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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide Paperback – 27 Aug 2006

4.6 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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"Excellent, detailed guide." - Computer Shopper, February 2007

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Format: Paperback
The 5th edition of the one and only bible of JavaScript, by the language guru David Flanagan, is not a surprise, but a beautiful confirmation. The 4th edition, which I've been using until a few days ago, was (and is) an invaluable reference even though it started to become a bit outdated. The new version is even more "biblic" than before, featuring nearly 1000 pages of in-depth explanation and reference. New sections include Ajax (of course, it's the cool thing of these years!), client side graphics (SVG, VML and <canvas>), JavaScript namespaces and communication with Flash and other embedded media.

The book can be divided in 2 sections: the guide - which occupies about 600 pages - and the reference which accounts for the remaining 400. Browsing the index of the book, it turns out the the parts are actually 4: for this article, I however merged the first two (the guide) and the last two (the reference).

The first section covers every JavaScript aspect, with a detailed explanation of the language and almost everything than can be achieved using it. What is being actually taught are the "roots" of all the JavaScript features: to build the complex things, you need to work on those roots (or to grab more high-level tutorials somewhere else). However, this book has everything you need, as you can figure the rest out!

The second section is the reason why every web coder will want to have this book on his desk everyday. The reference is detailed, accurate, thorough and very easy to browse. As I wrote above, it's divided in 2 parts: Core Language and Client-side JavaScript.

All in all, what can be said about this book?
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A comprehensive, but ultimately dry and dull reference book to JavaScript and jQuery. This is the type of book I tend to buy but rarely read. I just have it on my shelf, and occasionally take it down to look up something. It's one of the better books on JavaScript, however.
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This book is better than Danny Goodman's JS Bible and Danny Goodman's Dynamic DHTML - The Definitive Guide (although a very good book in its own right). If you know some JavaScript but wish learn it properly then by this book, you will not be disappointed.
Despite other peoples comments about it being dry and only good as a reference, I have to say I disagree. It's a book you can't put down once you start reading it and the best reference for JavaScript I have read.
Probably not the ideal book for total newbie's but as long as you know the basics of JavaScript or have some experience with a similar scripting language such as PHP this book will set you on the right road.
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Still reading but so far so good.
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This book is a good introduction to JavaScript. I bought years back when I was new to JavaScript and it gave me a rock solid understanding to start developing.
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Very useful to have on your bookcase - for those memory block moments!
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I bought this book, along with 2 other titles "JavaScript: The Good Parts" & "Javascript Patterns", and all I can say is that this Trilogy is essential reading for any programmer.

These 3 books never leave my desktop! I have read them all cover to cover, Something I have never done with any other programming books I have ever bought. My bookshelf is littered with Half read, flicked through tomes of regret.

I can honestly say, that getting to understand the worlds most misunderstood programming language has probably been the most enjoyable experience of my programming career!

This tome is a lofty read, weighing in at a 1018 pages, it takes some doing to get through, but I can promise you, if you have been working with Javascript for a while, you are going to experience many epiphanies!

I admit as a cover to cover read, it is hard going, but it was the growing interest and the desire to learn more about the language that kept me going. I definitely feel, that after reading all three books my Javascript skills went through the roof!

The authors, style makes this book very approachable, which is a change from a majority of the programming books out there. Most books are either way too academic or far too dumbed down. I feel the author got it just right!
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Format: Paperback
After many years struggling with rudimentary JavaScript and never being able to find a sensibly structured book on the subject, a colleague recommended

'JavaScript - the Definitive Guide'. O'Reilly have never really impressed me as a publishing house but this book is the best there is. The coverage is as extensive as it is complete. Especially noteworthy is its carefully documented chapters on the relationships between functions and objects which other authors shy away from. Want to be as good as Dean Edwards ? This is the book to get you there.
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