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on 11 October 2005
Okay, if you're reading this, you're at least considering buying this book. Don't waste any more time, buy it now.
I started writing websites at the end of the nineties and I used to use a lot of JavaScript. However, it was all very hacky, partly because I didn't know how to do it otherwise and partly because making it any neater seemed like a whole lot of effort.
Over the last year or so, I've got back into web design and like a lot of people have been seduced by the clarity of using CSS for design. However, the more I got into style sheets, the more I was repulsed by the thought of sullying my sites with JavaScript as I knew it, and had pretty much begun to pride myself on my now complete avoidance of it.
Then I started to hear more and more about the combination of not only (X)HTML and CSS but also JavaScript, in ways that were thoroughly "web standards" and "accessibility" compliant. So, I got Jeremy's book from Amazon and have devoured it in less than a week.
This book makes DOM Scripting (JavaScript) seem so easy and so part of web standards that I now feel silly for thinking otherwise. If you feel like you now have a feeling for the basics of why/how to use CSS to make sites, then there is absolutely no reason that you shouldn't also understand all of the ideas here. If anything, the ideas interlocked so well with how I (and I think, lots of people) have come to think about web site structure, that they have helped me have a clearer picture of XHTML and CSS.
The book develops several standalone enhancements to the functionality of websites throughout its chapters and these are combined beautifully to give a great demo site near the end. This site, in the spirit of unobtrusive scripting, championed throughout the book, works perfectly with JavaScript disabled, but is clearly, simply, and yet massively enhanced if JavaScript is enabled.
A lovely book which I find it hard to imagine having been written any better than it was.
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on 5 December 2005
I didn't buy this straightaway, thinking that I'd be able to find most of the content on various websites, but I'm very glad I took the plunge. There's lots in here that's of immediate practical use, as well as plenty of food for thought about how you put a site together more generally, in terms of separating structure, behaviour and presentation.
The code examples are clearly explained, but I did feel it helped to have some background with CSS and PHP as the book dives right into function calls, object properties and the like - and yet does a good job of making these accessible.
If there's a weakness, I'd say it occasionally takes too long to make its point, e.g. going step by step through very similar code examples at times. From a reader's point of view, Jeremy's coding style seems quite perfectionist, showing successively better or neater ways to write a given piece of code - that's no bad thing though, and the rationale is always explained clearly.
This is a book that deserves a wider audience - the potential power of DOM scripting is awesome, and this will help people comfortable with basic scripting to make the leap to building more sophisticated, impressive and robust web applications.
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on 24 January 2006
Summary: Fantastic book.
Being efficient in XHTML and CSS i wanted to add something to these skills. This book did that. The DOM is something that i knew little about, after reading this book i now have a firm grasp of what can be done. Its not only how to use it, its the why and when that the author describes so fantastically well.
When everyone thinks about Javascript they think usability and accessibility problems straight away. This book addresses these issues extremely well and shows you how to implement clever scripts.
Everything is explained in detail without being patronising. The examples build and build to the final exercise where you put your new found knowledge to use. I couldn't wait to put the book down and go straight to my PC and use these techniques.
Probably the best book i have read and recommend the author to write many more.
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on 5 June 2007
I'm so glad I did as it nearly put me off buying this book. It's not platform nor browser dependent, the examples contained therein work in every major recent browser as their support of the W3C DOM is pretty robust(which can't be said for CSS of course). The book's ethos is the complete opposite of writing browser-specific non-standards code making me wonder whether said reviewer actually read the book properly...

