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on 19 August 2002
I don't have enough knowledge of the subject independently of this book to rate its coverage in detail. I am a programmer experienced in other languages who had previously done some simple Javascript programming learnt "on the job". I found it a complete eye-opener as to the complexity and power of this deceptively simple language (i.e. not simple at all when you go below the surface). The book contains very useful and seemingly comprehensive reference material. It is written extremely clearly and well, to a standard that I have never before seen in computer manuals, and with lots of good examples. None of the tiresome jokeyness and dumbing-down shown by many US-written manuals! It could almost be nominated for the Nobel Prize for Literature (of its kind, at least). The author has done a brilliant job. Full marks! I have not previously bought this publisher's books, but I will always look out for O'Reilly manuals from now on, in the hope that they will all come at least somewhere close to the standard of this book.
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on 9 January 2004
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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on 29 January 2004
I used to think of JavaScript as only good for adding fancy little effects in web pages, like image roll-overs. In fact it is a fully-fledged programming language capable of complex actions both in web pages and in other environments. As you learn the language you start thinking of serious uses for it. For example, we used to ship a product on DVD consisting of a database of images and video clips. Now we have replaced the whole database with some HTML pages, with embedded JavaScript to provide all the searching and sorting capabilities that used to require a heavyweight proprietary database run-time package.
This book starts by explaining the whole language in detail; then there is a comprehensive reference section, a general index and an index of built-in classes, properties and methods. If you are completely new to programming, and unsure about variables, functions, statements, expressions or objects, then you might want to find a gentler introduction than this. But if you already have some familiarity with programming in general and a working knowledge of HTML and CSS, then this book will be all you ever need on the subject. (Marini's book on the Document Object Model might offer some extra detail on manipulating structured documents.)
Comprehensive, well written and presented, good value.
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on 30 July 2003
Having spent 6 months working on JavaScript, I found this to be the best book I read on the language, even better than Goodman's "JavaScript Bible". Perhaps my previous knowledge of Java helped, and certainly this author approaches JavaScript from a Java programmer’s perspective, even drawing comparisons.
The best chapter is on the objects in JavaScript, especially pointing out that JavaScript is a prototype object orientated language, unlike many languages that are class object orientated ... an important distinction.
The reference section at the end separates the W3C's DOM from the object models used in the browsers. For W3C's purist this will be just right. For less idealistic programmers this may be a bit of an annoyance.
This isn't quite a beginners guide; rather moderately experienced programmers coming from other languages will probably benefit more from this book.
Still, this is easily one of the best programming books I've ever read.
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VINE VOICEon 2 December 2005
Probably the only Javascript book that you'll need for a long time. If you have programming experience and some understanding of object models then there should be almost nothing here that you won't understand and nothing outside of this book that you'll need. One of the best in the O'reilly series.
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on 25 June 2002
This book is quite unusual; it claims to be a definitive guide and it pretty much is. JavaScript itself continues to mature into a highly capable scripting language, with wider applications than just client-side/browser scripting. This book copes well with JavaScript's evolution, by employing a core JavaScript section (which covers JavaScript anywhere), and client-side sections (dealing with browser scripting and the Document Object Model). Moreover, the author concentrates on the relevant web standards (in particular the ECMA specs for JavaScript itself, and the W3C DOM, CSS etc), mostly avoiding skewing the information to a particular web browser implementation. I do web programming for a living and this book sits alongside me at my desk- genuinely indispensable. (Incidentally, Mozilla is my favourite web browser, especially for its support of W3C standards!)
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on 16 August 2003
This is the standard reference work for JavaScript... to the extent that there is even a version of JavaScript named after the Rhino on the front cover!
However, as for the fourth edition, there has been a full-scale reorganisation of the content. A single reference section in the third edition has been separated out into three sections (Core JavaScript Reference, Client Side JavaScript Reference and W3C DOM Reference) with an additional section index to tell you what's covered by each reference section. I've not found this to add a great deal of value, but finding the relevant reference information has become a real pain. Some of the more useful tables have also been removed (for example, charting differences in I.E. and Nutscrape browsers).
Common through all versions, the syntax ("synopsis", as they call it) could really benefit from expanding to show where as well as how each object/property/method/function/attribut/event is used.
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on 1 October 2004
I own the 3rd edition, this 4th edition has another 200 pages I don't do that much with javascript (my motto being: use the right tool for the job) - So I put off the purchase but it is worth the money.
If you don't own any version of this book. I'd recommend you buy it.
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on 26 April 2005
I'm giving this two stars to balance things out a bit and to act as a warning. I'm a complete newcomer to JavaScript and bought this book thinking it would be "definitive" and tell me everything I needed to know. I want to build a dynamic web site that interacts with a server (like eg Google Maps does). To my great surprise, this book has absolutely nothing to say about server interaction other than traditional form submital. Nothing about the use of hidden iframes for instance. Nothing about XMLHttpRequest although that's probably fair enough since the book is three years old.
I keep coming across other JavaScript things it doesn't mention. Like conditional compilation (@cc_on). Maybe that's also fairly new?
So just be warned that this book is showing its age now!
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on 10 October 2013
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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