JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

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9780596000486: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

JavaScript is a powerful, object-based scripting language; JavaScript programs can be embedded directly in HTML web pages. When combined with the Document Object Model (DOM) defined by a web browser, JavaScript allows you to create Dynamic HTML content and interactive client-side web applications. JavaScript syntax is based on the popular programming languages C, C++, and Java, which makes it familiar and easy to learn for experienced programmers. At the same time, JavaScript is an interpreted scripting language, providing a flexible, forgiving programming environment in which new programmers can learn.JavaScript: The Definitive Guide provides a thorough description of the core JavaScript language and both the legacy and standard DOMs implemented in web browsers. The book includes sophisticated examples that show you how to handle common tasks, like validating form data, working with cookies, and creating portable DHTML animations. The book also contains detailed reference sections that cover the core JavaScript API, the legacy client-side API, and the W3C standard DOM API, documenting every JavaScript object, method, property, constructor, constant, function, and event handler in those APIs.This fourth edition of the bestselling JavaScript book has been carefully updated to cover JavaScript 1.5 (ECMAScript version 3). The book also provides complete coverage of the W3C DOM standard (Level 1 and Level 2), while retaining material on the legacy Level 0 DOM for backward compatibility.JavaScript: The Definitive Guide is a complete programmer's guide and reference manual for JavaScript. It is particularly useful for developers working with the latest standards-compliant web browsers, like Internet Explorer 6, Netscape 6, and Mozilla. HTML authors can learn how to use JavaScript to build dynamic web pages. Experienced programmers can quickly find the information they need to start writing sophisticated JavaScript programs. This book is an indispensable reference for all JavaScript programmers, regardless of experience level.

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Review:

Since the earliest days of Internet scripting, Web developers have considered JavaScript: The Definitive Guide an essential resource. David Flanagan's approach, which combines tutorials and examples with easy-to-use syntax guides and object references, suits the typical programmer's requirements nicely. The brand-new fourth edition of Flanagan's "Rhino Book" includes coverage of JavaScript 1.5, JScript 5.5, ECMAScript 3, and the Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 standard from the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). Interestingly, the author has shifted away from specifying--as he did in earlier editions--what browsers support each bit of the language. Rather than say Netscape 3.0 supports the Image object while Internet Explorer 3.0 does not, he specifies that JavaScript 1.1 and JScript 3.0 support Image. More usefully, he specifies the contents of independent standards like ECMAScript, which encourages scripters to write applications for these standards and browser vendors to support them. As Flanagan says, JavaScript and its related subjects are very complex in their pure forms. It's impossible to keep track of the differences among half a dozen vendors' generally similar implementations. Nonetheless, a lot of examples make reference to specific browsers' capabilities.

Though he does not cover server-side APIs, Flanagan has chosen to separate coverage of core JavaScript (all the keywords, general syntax, and utility objects like Array) from coverage of client-side JavaScript (which includes objects, like History and Event, that have to do with Web browsers and users' interactions with them. This approach makes this book useful to people using JavaScript for applications other than Web pages. By the way, the other classic JavaScript text--Danny Goodman's JavaScript Bible--isn't as current as this book, but it's still a fantastic (and perhaps somewhat more novice-friendly) guide to the JavaScript language and its capabilities. --David Wall

Topics covered: The JavaScript language (version 1.0 through version 1.5) and its relatives, JScript and ECMAScript, as well as the W3C DOM standards they're often used to manipulate. Tutorial sections show how to program in JavaScript, while reference sections summarize syntax and options while providing copious code examples.

About the Author:

David Flanagan is a computer programmer who spends most of his time writing about JavaScript and Java. His books with O'Reilly include Java in a Nutshell, Java Examples in a Nutshell, Java Foundation Classes in a Nutshell, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, and JavaScript Pocket Reference. David has a degree in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife and son in the U.S. Pacific Northwest bewteen the cities of Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. David has a simple website at http://www.davidflanagan.com.

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