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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book if you are dedicated, probably not for novices.
While I can sympathise with some of the 2* reviewers, I am reluctant to rate this anything less than 5*. While I myself did (and still do) struggle with this book, it's fair to say that it really does its best to get you from novice TO professional in its 480 pages.

Heilmann makes it clear that he isn't going to plod along with 'hello world' type examples and,...
Published on 19 Jun 2009 by Damian Dawber

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Curate's egg
Chris Heilman is clearly a man who knows Javascript inside out, however this book is let down by unclear examples and limited exposition of important features. Layout is poor and very confusing , altogether a frustrating read.
Published on 11 Jan 2007 by Matt


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book if you are dedicated, probably not for novices., 19 Jun 2009
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Damian Dawber (North-West, England) - See all my reviews
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While I can sympathise with some of the 2* reviewers, I am reluctant to rate this anything less than 5*. While I myself did (and still do) struggle with this book, it's fair to say that it really does its best to get you from novice TO professional in its 480 pages.

Heilmann makes it clear that he isn't going to plod along with 'hello world' type examples and, after brief coverage of the 'core' elements of javascript (what Heilmann collectively names 'data and decisions', e.g. numbers, strings, arrays, objects and control structures), he jumps right into writing unobstrusive, progressively enhanced javascripts. In fact, barely a quarter of the way in, he is writing helper methods, that aren't fully expected to make sense yet, in order to write more efficient and cleaner scripts. All the while, he discusses such things as the role of javascript in web development, accessibility and cross-browser compatibility.

By chapter 8 we are being introduced to Ajax and by the end of the book we are given coverage of third-party javascript including the discussion on the popular javascript libraries.

I won't lie and pretend this is easy-going. It's not. But I think as a beginner that if you're willing to go with the flow and accept that not everything is going to make sense at first, and if you're prepared to write your own scripts (and accept they're not going to be as good as Heilmann's right away) you'll have here an invaluable resource. Not only does he cover a bunch of relevant examples (e.g. drop down menus, layer ads, form validation), but he does this well. When I go and write my own scripts, I never feel like i'm coming back to this book to 'look how it's done', rather it's that i'm coming back to 'see a better approach'.

Bare in mind that Heilmann ain't gonna hold your hand all the way through the book and that it does get pretty involved pretty quickly and you'll be fine. I feel I have the perfect 2 books to get me going in this and O'Reilly's 'The Definitive Guide'. This book grows increasingly invaluable to me, still a relative beginner, owing mainly to the WAYS in which Heilmann goes about javascripting. When things do get maybe a bit too heavy, he does explain what he means to do in those spots and this itself is a good starting point for writing your own (be them work-in-progress) scripts.

N.B. all code examples are available online for download to accompany this book. This is another handy facet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Curate's egg, 11 Jan 2007
Chris Heilman is clearly a man who knows Javascript inside out, however this book is let down by unclear examples and limited exposition of important features. Layout is poor and very confusing , altogether a frustrating read.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously underwhelmed, 31 Jan 2008
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Having got to the point where I was working on a site and needed some quick and easy insight into possible javascript solutions to common problems I ended up throwing this book across the room in frustration.

Some people are good at explaining and good at teaching. Even just good at writing. You cannot say that about this book. The most annoying thing was the 'we're not going to do that, we're going to do something a bit different' concept.

No, just do the simple thing, then I'll work out how to add the frills myself.

If you're looking for a handy introduction that will later serve as a basic reference. Keep looking.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars lack of respect, 9 Feb 2007
i tend to agree with previous poster
my title goes like that because, for instance, author says one should use meaningfull names for variables, but then he himself uses names such as t, a, as and so on
also, the book advertises as for beginers, which is totally an unapropriated statement! - author lacks the abillity to teach/explain what he uses, most of the time
another bad thing is the book site [...] where one is directed if has a question to author, but you'll find there are there several buyers wating since december for an answer - looks like one has to attack the book to get a quick answer
again, author shows no respect for the reader
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent guide for novice and pro, 8 Sep 2006
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M. Jones (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a great book with some cutting edge techniques but applied in a manner that focuses on not making your site inaccessible to those on older browsers. Written by someone with plenty of real-world experience and it shows.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 29 Oct 2014
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As described.
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