First let me say thanks to Craig Shoemaker for sending me a copy of this book.  Yes, I know it has been a while since it came out, but I just finally got around to going through it.  In that time Craig has been working on another book and Microsoft has renamed Atlas to ASP.NET Ajax.

Craig, Wally, Paul and Scott packed this text with gems, not only on Ajax, but also the technologies that it grew up from.

The book covers how we got to this point.  They start all the way back with JavaScript and the DOM and go right through XMLHTTPRequest and JSON.

The topics contained are a broad swipe at Ajax.  This 400 page book addresses the Ajax-like features of ASP.NET 2.0 and how they work.  It then goes on to focus on the Ajax.NET Professional Library and then gives a brief taste of five other Ajax frameworks.  The final Ajax technology addressed it Atlas.

The features I liked most about the book are that there are lots of code samples and explanations of how things work.  There are some excellent diagrams showing event lifecycles.  The final chapter is one of the best features since it discusses debugging Ajax and its client side Javascript.

The .NET and architecture communities owe this group a lot.  Not only for this book, but for all the wisdom that flows from their blogs, podcasts and speaking at events.  These guys did their homework and worked through ever changing tools to bring us these pearls.  Thanks guys.