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JavaScript Cookbook Paperback – 29 Jul 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 554 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (29 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596806132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596806132
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 3.3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 872,689 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Book Description

Programming the Web

About the Author

Shelley Powers has been working with and writing about web technologies--from the first release of JavaScript to the latest graphics and design tools--for more than 15 years. Her recent O'Reilly books have covered the semantic web, Ajax, JavaScript, and web graphics. She's an avid amateur photographer and web development aficionado.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By svendecabooter on 15 Aug 2010
Format: Paperback
This book on Javascript follows the O'Reilly Cookbook series 'recipe' format, laying out a whole list of practical problems and tasks that (aspiring) Javascript developers are faced with, and provides the solution and background discussion needed to truly get the task done, and understand the reasoning behind it.

The first few chapters of the book start of by explaining the basics of the Javascript language, providing insights and tips around working with strings, numbers, arrays, loops, functions, events etc... A seasoned Javascript programmer will probably already be familiar with most of this functionality, but I found it interesting enough to keep on reading these 'basic' chapters, because the author gives a good background explanation and points to more obscure or browser-specific problems that arise when using these concepts.

The next few chapters go a little deeper into error handling, debugging, the different methods to accessing DOM elements, and adding interactive functionality to your webpages. The author took a very interesting approach with the chapter on interactive elements, by focusing highly on having the ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) attribute set baked in into the examples. I hadn't used this myself before, and found it truly fascinating to read how to make rich Javascript interactions accessible to all users, with only a few lines of added code in most cases.

The more advanced chapters in the book explain in great detail the newer cutting edge functionalities that are starting to be implemented by most browsers, including working with HTML5 audio & video elements and persistent data storage, SVG graphics, canvas elements, etc ...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Peter Ashton on 26 July 2010
Format: Paperback
When I started learning JavaScript years ago I was constantly running into niggly little problems that would hold me up until I found a way of getting round them. There were no end of books and web pages around that would give you examples of doing dynamic HTML with all the bells and whistles, but what I needed was something that covered the basics. This book does just that covering everything fro the very basics of concatenating strings and handling regular expressions, through using the canvas element to draw dynamic line drawings right the way up to doing all the flashy DOM manipulation. The advantage of the cookbook format is that you don't have to wade through chapters of dense text to find the things that you need, it's all there in the table of contents. You just dip in and get what you need out. This means of course that your only picking up snippets of knowledge, so you need a grounding in the basics first, but once you can get those under your belt, this book will let you get on a lot faster than trial and error alone.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Martin Matthews on 20 April 2011
Format: Paperback
Definitely not for an absolute beginner. Not because it is written in a hard-to-understand way because it certainly is not. It is clear and easy to read. You just need to have the basic principles of JavaScript clear before you start this book.

Once you have the basics straight this book allows you to explore, in manageable chunks, new areas of JavaScript with immediate practical uses. You will learn better if you can see the point of what you are trying to do and with this book that's the main emphasis.

Highly recommended for someone who can write a basic script but who wants to make the step up to major projects without the stress of starting a major project of your own and getting confused. It will probably then stay useful by being a reference book when you come across things you can't do in the future.

I only dropped the rating to a four because some of what is mentioned is not really viable yet and sometimes it's not totally clear why the author chose what to cover. What is in the book is mostly superb and well-written.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Time-Saving Store of Scripting Knowledge 28 July 2010
By Brett Merkey - Published on
Format: Paperback
One bit of advice if you are like me when you get a reference collection of this sort: I immediately flip through the table of contents or the index to get to whatever topic I am currently obsessing on.

In the case of this book, you may want to spend a few minutes in the oft-ignored preface. It contains some noteworthy information on the author's approach. Specifically:
"Many of the examples won't work with IE6. Before I even began the book I decided not to provide support for IE6--including any workaround code."

The author is a bit more forgiving in the case of IE7: "Where IE7 doesn't work, either I provide IE7-specific workarounds in comments in the example code you can download, or I make a note about nonsupport in the recipe--or both."

I work on teams developing browser-based applications for the real world, so IE6 is still absolutely relevant to me. In fact, the corporation for which I honestly sweat is itself "standardized" on IE6 for all employees. Even so, I still recommend this book because of the relevancy of the examples and its forward-looking approach.

The fact that the code download file is about 63 megs compressed should give an idea of how much is contained in this big store of scripting knowledge.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A lot of javascript solutions 16 Aug 2010
By Mark - Published on
Format: Paperback
Javascript is similar enough to languages I know that I've just picked up enough of it along the way to get done whatever I needed to. I read this book in hope of getting solutions I could adapt for some of my web programming needs while learning more about what javascript could do now and in HTML5. I was not disappointed as the book met those expectations and then some.

