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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

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  • Posted February 5, 2009

    Good for Beginners

    JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan is probably the best reference possible for this extremely useful, but complex language. I came to this book with absolutely no knowledge of Javascript, and so this book was my first real taste of the language. The first part of the book deals specifically with syntax and foundations of Javascript, so anyone with programming experience can read the first part of this book and be comfortable with programming in Javascript. This section is integral for understanding the nuanced complexities of a language without having to struggle with hard to find errors. Simple distinctions of types and values were very helpful to me.<BR/><BR/>The second part of the book is a by-examples tour through the intermingled worlds of Javascript and web browsers. Here you¿ll learn DOM scripting, AJAX, DHTML events, and more to make appealing interactive webpages. Personally, I found this section a little harder to use, and I would have preferred a, perhaps simpler, or at least more atomic explanation of AJAX as I am still confused by the whole concept. In either case, this section covers everything you need to know about Web 2.0.<BR/><BR/>The last two sections of the book are straight reference about everything in the core of Javascript and in client-side Javascript. This is a very well organized section of the book and it helps when you need to know exactly how a certain method or class works and this section alone is worth the cost of the book.<BR/><BR/>I'd recommend this book to anyone who wants to get a taste of Javascript or for anyone who is looking towards Javascript as a way to access web programming. The book is not for everyone, but I would argue that Javascript is a very important language to learn in this web-centric age.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2000

    The best of the best

    You can't get a better book on Javascript than this!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2005

    If Only One

    If you purchase only one JavaScript book let it be this one. The content is thorough and insightful. The writing style won't put you to sleep! After you have core JavaScript principles down you will keep this book nearby for reference. This book will give you the foundation and drive to move forward. Whether you are writing JavaScript for web pages, JavaScript for PhotoShop, or writing in SwishScript for SwishMax, you can use this book to chart your course. It's well worth the money.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    Review of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

    'JavaScript: The Definitive Guide' is not a step by step guide to JavaScript any more than an encyclopedia is a step by step guide. The book does provide an authoritative analysis of the language including a brief history of the language, data types, operators, statements, functions, objects, and arrays. The author does a good job of addressing some of the assumptions of the language and how these assumptions may or may not be like other languages such as C++ or Java. The author also clarifies the different levels of support for certain aspects of the language both within the discussion and with the large JavaScript reference section. The book also provides a handy and thorough W3C DOM reference for working with various aspects of DHTML. Some of the material in this book will provide a critical understanding to JavaScript's more advanced features. With the emergence of AJAX, many web developers are turning to JavaScript to provide solutions for dynamic web based applications. Now that JavaScript is more fully supported in modern browsers, web developers may want to turn to 'JavaScript: The Definitive Guide' to enhance or polish existing JavaScript skills. If you are looking for a quick introduction to JavaScript, you may find yourself disappointed. However, if you are already familiar with JavaScript and need a reference to look up an answer to your problem or need a guide for fine tuning your DHTML skills, you may that this book is a rich resource for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 11, 2003

    What coverage!

    I am an applications programmer who has had to turn into a web programmer for a special project in my field. Before reading this book, I knew some HTML from my college days, but was overwhelmed by the project before me. I bought this book at a B&N store after debating between at least three other competitors. I am SO glad I bought this one! It has helped me get my project off the ground! I now feel comfortable with JavaScript and should be able to handle other web projects that come my way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2002

    This book *is* the best JS resource

    This book is the best JavaScript resource around, but a word of warning to those who expect it to be like the Visual QuickStart series: It's not. This is a programmer's book about a real programming language, it's not a cut and paste example guide. They both have their place in the world, but this book should not be downgraded because it is the former and not the latter. If you're serious about learning JS as a programming language, and have taken at least one solid course in programming concepts, this is the place to go. <p> The previous reviewer summed it up well. Due to wildly diverging implementations, this book doesn't necessarily cover everything, but it's about as close as one can get and remain sane. For the rest, pick up the O'Reilly Dynamic HTML, or just consult on-line documentation. <P> Until I started programming server-side Java, this book was, by far, the most used book on my desk.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2001

    excellent book

    This is an excellent reference source for the javascript programmer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2001

    The most dog-eared book on my shelf

    When I picked up this book in 1998, I knew absolutely no JavaScript. I sat down to read the first chapter, and stopped after the 10th or so, finally realizing that everyone else had long since gone to sleep. This book has held my attention ever since. I was going to give it 4 stars because it is somewhat dated and lacks modern DOM documentation, but I just couldn't. That would be punishing for being so good -- so good that it hasn't needed updating, that is. Besides, this isn't a DOM book. Pair it with Danny Goodman's book on Dynamic HTML, and you'll have everything you need for almost every client-side task. My one criticism: I found myself wanting more discussion of Regular Expressions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2001

    Jolly good book

    Despite the reviews written here, I think this book is spiffing. Granted, it's not for complete beginners, but then again - its a programming language - so what do you expect??!! Its ideal for someone who has good programming skills and wants to learn JavaScript as a string to their bow.

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