As others have said, it's fairly low level but having bought an O'Reilly book on JavaScript, which was way too technical and dry, I found this has really given me a leg up to learning more complicated code than markup and styling languages. It introduces concepts slowly nad explains them well so you gradually build up your knowledge. I'd highly recommend it.
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on 18 March 2008
A good sound treatment of DOM Scripting, but one glaring error and a huge amount of wasted space - apart from a wide blank left margin used only for page numbers, the *whole* of a code sequence is repeated many times as it is built up (instead of e.g. putting the final complete code at the end of the section). The worst offender - the very useful addLoadEvent function (not his own) is repeated time after time, instead of being put into an appendix of frequently used functions. Also, on p154 of the 2005 edition there is a completely erroneous discussion of node structure when attempting to extract the value of a text node, which is only partially corrected in the online errata (the whole paragraph needs deleting urgently). Also, some very odd CSS rules are used to style his "image gallery", with list elements *twice* configured to appear horizontally vertically. Try downloading his example coding - you can delete quite a lot of the CSS without affecting the layout. But if thoroughly proof-read and corrected for a new edition, this would be a very sound introduction to JavaScript and the correct approach to DOM scripting.
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on 15 October 2005
If your a professional web designer (full-time is *not* the same thing) you'll know about the importance of web standards and separating the structure (XHTML), presentation (CSS) and behaviour (JavaScript) out into separate files of your project. I routinely work with the first two but not JavaScript so this book will help complete the skillset. With responsible DOM scripting the functionality you put in degrades gracefully if JavaScript is disabled so your visitors can still access the information (just not as fancily as you'd have liked).
It looks code-heavy but it's not so bad as it looks, especially if you're already used to CSS-based design.
Buy it now safe in the knowledge that you are buying into best practice for an accessible and available Internet.
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on 15 January 2007
I found this book an amazing read in that, firstly it is readable rather than a manual. Secondly, it is immensely easy to understand for those who haven't done much in the way of coding. This is what makes this book a must buy for those designers who value progressive web design. I imagine the average developer/coder type could learn a lot from it to with regards to hooking their code to progressively built web pages.
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VINE VOICEon 22 June 2014
"DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model" by Jeremy Keith, is by far the best written tech book I have read in a long time (and I read a lot of books). I cannot remember the last time I read a tech book where I just wanted to keep reading to find out what was in the next chapter, but I did with this.

This book has been written in a very readable style, not expecting too much previous experience from the reader, but also not treating the reader like a complete novice. Starting off by building up some basic JavaScript/ECMAScript knowledge, then working through how to use it with (X)HTML and CSS, the progression is easy but the coverage very good. Along the way, some useful code examples are built up, with a really strong emphasis put on separation of responsibilities between structure, behaviour and presentation. It's like reading the code of somebody who has done it for years, gone through all the obstacles, and come up with a set of working practices that are so simple, but that take into account all of the things that would make the code of others fail. A simplicity to aspire to.

I also like the emphasis on progressive enhancement, which provides graceful degradation - it might sound like semantics, but implementing progressive enhancement feels so much more positive than always thinking about degradation.

Whether developing systems using the DOM, or testing them (either via review, manual execution, or developing automated tests that access the DOM using tools such as Selenium WebDriver or Ranorex), this book provides the reader with a clear understanding of how to use the DOM, what practices web applications should follow, and how to implement useful code for querying and modifying the DOM.

It's good to see a book that has been well proof-read as well. I read the book very quickly, but think I only spotted a couple of typo's and one ambiguity (I don't like seeing "between" used in the context of ranges without specifying "inclusive" or "exclusive"). Great stuff.

Highly recommended (although note that there is a second edition available now - I bought and read the first edition before I realised). No caveats.
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on 3 October 2010
This book might well have been subtitled "How to add Javascript without making a fool of yourself". It is a model of clarity - far better written than most web technical books. As someone with a programming background, I found it a little slow. This, I think, makes it ideal for its target audience, Web Designers. If you have mastered HTML, understand CSS, and want to use Javascript (but are perhaps a bit nervous of it), this is the book for you.

What this book does particularly well is explain how to use Javascript to enhance the users web experience without degrading that of non-Javascript users. While it explains the language as much as is necessary, it is not a programmers manual, it is a designers manual. You might well want to get a programmers manual to go alongside this book. However, I strongly recommend it to those wanting to produce a non-gimmicky but powerfully enhanced site.

It is, however, a bit dated - it came out in 2005. There is a new edition due in December 2010, which will, I hope, take account of HTML5 and CSS3. If so, it will be well worth waiting for.
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on 17 March 2010
This is simply the most lucid book on DOM scripting yet! I am not an Anorak and I don't normally read textbooks from cover to cover but this book was an exception. If only more programming books were written like this. Well laid out, a gentle pace, lots of examples of what to do and what not to do. I read the first 120 pages in one sitting and created the examples as I went along! The section on unobtrusive JavaScript is particularly well explained and made me rethink much of what I have gleaned from other JavaScript manuals. Others have criticised the fact that code is repeated as the author develops the final code. I found this a useful device as it allowed me to develop the code at the same pace as the author explained it's evolution.
If you are already well versed in using JavaScript with the DOM this is probably not the book for you but if you have been using JavaScript and parts of the DOM but need to progress to using the full power of both I think this book is an excellent starting point.
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