As a cookbook, the book follows a Problem, Solution, Discussion format. The problems addressed are grounded in the real world and the solutions vary from very simple to rather complex. The discussion provides in depth information about the solution and sometimes includes alternatives. Of particular interest to me on the first reading were the chapters on event handling, form elements, and persistence. I was also pleased that the solutions addressed handling the current versions of the four major browsers.

Bottom line: After reading this book I have a better understanding of javascript and what I can do with it. I will be keeping it handy as a source for code snippets as well as a reference for future javascript coding.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Good jump start to get familar with new APIs 8 Aug 2010
By Geng Wang - Published on
Format: Paperback
In developing mid to large scale web applications nowadays, it's a common practice to leverage JavaScript frameworks such as Prototype, Scriptaculous and JQuery. As the author of JavaScript Cookbook points out, "in order to use a framework library like jQuery to its best ability, you need to understand what's happening under the hood." JavaScript Cookbook provides a good amount of information on the fundamental and new features of JavaScript. For example, the book covers ECMAScript 5 features (e.g., Array object methods "forEach", "map" and "filter") with concrete use scenarios in the format of classic "cookbook" receipts, accompanied with snippets of code in the context.

Going beyond these isolated "problems", the book also provides insights into what is needed in building real world web applications in terms of good practices and pragmatic idioms. For example, when showing you how to gracefully handle no JavaScript situations, the book provides a "historical" perspective on the existing solutions, how they have been evolved over the time and what establishes the current standard of good practice. The receipt starts with the simple <noscript> tag solution and presents a more concrete progressive disclosure form example in the middle; In the "See Also" section, a list of further readings (with URLs) are provided on the topic of "progressive enhancement". The book also covers more advanced topics such as how to implement object oriented programming with JavaScript Object and building custom code libraries.

Through different receipts, to depict the fast evolving landscape of front-end development, the book covers eye-catching topics such as HTML5 API such as "drag-and-drop", "web worker", filesystem access, as well as creating mobile widgets and native smart phone applications with HTML/JavaScript using open source translation tools.

As a UI developer, I've found the book a very good casual reading for me to get up to speed with the new APIs and trends and refresh my knowledge about the idiosyncracy of the language. The code snippets in the book are very complete and could be really handy to tackle some of the real-world problems.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Good book to have handy 8 May 2011
By Larry - Published on
Format: Paperback
Of course, the same can be said for just about all of the hi-tech cookbooks. Sure there's Google, but this (and most other cookbooks) usually go into more detail about why the solutions work, in addition to providing other alternatives and describing similarly-flavored problems. This book covers a wide swath of topics, e.g. the usual objects, events, forms, etc., in addition to sections on debugging, SVG, HTML and CSS. It also does a good job of providing browser-specific information, long the bane of client-side programming.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A well-constructed collection of JavaScript recipes, with forward-looking samples of ECMAScript 5 and HTML5 22 Sep 2010
By R. Lodato - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have enjoyed other cookbooks in the O'Reilly library of computer texts, so when I saw JavaScript Cookbook by Shelley Powers in the catalog, I jumped at it. The description mentioned that the book would cover HTML5 and ECMAScript 5, so I really wanted to learn the new capabilities of both. I did get to learn a lot, but I wonder if these new features are too new.

Like other cookbooks in the O'Reilly library, this one is organized as a series of specific problems, with their solutions neatly presented and grouped into the major chapters. Each solution has a discussion to flesh out the details. The website has downloadable copies of the examples in the book, which I used to test out the various recipes. ECMAScript 5 is fairly new, and HTML5 is still under development, so I made sure I had the latest stable versions of the major browsers (Firefox, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari) to see how they would cope. The HTML5 features are very sparsely supported as of yet, so those portions of the book should be considered more of a sampling of things to come rather than a definitive set of solutions.

They start out easily enough with recipes for handling JavaScript strings. However, the discussion of String objects and literals obviously implies that the reader is already somewhat familiar with Object terminology and functionality. That makes this book unsuitable for beginners.

While much of the book is applicable to today's browsers, there is a lot of coverage of the new capabilities made available in the new HTML5 specifications. Unfortunately, most browsers either do not support, or only partially support these features, so the information is only useful as a "taste of things to come".

As I step back and reflect on this book, I think that many topics are solutions that cannot be implemented because the typically available browsers don't support the new features yet. If a web page designer wants their site to be available to users now, they need to focus on the features that are well entrenched across the internet. Having so many solutions based on features and capabilities that are still being defined is only useful as academic exercises. I would have preferred that the JavaScript Cookbook be more useful for the state of the web right now. That is why I'm rating it only 3 out of 5.
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