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DHTML Utopia Modern Web Design Using JavaScript & DOM Paperback – May 1, 2005

ISBN-13: 978-0957921894 ISBN-10: 0957921896

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 318 pages
  • Publisher: SitePoint (May 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0957921896
  • ISBN-13: 978-0957921894
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,281,227 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Add dynamic interactivity to your Web site with DHTML and Cascading Style Sheets!
  • Targeted to designers and content creators, not just programmers.
  • Visual, task-based format the ideal way to get up and running with DHTML.

This edition is up-to-date on the current Web standards and browsers, and includes all new coverage of using DHTML to get information about the browser environment and adding multimedia to a site, as well as new basic and advanced dynamic techniques, such as making objects appear and disappear, moving objects in 3D, and adding dynamic content. This edition offers full cross-platform and cross-browser coverage. This book does not focus on the more complex aspects of DHTML, but focuses on practical examples of what really works with DHTML and CSS, making it useful for beginners just starting out with DHTML, as well as professional developers looking for a quick reference.

About the Author

Stuart Langridge is quite possibly the only person in the world to have a BS in computer Science and philosophy. When he's not fiddling about with computers, he's an information architect, author of SitePoint's "DHTML Utopia," a member of the WaSP's Scripting Task Force, and a drinker of decent beers. He's also one-quarter of the team at LugRadio, the world's premiere free and open source software radio show.

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Customer Reviews

If you've already worked with Javascript, this is a great book to have on the shelf.
Ted Drake
The author recognized this in some cases by putting in comments: } /* end 'if' */ } /* end 'for' */ It would have been better to match braces visibly.
Brett Merkey
The only bit I don't like about this book is that you often get yourself into something without really learning much about it.
Michael Bodily

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

49 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Brett Merkey on June 10, 2005
Format: Paperback
In the past year I have seen some impressive yet close to incomprehensible scripts that show a new direction in JavaScript. We can find syntax and approaches so different from the standard practice most of us implement. Unfortunately, the scripters who have grasped the new techniques have shown little interest in explaining the new approach. Their examples published on the Web have a "show-offy" character that do little to communicate or proselytize.

For that reason, I was eager to study this book since it promised to deal with some of the new approaches, including the syntax. I have learned a lot from the author who early on made pains to keep me running apace. Regretfully, the author seemed to be less and less concerned with keeping me with him as the book progressed. The first 4 chapters were the clearest.

Part of the problem was mine. Since the book did not seem to be organized in a linear fashion, I skipped Ch. 5 on animation. I design Web applications so I associate animation with script kiddies and popup ad makers. Ch. 6, on form validation, was up my alley but following the author was painful because he kept referring to a variable "fV" that was defined with a self-referential, bizarrely nested syntax. Only at the end of the chapter did he mention that Ch. 5 first used this syntax. I had to go back to the previous chapter to get a clue. But only a clue because that chapter never really tried to explain why this extremely unconventional approach was used.

The author early on tries to make the case that his approach is better than the conventional one. I *think* I agree but as the chapters progressed, he made less and less effort to prove anything at all. I was very disappointed in this. I also did not like the odd way the braces in the scripts were handled.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jack D. Herrington on June 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
There is some great cutting edge stuff in here. If you know what you are doing already and want to get a jump start into Ajax then this is a good book for you. My problem with it is that the text relies too heavily on the code to convey the message. Which means that the book is better for advanced readers. I also would have appreciated some more emphasis on what works cross browser and how to handle older browsers.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Jon Hanlon on February 20, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is without doubt the worst book on DHTML/Javascript that I've ever read. The author tries to be cute, funny and authorative but ends up just plain painful. The examples are over-long and artificial, and would be difficult to incorporate into a real world application. The author peppers the book with snazzy shots like "It's the modern way!" but rarely explains the benefits of the methodology he's pushing, and glosses over any shortcomings.

For instance, in discussing regular expressions he provides a simple expression for a telephone number, then points out that it's seriously flawed. But it's "suitable for our discussion" so onward we press, and a correct solution is never provided. Bad luck if you were after such a beast. (Footnotes abound - often just URLs to now broken links - so you have to wonder why he couldn't have provided the solution at the bottom of the page.) The part on Ajax is a joke - he just plugs in an out-of-date version of the Sarissa library and never scratches below the surface.

Beware.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael Bodily on September 2, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like a lot of the other reviewers, I found the first few chapters the most helpful. If you are willing to completely ignore non-DOM compliant browsers (which we should all be migrating to anyway) then there are some cool techniques that you can learn here.

The only bit I don't like about this book is that you often get yourself into something without really learning much about it. If you've never been exposed to regular expressions before, then you might find it difficult to adapt his cool rollover techniques to other uses... for example using regular expressions to dynamically change the className of a div tag, for example.

Same thing with objects. After he introduces them, he doesn't do to much to explain to you how to use them to your full advantage. He gives you a quick overview and you say to yourself "this is cool stuff", but it would be hard if you've never been exposed to objects in javascript to adapt this knowlege towards other applications within javascript.

The book isn't tremendously long, and so part of the reason for all this might be the target length of the book. Nonetheless, he throws you a bone with a bit of gravy, but if you're trying to find the steak, you're outta luck.

BUT! If you can grasp onto the concepts, then this book is a definate eye opener. I have been able to leverage his examples in many pages at my work thus easing my overall programming burdon. I have found that many of his scripts take a bit of set up to get working, but they all fulfill the promise that after you get them up and running you can geniunely plop them onto any other page and they will work. Pretty cool stuff.

Michael Bodily

Mission Viejo, CA
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Foti Massimo on June 17, 2005
Format: Paperback
It's refreshing to finally see similar books hitting the market. There is a strong need to cover a modern approach to JavaScript programming, many old hacks aren't required anymore and this book showcase a good amount of up to date techniques. The whole book is 100% practical oriented and assume previous experience with client-side webdeveloping. Organization among the chapters is somewhat lacking but the examples are usually quite easy to follow. I especially appreciated how the author try to follow standards as much as possible, but he keeps a pragmatic attitude when the need arise.
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