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Mastering Dojo: JavaScript and Ajax Tools for Great Web Experiences (Pragmatic Programmers) Paperback – 8 Jul 2008

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 555 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (8 July 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356115
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356111
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 2.7 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 263,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


""Very nice book, it feels so thought through and advanced, really pragmatic and useful stuff;)""--Roman Heinrich""Let me first say that this is the most inspiring software book I have bought in while!""--Joakim Marner

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book begins with the authors explaining the greatness of Dojo and how dedicated the developers are by refactoring all the code back in 2007. From what I can tell they are still just as dedicated since I have been having trouble getting the code examples to work.

An early exercise involves creating a spreadsheet-like view using dojox.grid.Grid only that dojox.grid.Grid no longer exists, but by poking around I got it to work by using dojox.grid.DataGrid instead. Next up some code gets added to run asynchronous requests that pull in search results from yahoo based on the table row clicked. This does not work either. According to Yahoo 'The service has been shut down.' After reading through the documentation on [...] I am now finding that the method for including modules used by the book has been deprecated in favor of AMD format. To be fair I have not got very far with this book yet, but I'm already getting tempted to give up on it in favor of the online docs. It's a shame because this book is actually quite well written.
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Format: Paperback
The Dojo toolkit is, arguably, the most advanced JavaScript framework available today. jQuery might be designed equally well and be more compact, but it lacks advanced and ready to use GUI components. Ext JS might provide a ton of colourful widgets, but it lacks the implementation and API elegance of Dojo, not to mention it features a licensing system which is awkward enough to turn away any sane open source developer.

Dojo still has, however, one major drawback: the documentation is sparse at best, and completely missing in some areas. The API reference is not rich enough, and parts of the online free Dojo Book are outdated; the best option for programmers is often to skim directly through the well-commented source code and through the accurately done test suites. Dojo is a big and complex project, so it will take a while for the community to document it properly; in the meanwhile, the excellent forums, Dojo Campus and the IRC channel provide an excellent resource. Printed books also come to the rescue of programmers who want to use Dojo: being the project so interesting, there are quite a lot of titles available, and Mastering Dojo ranks among the most up-to-date and interesting ones.

Despite its name, this book is targeted to the programmer who doesn't yet use Dojo, as opposed to the Dojo programmer who wants to dig more deeply into the framework details. It, however, spans a wide range of Dojo-related topics: from the basics to the most advanced widgets (trees, grids) and other areas (internationalisation, extension of the framework). Basically, you just need to know JavaScript to read this book: even though Dojo also features an HTML declarative syntax, to obtain something useful out of the framework you really need to be comfortable with JavaScript.
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Format: Paperback
This book is essential reading material for anyone looking to develop RIA's.

I read this book hot on the tail of DWR 2.0 Projects and frankly I appreciated a more in depth coverage of some of the esoteric JavaScript code people use these days to code RIAs with Ajax. Having said that the book for me was not one where you instantly get things. Sometimes the sentences were't precise enough and a little too open to interpretation for my taste. I also found some of the diagrams in Chapter 9 particularly hard to get my head around. Not at all intuitive. There was also the odd forward reference to things that hadn't yet been covered. But by and large this didn't detract from the overall read.

I have to say I am very impressed with Dojo. It is a very polished project with quite a huge scope:
* If you've ever used templating technologies like Freemarker or Velocity, it has elements of this built in.
* Great themes. Architecture handles browser variants elegantly in CSS. No hacks here.
* It does a complete overhaul of the event model fixing up memory leaks in Internet Explorer.
* It is the most Accessibility friendly Ajax framework I've seen.
* It handles i18n really well and subclasses textboxes so you can have things like a numeric text box. Then you can apply currency formatting. It'll maintain two versions of the field in the browser. A viewable version and one that gets sent back to server. So things like thousand seperators, decimal points and currency symbols can be inserted and then stripped out in version returned to server. Great for things like percent 50% -> 0.5 etc. Great date formatting too.
* It also enables things like using the 'Esc' key to restore old values from form fields too.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8bf28d30) out of 5 stars 43 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bbc621c) out of 5 stars Currently the best book on Dojo 24 Aug. 2008
By Bin Hu - Published on
Format: Paperback
One line conclusion: Recommended for serious developers using Dojo.

