Javascript: A Beginner's Guide, Second Edition / Edition 2

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Create dynamic and inviting Web pages with help from this friendly, step-by-step guidebook. Through a logical sequence of tutorials, you'll learn the basics of the leading Web development language. Author John Pollock provides easy-to-understand coverage of the essentials -- variables, tags, event handlers, objects, frames, and more -- that will help you program your Web site to react to viewers' actions or surprise them with special effects. This proven teaching tool also contains screen shots and plenty of sample code to assist you with real-world programming tasks. Begin using JavaScript right away and add interactivity to your site in no time!
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
More than 3.5 million web pages use JavaScript. It's still the No. 1 way to get web scripting done. If you've never programmed before, but you've now got to add JavaScript functionality to your site (or understand the functionality some developer or software program has added for you), you can't beat JavaScript: A Beginner's Guide.

John Pollock, whose web-based JavaScript tutorials have already taught thousands of web designers, has crafted a great first course in JavaScript programming. You'll find plenty of examples that show you how it's done, and plenty of screen shots that show you how it'll look.

Pollock assumes you know little or nothing about JavaScripting and gently walks you through the absolute basics -- placing JavaScript in your HTML files, variables, functions, and "meat and potatoes" JavaScripting (conditional statements, loops, event handling, the document object, and so forth).

The book closes with a brief guide to debugging, as well as examples of several of the most common uses for JavaScript, from rollovers and animation to forms validation and cookies.

There aren't as many good "beginner" JavaScript books around as there used to be. But all you need is one: this one. (Bill Camarda)

Bill Camarda is a consultant and writer with nearly 20 years' experience in helping technology companies deploy and market advanced software, computing, and networking products and services. His 15 books include Special Edition Using Word 2000 and Upgrading & Fixing Networks For Dummies®, Second Edition.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780072227901
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Companies, The
  • Publication date: 12/24/2003
  • Series: Beginner's Guides
  • Edition description: 2 Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 576
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.15 (d)

Meet the Author

John Pollock (Huntsville, TX) is a university student in Huntsville, Texas. He has been working with JavaScript and other Web development tools for more than 5 years. Her runs two Web sites devoted to Web development technology.
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Table of Contents

1 Introduction to JavaScript 1
2 Placing JavaScript in an HTML File 15
3 Using Variables 35
4 Using Functions 65
5 JavaScript Operators 95
6 Conditional Statements and Loops 127
7 Event Handlers 161
8 Objects 189
9 The Documents Object 223
10 Window Object 267
11 JavaScript Arrays 307
12 Math, Number, and Date Objects 341
13 Handling Strings 379
14 JavaScript and Forms 411
15 JavaScript and Frames 445
16 An Introduction to Advanced Techniques 477
A Answers to Mastery Checks 523
Index 541
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Welcome to JavaScript: A Beginner's Guide! Years ago, I was surfing the Web and noticed that people were publishing pages about themselves and calling them homepages. After viewing a number of these, I decided to create a homepage myself. I had no idea where to begin but, through trial and error, I figured out how to code HTML and publish my documents on a Web server. Over time, I saw some interesting effects used on other homepages (like alert messages that popped up out of nowhere or images that would magically change when I moved my mouse over them). I was curious and just had to know what was being done to create those effects. Were these page creators using HTML tags I didn't know about?

Eventually, one site revealed what they were using to create those effects: JavaScript. I went in search of information on it, and came across a few tutorials and scripts on the Web. Since I had programmed in other languages (I remember a language called Ada), I was able to catch on to JavaScript fairly quickly by looking at these tutorials and scripts.

I learned enough that I decided to create a Web site that would teach HTML and JavaScript to beginners. As soon as I began the project, I received questions from visitors that were way over my head-forcing me to dig deeper and learn more about JavaScript. As a result, I became completely familiar with this programming language and what it can do. Not only can you add fun effects to a Web page, you can create scripts that will perform useful tasks, like validate form input or add navigational elements to documents.

The goal of this book is to help you to learn the basics of the JavaScript language with as little hair pulling and monitor smashing as possible. You do not need any prior programming experience to learn JavaScript from this book. All you need is knowledge of HTML and how to use your favorite text editor and Web browser (see Module 1 for more information).

What This Book Covers

This book is divided into 17 chapters, or modules, which cover specific topics on the JavaScript language. The first two modules cover the most basic aspects of the language: what it is, what you need, and how to place JavaScript into an HTML file. The middle of the book (Modules 3-15) covers beginning JavaScript topics from variables all the way to using JavaScript with frames. The final two chapters (Modules 16-17) introduce some advanced techniques, and point you toward resources if you want to learn more about JavaScript once you have completed the book.

Special Features

This book includes a number of special features in each module to assist you in learning JavaScript. These features include:

  • Goals: Each module begins with a set of goals that outline the topics that you will want to understand when you complete the module.
  • Notes and Hints: Notes and Hints call your attention to noteworthy statements that you will find helpful as you move through the modules.
  • 1-Minute Drill: The drills allow you to practice topics by asking you a few questions on what has just been discussed. The questions are brief so that you will be able to answer them quickly and continue with the module.
  • Ask The Expert: The Ask the Expert Sections lets you see what type of questions are commonly asked about certain topics, with responses from the author.
  • Projects: Projects let you practice what you have learned using a hands-on approach. Each project will have you code a script through step-by-step directions on what you need to do to in order to accomplish the goal. You can find solutions to each project on the Osborne Web site at
  • Mastery Check: Each module ends with a Mastery Check, which is a series of four or five questions that will determine whether you have mastered the topics covered in the module. The answers to each Mastery Check can be found in Appendix A.

That's it! You are now familiar with the organization and special features of this book and you can begin your journey through JavaScript. If you find that you are stuck and need help, feel free to get online and visit the JavaScript discussion forums on my Web site at The forums will allow you to interact with other JavaScript coders who may be able to help you with your questions.

Now it is time to learn JavaScript. Get ready, get set, and have fun!

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