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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 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 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 20 September 2006
This is not a cookbook. It will teach you DOM scripting. Not all examples are practical but they are excellent at showing you what DOM scripting can do and how to approach it. Really great beginners book
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on 14 June 2006
How many sites have you visited which produce Javascript errors? Well "graceful degradation" shows how to eliminate this annoying problem. The book is jam packed with great tips and ideas even if it's an introduction to this area of programming. When you read the book his ideas are so obvious that you feel embarrassed that you didn't think of them before. In my defense I've avoided JavaScript like the plague mostly for accessibility reasons, and because it has a poor reputation. But now things have moved on and there's nothing to stop me including it for those who don't have JavaScript disabled. Unfortunately there are more and more Windows users disabling this language which had also been an incentive to not use it but now the problem is eased if not removed. Overall a great book!
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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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on 11 October 2006
ADDENDUM:::BIG WARNING::: This book appears to be IE and Windows platform dependent. If you are interested in writing Javascript that is cross platform and cross browser compatible I suggest you look elsewhere. I don't seem to be able to dump the star rating I originally gave it but in this day and age ... writing a book that doesn't recognise that 15% of all users do NOT USE IE and Windows ... well ... need I say more.

I saw this book being recommended to someone else and thought I'd give it a go. I haven't read all of it yet but, having coded in Javascript heavily around 2000 it hasn't hugely taught me anything I couldn't have figured out. Guess it's saved me the blood sweat and tears of finding out the hard way though.

I think I would have preferred a reference book rather than this instructional book. I find it's a bit low-level for me but i can see it would be a good book for a non-programmer or someone just starting out.
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