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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 8 September 2016
I agree with Douglas Crockford's assesment: "This is the least bad book in a very large class of bad books on Javascript". It is extremely verbose in places (see the painful one and a quarter page explanation of the && operator on pg 76 for an example) and the order of presentation of material is bit awkward, with material that should be covered in the same place instead being dispersed over several chapters (for example new operator logically should have been covered by chapter 6, having been alluded to several times earlier in the book. Yet it appears in chapter 9). The exposition is quite unclear in many, many places (see the long-winded explanation of prototypes on pg. 118). It struggles to get to the heart of the matter, obfuscating the central points in many sections with peripheral details.

Yet, it is probably the best book I have found on Javascript in 17 years of using the language on and off. In one place, you would find all essential material not just on JavaScript the language, but also on a lot of the most important associated machinery (XMLHttpRequest, jQuery, HTML 5 APIs etc).

It is probably not the best resource for a JavaScript beginner to learn the language from. For that - as long as you have some programming experience and some knowledge of HTML and the DOM - I believe the single best resource is Douglas Cockford's set of three lectures (often referred to as the Douglas Crockford Trilogy). After that you may want to refer to this book whenever you want to explore some area of JavaScript in detail.
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on 31 March 2016
A very detailed book which covers the subject very thoroughly from the behaviour of the compiler and quirks in the language to full blown exploitation. Some bits might seem a little drawn out and detailed getting in the way of productivity but I didn’t find it difficult skipping such sections with a view to going back to them in a future iteration for a more in-depth understanding. I was put off by lots of complaints about the binding failing but in hindsight the book is quite large and heavy so with rough handling such issues are lightly to occur so I simply recommend a little care. All in all an interesting and well written book that I will most likely read several times in due course while I keep it for reference in the meantime. Good value for money.
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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 18 January 2018
Any writer on Javascript is pretty much on to a loser. Why? It's such a mess of a language (in my opinion), and is an ever-changing, almost out of control project that is being pushed forward relentlessly by multiple contributors and competing commercial interests. How the hell to make sense of all that? Well, we have to, since it's what we've got, and David Flanagan does do an excellent job. The trouble is, the language never stops developing and David's book is dated 2012, which is half a lifetime away in Javascript. Definitive it might have been, but only in the historic context of 2012.
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on 7 September 2017
This is quite an old book, although it has been revised to bring it up to latest versions of javascript. I would recommend that anyone wishing to understand javascript, should read this book. Remember, all javaScript libraries are based on this. and you can use native javaScript and intermingle it with the libraries such as jQuery.
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on 18 February 2015
I bought this book along with "Design of Everyday Things" as I'd like to improve on client-side interaction and design, since I've been working in a strictly server-side background for a few years. The first thing that struck me with this book was the size... it's HUGE. It's essentially the bible of JavaScript, with a whopping 1077 numbered pages. The downfall of having a book of this size is that the font needs to be shrunk down to such a degree, that there's hardly any contrast between the code examples and the author's text. Meaning those with sight difficulties, like myself, will have a hard time focusing on the content. I may get down to reading this face to face when I find the time (maybe after I finish The Design of Everyday Things), but for now I'll be leaving it on my shelf for reference.

My conclusion? If you're a beginner, get something other than JavaScript: The Definitive Guide - it'll be too overwhelming -- and that's coming from somebody who's been working with PHP for a good 5-6 years. If you're not worried about being overwhelmed, but have problems with your sight... get a magnifying glass!
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on 1 February 2017
Much like Senokot this book can provide much needed relief from the pain that is Javascript. A solid reference book for a terribly unproductive mishmash of a language. Not one for reading while in bed as it's heavy and could send you to the land of nod if you drop it.
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on 4 July 2013
This truly is the definitive guide! I highly recommend this book to both beginners wanting to grasp the basics and veterans alike who want a comprehensive reference to hand. As an advisory note, for anyone who is beginning JavaScript, they may want to also grab a dummies style book on JavaScript, especially if you find dry and extensive reference material hard to follow. Personally, I love this style of reference. Beginners guides quickly become redundant and end up collecting dust. Books like this will always be valuable.

When I purchase a programming reference book I want to dive straight in and start learning immediately. I don't want to spend good money and many hours reading about useless exercises written in a cringe-worthy, esoterically 'humorous', laid-back style. There are no jokes in this book. Just the facts. Is doesn't waste time trying to win friends. It just tells it how it is.

With over 1000 pages, this book not only has everything you'll ever need to know about JavaScript, it also has very informative sections on the new HTML5 elements like <canvas> & <audio>, and CSS.
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on 4 April 2009
I have been trying to really understand the basics of javascript from a number of books for sometime now and I must say no book has given me the thorough coverage of almost every topic like this book.

It's certainly a reference book that must be on the desk of every javascript developer, whether you're a beginner, mid-level like I'm or an advanced developer.

I especailly like the way the first 2 parts cover the core principles and the client side of javascript. Then you have the reference part that drives deep into all the functions and capabilities of the language.

It's well written, explains the concepts very well and I think it's worth every penny.

Working through books that have examples is good but I have found out that these books cannot explain every concept as that is not their main emphasis. This book does, and must be the first point of call for the beginner especially, before any other javascript book.
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