JavaScript Book Reviews

JavaScript is hard to write for as pointed out in our JavaScript tutorials . So finding a good introductory text has been a long search; fortunately Chuck Easttom has really done the trick with his Learn JavaScript. This book starts users out with the basic syntax and real world exercises - a strong mixture of theory and graded practice that makes learning effective(and users have all the tools - a PC, a5.x browser, and simple editor are all that is required).

The organizing motif is a web site project - which, if users don't have one to work on, they can simulate with Personal Web Server or Apache as localhost. The exercises move through JavaScripts powerful string, date and numeric processing functions onto the DOM-Document Object Model so vital to Web programming and then to JavaScripts very powerful, yet easily utilized objects. Users can even try their hand at game programming, menus, and dynamic hyperlinks. But all the time they are getting a great grounding in HTML/JavaScript syntax and coding methods. Best to buy this direct from the Web at Amazon or Barnes and Noble because the publisher, Wordware, is only to be found in specialty computer bookstores in our area.

JavaScript's cousin, ActionScript has not one but 3 excellent reference tomes - JavaScript Cookbook by Danny Goodman combined with Michael Flanagans JavaScript:The Definitive Guide finally achieves that good combination of theory and practice. We have covered Flanagan's book in the JavaScript tutorials section. so we shall cover Danny Goodman's JavaScript cookbook here. By the way, the Cookbook is distinctly different from Goodman's own DHTML Definitive Guide, another O'Reilly text.

One of the strengths of Danny's other books on HTML and JavaScript are the always interesting and illuminating examples. Well this book is the exactly that - well chosen examples or recipes for coding using JavaScript. The book follows a group of themes managing windows, controlling navigation, using and validating forms, etc. But the examples range from what appears to be simple to the most interesting of dynamic menus. Along the way, Danny describes some of the necessary workaround necessitated by browser wars; but most important of all he makes clear how the various parts of JavaScript DOM, CSS, built in objects fit to make solutions.

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