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on 2 March 2016
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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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 28 March 2017
Still reading but so far so good.
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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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on 16 October 2014
Very useful to have on your bookcase - for those memory block moments!
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on 1 August 2014
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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on 18 September 2011
I've read through a couple of starter books on Javascript and have past experience of C programming. However this book really is on a higher level and I feel like I am actually learning the true 'nature of the beast', painful as it is. Whereas the starter level books tell you how to make things work in the real world, this book describes why they work that way.

It's like learning how to drive a car and wanting to know how the gear box is put together at the same time though. I'm sure you could do a lot of Javascript programming with out the level of detail this book goes into, however hopefully my efforts will be rewarded !

I'd say that the examples used often introduce complicated syntax or extra twists that go beyond what is being illustrated, as a newby this does really make your head hurt, however I generally get there in the end if I go back and review what I have read. I've read a lot of Unix man pages in my time and reading this book is kind of like reading one long man page. Pretty un-relenting stuff compared to the chatty nature of the Dummies books for example ! Wish me luck completing this please ;-)


I have now finished reading the first part of this book. The second part is what I am really interested in and I am now hooked ! It's amazing to think that JavaScript is at the heart of the internet and WWW 2.0 . It surely can not be a wasted effort to learn about JavaScript. There is not a more authoritative book to learn from either as far as I know .


I'm now half way though the jQuery section of this book. I have revisited some of the easier books I read prior to this one today and it strikes me how they all gloss over the details. I promise you that once you have read through all the examples in this book and understood them you will feel like you have really advanced ! I feel like I am now getting ready to start making web pages and hope to try to make a living out of it.

One thing that stuck me is how the Author says he has been effected by Piracy. OK so it's good to have on-line copies of books, but I really like having a physical copy. I like to take it out with me and read it sat in the car for example. At Amazon's price you will probably end up paying that much in Electricity by the time you complete this book any how ! If nothing else this book is a great read and I find it highly stimulating to learn so much detail about a language that is so intrinsic to the web. I fail to see how time invested in reading this book can fail to pay dividends ! Great book .


I've really studied hard into HTML and CSS and now I've come back to this book and started reviewing the 'Client Side' section, having read it through some time ago. I have learned a lot from this book about programming in general and it's interesting to see from this review how far I have progressed in my reading ! Upon reflection I think some of the material in Pt. 1 of this book could be skipped, probably for 80-90 percent of readers... Details that are 'nice to know' but not essential unless you write advanced Library code or are trying to solve a specific problem.. So perhaps bare this in mind if you seem to be getting bogged down ! BTW The PDF version of this sits on my 'Retina' iPad and I love it !
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on 27 February 2007
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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on 15 January 2007
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? Even though I'm not fond of client side programming and prefer to script on the server, this is one of the few books for which I can really find nothing bad to say. It's well written, simple to understand, entertaining. There's also the Italian translation: there's the previous edition on the shelves in Italy at present time, but we'll hopefully see this new fantastic edition translated soon.
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on 1 December 2009
Of the many books in my technical library, this one never fails to impress me. The quality of the writing, the thoroughness of coverage and the structuring of the book set a benchmark which many technical books struggle to meet.

A number of reviewers have pointed out that trying to learn the language from this text is difficult, and that it is best considered to be a reference guide. Experience with C, Java, Python or similar will help you to understand the syntax easily and this book will give you all that you need to become proficient in the language; if you do not have such experience, then an introductory text may be a good companion.

The book is divided into four main sections: "Core Javascript", "Client-Side Javascript", "Core Javascript Reference" and "Client-Side Javascript Reference". The client-side Javascript section gives good coverage of the DOM, CSS, Ajax and more; there is enough meat in here for you to start building demanding applications without recourse to additional texts (although you may want to buy specialist texts in these subjects over time). The table of contents is helpful, and each main section has its own mini table of contents. The book's indexer deserves credit: 43 pages of sensible indexing means that you can always find what you need. My advice to users of this book is to first spend an hour becoming familiar with its structure - knowing your way around will make subsequently finding things much easier, and will help you to enjoy and get the best from its nearly 1000 pages.

On the rare occasion when the depth of coverage is insufficient for a specific need, the book will have given you enough background for you to feel confident doing targeted googling for the extra information (iframes was a recent case in point for me).

This book is the only Javascript book which Douglas Crockford recommends - high praise indeed. Once you start to feel confident with the 'Definitive Guide', you may appreciate Crockford's book, and those of John Resig, as you find yourself being transported towards Javascript gurudom.
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