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on 30 July 2008
I already use javascript when building websites, but felt that I didn't really understand how to get the most out of it. Like many designers/developers, I only really use a standard set of codes to add a basic level of functionality to a site. I wanted to go beyond the basics and to develop some decent applications.

Well this book sure helped me to achieve that. I thought that I had a good grasp of the concepts involved but gained a much more thorough understanding of scripting by the time that I finished this book. It really is an excellent beginners' book that takes you up to intermediate standard. I have already begun work on a couple of javascript projects and am making excellent progress thanks to the solid foundations laid by working through this book.

If you want a good grasp of the concepts involved in using javascript then buy this book and do all of the exercises in it and you will be well on your way.
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VINE VOICEon 30 December 2009
As some other reviews point out, this book won't teach you much about JavaScript per se, but it will teach you an awful lot about the JavaScript library, JQuery. At first, I was put off by this because I was convinced I needed to learn "raw" JavaScript. This book changed my mind.

"Raw" JavaScript can be quite cumbersome to use and many frequent tasks facing a web developer have to be written from scratch and tested for compatibility across multiple browser versions. Rather than attempt all this yourself, the author advises you to use a JavaScript library (e.g. JQuery) where many of the repetitive tasks facing web developers, e.g. building galleries, validating forms, hiding/showing elements etc. have already been written and tested for you. JQuery is basically JavaScript with most of the cross-browser incompatibilities eliminated and with added, powerful functionality to handle the most common tasks facing web developers.

Having seen the power and convenience of JQuery, I wouldn't worry too much about learning raw JavaScript - unless you had very specific requirements that JQuery couldn't handle. Indeed, this book has made my other purchase - a dry 800 page book about JavaScript - obsolete.

The best thing is that it tackles all the most common tasks you'll face in the "real world" - just take a look at its contents to see what I mean. Indeed, I can't envision a client-side feature that you couldn't implement with JQuery - and this book shows you most of them.

My only gripe is that there is a lot of repetition in the book. Some may welcome this as it certainly does make the text easy to read and understand but it also adds to its thickness :) Personally, I think by the time you get to page 260, you should know that line X is creating a variable or line Y is calling a function etc.

Thoroughly recommended for those who want to add a bit of JavaScript spice to their websites without taking the masochistic route of learning raw JavaScript. An understanding of HTML and CSS is recommended.
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on 9 March 2009
I found this book a very useful introduction to using javascript and in particular the popular javascript library jquery in your web site. If you are looking for a detailed description of javascript this book probably isn't for you. However if you are looking for a book that explains the basics and how you can learn quickly to employ javascript tecniques (using the jquery library) to enhance your web sites then this is a good book to read. It is useful to have read CSS The Missing Manual first.
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on 30 July 2009
Like the other Missing Manuals this book is clear and straightforward. It assumes a reasonable understanding of (x)html and CSS but the chapters are clearly laid out with hands on tutorials covering the theory. Best of all, the book uses jQuery from an early stage. jQuery seems to be THE javascript library at the moment.
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on 20 January 2010
A good book for someone just starting out with Javascript. A bit 'comicy' but it does take you step by step through the principal features of Javascript. A good book for anyone totally new to the subject.
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on 26 November 2009
This book is a great introduction to JavaScript which focuses on producing usable and easy to understand scripts for use with your website. This is the third 'missing manual' by David Sawyer McFarland I have read and he continues his easy, accessible approach, with plenty of hints and tips, some 'advanced notes' and pointers to further reading. The book is aimed at JavaScript beginners, but you will need to have a good basic understanding of HTML and CSS to benefit from it (and there's a Missing Manual covering those ...). You do not need previous programming skills as all programming techniques and logic are explained. The book is also fine for anyone with other programming experience (like me) but you may find you want to skip some sections

The book explains basic JavaScript, then focuses exclusively on using the jQuery library and associated plug-ins which are great for quick and easy fancy effects such as Lightboxes, slide shows, and animated navigation menus, all of which are covered in easy tutorials (in fact this book could easily be called jQuery: The Missing Manual). This should be fine to get you started using JavaScript and possibly all you'll ever need. My main criticism of the book is that it focuses too much on using the library functions and plug-ins, and does not try to show how to achieve something like this using pure JavaScript - in the end there may be something you want to do that is not covered by a plug-in.

To sum up - a great book for the JavaScript newbie (but not HTML/CSS newbie) but don't expect too much in the way of advanced JavaScript programming.
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on 28 June 2009
Easy to read and understand. Simply written. Although I'm not a complete beginner to Javascript, I did find this book the best out of the ones I have bought.
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on 6 January 2012
Ideal for anyone like myself who publishes their own web sites but is not a programmer. JavaScript is not an easy language to get to grips with. This book does not attempt to turn you into a JavaScript expert. It explains the basics and then shows you ways to put functionality into your web pages especially using JQuery.
The book is fairly easy to follow with clear explanations in plain English. I particularly liked the sections on photo galleries, accordion panels, tabbed panels and Ajax. I have already included some features on one of my web sites, for example the accordion panels on the home page of [...] They expand when you click on them, very cool!
There are references to the latest web standards ie HTML5 and plenty of cross references to other web sites providing more information on specific points.
The accompanying files containing all of the examples and code used in the book can be downloaded FREE from the authors web site.
An understanding of HTML and CSS are important and if you are a complete beginner to web design then you should probably study these first before moving onto JavaScript.
I am very pleased I bought this book. I enjoyed reading it and I will certainly be keeping it close by when I'm working on my web sites or making new ones.
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on 24 January 2012
I've had this book for ages and its been my life line when I've forgotten tags and such. I had a little bit of JS knowledge before I picked this book up but I could never get my head around the for and while loops, this book explained the concept excellently!

The way its laid out is great for beginners as it takes you by the hand and leads you through different parts of the JS world. The CASE section with the story is pretty amusing and gets the point across well. Oh yeah, if you pick up this book, be prepared to laugh and come with a sense of humor, this isn't a dry old tome of a book, its a great laugh while you learn!
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on 14 July 2010
I wouldn't recommend this book to an absolute beginner in JavaScript (like me). I think it's more suited to an intermediate programmer who understands JavaScript and wants to learn how to write programs using JQuery, not a person who wants to learn how to write their own programs from scratch.

I bought this book, because I own a copy of the very excellent CSS: The Missing Manual. Because of that book, I finally cracked things like Selectors and Floats, and found solutions to other nagging little problems, things I couldn't find on the Internet. (Perhaps I wasn't looking in the right places? I don't know.) I'd struggled with JavaScript in the past and given it up as a bad job, but lately, I decided to take another run at it, and I was hoping this manual could do for my JavaScript what the other manual did for my understanding of CSS. I'm afraid was disappointed on that score. I'm just as confused as ever!

The reason I gave the book three stars is because the basics are explained well enough, even if the exercises that follow aren't that great. Once he introduces JQuery, that becomes the focus of the book, and he shows you the great things that are possible using it, and I realise that for a lot of people that would be plus, but like I said before, I'm a beginner interested in learning good basic JavaScript. I'm not that interested in JQuery at the moment.
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