book itself is well worth picking up. It covers a great deal of ground from the requisite overview of Ajax and OO fundamentals, to the MVC pattern, security issues, pragmatic solutions to common problems like bookmarking and “fixing” the browser back button, and a whole lot more. Two very enthusiastic thumbs up! Fine family fun!