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Paperback JavaScript: The Definitive Guide Book

ISBN: 1565923928

ISBN13: 9781565923928

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

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Book Overview

JavaScript is a powerful scripting language that can be embedded directly in HTML. It allows you to create dynamic, interactive Web-based applications that run completely within a Web browser; you don't have to do any server-side programming, like writing CGI scripts.JavaScript is a simpler language than Java. It can be embedded directly in Web pages without compilation, so it is more flexible and easier to use for simple tasks like animation. However,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

The 5th Edition was well worth the wait

First off, this is a review of the 5th edition, released August 1, 2006. All other reviews prior to that date are talking about previous editions of this book, which are considerably different than the current one. The reason the various editions of this book have been so good over the last ten years is probably because they have all been written by the same author, David Flanagan, who seems to really know his audience. Part one of the book is pretty much the same as in the previous edition. It acts as a complete tutorial on the language, taking you all the way from basic language constructs into object-oriented programming and finally basic scripting. Where things get really interesting and cutting edge is in part two of the book, "Client-Side Javascript". Most of the examples we've seen so far, while legal JavaScript code, had no particular context - they were JavaScript fragments that ran in no specified environment. Chapters 13 and 14, "Javascript in Web Browsers", and "Scripting Browser Windows" provide that context. This begins with a conceptual introduction to the web browser programming environment and basic client-side JavaScript concepts. Next, it discusses how to embed JavaScript code within HTML documents so it can run in a web browser. Finally, the chapter goes into detail about how JavaScript programs are executed in a web browser. Next, the book turns its attention to the Document Object Model (DOM). Client-side JavaScript exists to turn static HTML documents into interactive programs. It is the Document object that gives JavaScript interactive access to the content of otherwise static documents. In addition to the properties that provide information about a document as a whole, the Document object has a number of very important properties that provide information about document content. Chapter 15 explains all of these issues. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) is a technology intended for use by graphic designers or anyone concerned with the precise visual display of HTML documents. It is of interest to client-side JavaScript programmers because the document object model allows the styles that are applied to the individual elements of a document to be scripted. Used together, CSS and JavaScript enable a variety of visual effects loosely referred to as Dynamic HTML (DHTML). This is the subject of chapter 16, "Cascading Style Sheets and Dynamic HTML". Interactive JavaScript programs use an event-driven programming model. In this style of programming, the web browser generates an event whenever something interesting happens to the document or to some element of it. For example, the web browser generates an event when it finishes loading a document, when the user moves the mouse over a hyperlink, or when the user clicks on the Submit button of a form. If a JavaScript application cares about a particular type of event for a particular document element, it can register an event handler - a JavaScript function or snippet of code - f

Another great one from Flanagan

If you're already an experienced programmer, it can be frustrating trying to find a good book on JavaScript (aka JScript, aka ECMAScript, aka ECMA-262). A lot of books out there are aimed at HTML developers, maybe even graphic designers. Many such users have little or no real programming experience, and maybe no real interest. Books for that audience are user-friendly, filled with useful examples, and low on scary-sounding technical terms. In other words, almost useless. Flanagan has good credentials as a technical writer, and as a highly technical writer. He really knows what software engineers look for - trust me, it's not what a graphic designer looks for. This starts with a clear, methodical description of the language. Flanagan goes through all the language basics, pointing out where JavaScript differs form languages like Java, C#, or C++. The differences are numerous. For example, JavaScript has typed data, but not typed variables. It's object oriented, but doesn't have classes. It's an interpreted language, not compiled, and that opens up generative programming possibilities that reflection APIs can't approach. After the language itself, Flanagan presents it in the client-side HTML context, where it appears most often. That's about 20% of the book. It goes over all the common HTML features, and shows how JavaScript can add dynamics or configurability to most HTML features. The last part of this section discusses XML and the DOM model. It does not yet discuss the E4X standard, ECMAScript for XML, the new ECMA-357 standard. As of this writing, the standard has only been out for three months, though. I'm sure Flanagan will catch up to it soon. The book's remaining three sections cover the language's basic APIs, the APIs needed in the client-side HTML context, and the DOM model. The first two are fundamental to any non-trivial use of the language, the last is the programming model that gives access to XML or XHTML in a rational, predictable way. JavaScript has a number of very different user communities, with different needs when it comes to language documentation. This isn't a cut & paster's book, and is nothing at all like a training guide. It's a reference manual. If you're a serious techie, then this is the book for you. //wiredweird

The Title Says it all

This book was perfect as a "learning" book and a refernce manual. I read the book, learning by examples and excellent descriptions. Now I use the book almost everyday as a reference when I develope web applications. Roughly half of the book is a complete reference manual focusing on the syntax, methods, and properties of ALL of the Javascript components. The reference is organized by Object making it easy to find what you want. There are also plenty of cross references for easy indexing. O'Reilly has done it again.

The K & R of Javascript

The book has a very good introduction to the core of client side javascript. It is a great reference for coming back to those things that you get kind of rusty on like "regular expressions" and "creating your own objects". The rest of the book is an incredibly comprehensive reference which goes into considerable detail. It's the kind of detail that a compiler manual goes into. I would prefer a version with indexes like a study bible. If you read most of this book you wont have to go around copying other peoples code snippets because you'll be to busy making up your own scripting libraries. I wish that this author would add about 300 pages on Server Side JScripting and Active Server Pages. I'm sure he could take the magic out of it in a way that most programmers could pickup in a matter of hours.

Wow - THE best Javascript book available!

I purchased the Netscape One Developer's Guide thinking it would provide answers to my Javascript questions - it answered very few, unfortunately. The 'Guide' doesn't begin to approach the ease of use, thoroughness or amount of information contained in "Javascript: The Definitive Guide". Javascript is as completely covered as it can be (with the free-flowing nature of WWW specifications, its hard to keep track of all the changes). I found the descriptions and examples informative, clear and concise and kinda fun sometimes. The layed back nature of the writing won't scare off novice coders/web developers and yet doesn't turn off more advanced developers. The book is cut in half - the first provides an introduction into Javascript and discusses its more important subjects while the second is a complete reference section for Javascript 1.2. It specifically treats the differences between Netscape and Internet Explorer whereas the Netscape One guide left that up to the reader to figure out - an oversight which relegates the Netscape One Developer's Handbook to the dusty bookshelf (way in the back). If you're doing web development and need to use Javascript - this is probably the only book you'll need. If you're doing web development and you're not using Javascript - you NEED this book - it will show you what you can do with simple client-side scripts.
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