Beginning JavaScript 1st Edition

80 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1861004062
ISBN-10: 1861004060
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Suitable for learning basic programming for Web browsers, Beginning JavaScript is a patient, introductory tutorial on writing scripts successfully. It teaches you how to create client-side scripts (including full coverage of fundamentals like variables and flow control, plus plenty of screen shots.)

JavaScript is a good way to learn programming. It's powerful, of course, but the book takes small steps, using scripts that work with string and time data first, and then moving to manipulating browser objects like forms and windows. A running case study for a trivia game helps anchor the steps with a practical (and fun) example. There are plenty of tips on debugging your scripts (including how to use the Microsoft Script Debugger tool), and each section includes sample questions. (The book also offers extensive answers in over 80 pages at the end of the book.)

There's plenty of material on the differences between Internet Explorer and Netscape, especially when it comes to Dynamic HTML (DHTML). Coverage of the Document Object Model (DOM) for browsers helps bring the text up to date on some of the latest standards in Web browsers (including the new Netscape 6).

While the focus of Beginning JavaScript clearly is on the client, later sections turn to server-side ASP development (in which the sample trivia game is enhanced with ASPs written in JavaScript using ADO and Microsoft Access.) Reference sections on JavaScript and the browser object model for Internet Explorer and Netscape (through version 4.x) round out the material.

In all, with its approachable style and clearly rendered code examples, Beginning JavaScript makes for a worthwhile first book of programming for today's browsers. Even if you haven't programmed before, this text can give you the tools you need to bring your static Web pages to life. --Richard Dragan

Topics covered:

  • Introduction to JavaScript
  • Cross-browser compatibility issues
  • JavaScript data types and variables
  • Displaying errors
  • Calculations
  • Operators
  • String handling
  • Flow control statements
  • Loops
  • Introduction to using objects
  • The browser object model
  • HTML forms (including types of input controls)
  • Frames and windows
  • Tutorial for regular expressions
  • Advanced string methods
  • Date, time, and timer objects
  • Common errors
  • The Microsoft Script Debugger
  • Cookies
  • Dynamic HTML (DHTML) on Internet Explorer 4.0 and Netscape Navigator 4.x
  • The Document Object Model (DOM)
  • ActiveX controls and plug-ins used with JavaScript
  • Server-scripting
  • Introduction to ASP and databases (including SQL basics and database design with Microsoft Access)
  • Sample case study for a trivia game
  • Sample exercises and answers
  • References to JavaScript
  • Internet Explorer 4 and 5 and Netscape Navigator 4 objects
  • ASP object model reference

From the Publisher

This book is for anyone who wants to learn JavaScript. You will need a very basic knowledge of HTML, but no prior programming experience is necessary. Whether you want to pick up some programming skills, or want to find out how to transfer your existing programming knowledge to the Web, then this book is for you. All you need is a text editor (like Notepad) and a browser, and you're ready to go!
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Product Details

  • Series: Programmer to Programmer
  • Paperback: 1006 pages
  • Publisher: Peer Information Inc.; 1 edition (December 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861004060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861004062
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.2 x 2.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,686,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
It's a big book. It's a very big book. It taught me Javascript to a point where I was writing code from my head. Patience is required, but it will pay off. The author covers everything from beginning programming concepts, to the Javascript Document Object Model (which will help down the road with many aspects of programming), to Dynamic HTML (i.e., making things fly across the screen or making dynamic menus), database programming with Javascript and ASP, and Active X. It's much more than a beginner's book.
Right off the bat the book discusses errors and how to interpret them (an inevitability for any Javascript programmer). That way, as you make mistakes, or mistype something (you will, we all do), you'll know how to handle it instead of flipping through the book screaming for answers.
An added bonus is that you build an application as you go. When you're done with the book you have a working Javascript app that you can easily edit to your own whims and publish on the web.
I can honestly say that, as I read this book, I experienced none of the frustration I usually experience with programming books. The code examples worked, typos were incredibly scarce, and I knew what to do with those "I have to hit something now!!" errors that arise in any programming endeavor.
It's fair to say that this is not only a good beginning Javascript book, it's also a good introduction to programming. You can write code and easily see instant results, which can be gratifying for a beginner.
A good book. Buy and learn.
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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful By Brian Donnelly on January 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is by far one of the most in-depth js books on the market. Not only is it a reference manual but it is also an instructor, step by step. It would help you to understand some of the js language before you dive into this book but the author does attempt to teach, and I feel successfully so.
Just about everything that you could want to do with js in regards to the world wide web is covered in here. JS is not the be-all end-all solution but the language picks up where a lot of scripting languages like perl, PHP leave off.
If you have enjoyed the power of js with web development and want to get more from it you have to take a look at this book, anybody at any experience level will enjoy it.
A great reference and an excellent companion.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Michael Simpson on March 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
I almost passed this book over in the bookstore because of the "Beginning" in the title. "Beginning" implies basic and based on other Wrox titles I've seen, it usually meant an over view of wizards and the development environment. I had looked at several other JavaScript books and finally selected one although it was not exactly what I wanted. I was on my way to the register when I decided to go back and took another look, even at the "Beginning" book. It wasn't what I expected. This book has not let me down. It has so far anticipated and answered every question that comes to my mind. It has a very good balance between tutorial and reference. Mr. Wilton is a talented writer and I hope he will be doing more books.
Although, I did not purchase this title from Amazon, I felt compelled to write this review so that others can benefit from my experience.
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46 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Blake Watson on September 20, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by noting that, at its heart, this is a solidly written book for beginners. A neophyte with a modicum of aptitude could pick up this book and learn to program Javascript. It'd be a five-star-er--I'm sure it was a five-star book when the first edition came out.

Let me say that I'm an old hand at JS, and an even older hand at writing books and programming. JS is one of those languages (like most of them) where I sat down and started programming out of necessity. And when I do that, I like to go back to square one when I have a chance and see if I've overlooked any basics. This is the book I chose to use for that, based largely on the reviews of the top JS books on Amazon.

And, the thing is, I really like this book. I can see that the original author, Wilton, put a lot of care into it. He wrote his code clearly, and described it in easy-to-follow chunks. He takes small steps and gives just enough repetition. It's not a lightning introduction: It walks you through it.

Now, what happens with coding books is that the book gets written, and if it sells well, the publisher wants it updated for the next version. So the author (or someone new) comes in and goes to see what's valid and what's not, adds a few notes, a few caveats, and maybe a couple of chapters at the end. The publisher wrings a few more sales out of this and it's probably sufficient. At least for a second edition, if things haven't changed too much.

This, however, is the fourth edition of a book that was originally written in 2000! For WEB technology! Wilton focuses smartly on the nuts-and-bolts of JS, so that stuff holds up, but if your mission is to get stuff done on a modern website with JS, this book is going to feel really stale.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Larry the K on February 24, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I chose this book on JavaScript based upon the reviews which were already posted at Amazon on this and similar books. After having read the first few chapters, I totally agree that this book is both usable by both programmers with experience in other languages as well as by a total novice. The reader must, however, have a least a cusory knowledge of HTML. I found that Mr. Wilton is particularly good in his explanations of the sample code. Although I'm still in the first 100 pages (the book has over 1000), it appearts that the book is very complete. Also, there are references to other sources (mainly on-line) where further formal explanations can be obtained. Finally, all examples of code are on downloadable from the publisher's Web site.
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