Comparing this book with the other two Dojo books (one published by O'Reilly and one by Addison-Wesley Professional), I feel the title of this book is justified. The contents of the other two are greatly overlapped with the free online documentation of Dojo [...]. If all you wanted is a Dojo book that resembles a print copy of the free on line book, then you can buy the other two. If you are asking for something more, like how Dojo actually works and how to customize Dojo build (a pivotal step to speed up your product) then this is the one you need. You will not find such detailed documentation from either the Dojo documentation or the other two books.

I take one star out because the contents of the book does not fully cover the functionality of Dojo, which is somewhat understandable as Dojo itself keeps evolving.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8bf27644) out of 5 stars The First Book of Its Kind 21 Jun. 2008
By Robert H. Burroughs - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm up against a deadline for a web application. The going is slow when you
have to hand-carve the HTML, JavaScript, CSS and PHP. Dojo saves you at least
two-thirds of the work, so I'm very grateful for it. But it takes some getting
used to, and the on-line documentation is, well, succinct.

Russell's book came along just in time. It's a lifesaver.

The Introduction alone is worth the price. I found out about
some invaluable Web development debugging tools that I'd never seen before.
Russell provides a clear, concise explanation of some very important JavaScript
notions: Closures, Context, and Anonymous Functions. And all of this before
we even get to the toolkit!

The book makes the Dojo easy to use and easy to understand. There's a wealth
of coding examples, as well as complete lists of objects, methods, and so forth.
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8be4648c) out of 5 stars The Dojo Mojo 1 July 2008
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Matthew Russell has captured what makes Dojo the "magic sauce" of the Ajax world. As he indicates in the book's dedication, Dojo can be your friend in combating browser idiosyncrasies. Since Russell has been an active participant in the Dojo development community for a long time, he's in an excellent position to write from an expert's viewpoint. Another Amazon reviewer has covered the book's contents thoroughly. "Dojo: The Definitive Guide" is very well-organized and covers lots of ground. I appreciate the fact that the author doesn't simply rehash online documentation; instead he provides real insight and coherent explanations. Like most O'Reilly books, the table of contents and index are invaluable in rapidly honing in on a particular subtopic.

To get the most out of this book, you do need to have some web development background (JavaScript, CSS, HTML), but then who else would be purchasing this book? While the book might have benefited from a discussion of Dojo use with YUI, Google Gear, or other toolkits, the author points out this is out of scope. I imagine this saved more than a few trees. (Check out the ongoing efforts of the OpenAjax Alliance if you need to combine multiple frameworks.) I would have preferred access to the code examples packaged in a convenient zip file; perhaps the author will add that to his O'Reilly catalog page (URL given in the preface or just search for "Dojo" at However, these points do not detract from the thoroughness in which Russell has covered a difficult and rapidly changing topic.

This book is certainly worthy of the fine O'Reilly imprint. The fact that it is edited by the always discerning Simon St. Laurent is definitely a plus. If you are a web developer who needs cross-browser support, you need this book in your library.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c36bd68) out of 5 stars A must Have for Dojo Developers 30 Sept. 2008
By M. Addesa - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is an outstanding resource for anyone who plans to work with the Dojo Toolkit. Dojo is my personal favorite toolkit for JavaScript development. This book really helps to explain not only the "how to" of Dojo but also the "how come". It is a great reference for Dojo's core functionality, for Dojo's Dijit widgeting system and for the Dojo build system and test harness. It gives great practical advice on how to exploit the power of dojo.query, and provides great coverage of Dojo's data stores for data source abstraction. It has excellent coverage of dojo.fx for animations, it provides an invaluable desktop reference for Dijit. There is also a excellent coverage Dojo's Data Transport apis like XmlHttpRequest, Script Tag injection for JSONP or JSON with a check string mechanism), as well as the use of iframes for data transport.
If you are working with Dojo this book will make your life a whole lot easier.

One thing you should know before buying this book. It does not have in depth coverage of anything in the Dojox package, so you will not find anything in this book on the Data Grid!

Take a few days and give it a read, then keep it on your desk for reference. You can't go wrong.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8c3936b4) out of 5 stars Good for Dojo v1.5 and earlier 11 Aug. 2013
By Robert E. Ryan - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great material for Dojo v1.5 and earlier. Unfortunately, I had to use Dojo v1.8.1, and the book was useless, since the entire syntax for Dojo commands changed for v1.8... I had to go online to get the new syntax for v1.8.1, and there is no book available for this version...
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