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DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model [Paperback]

by Jeremy Keith
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 19, 2005 1590595335 978-1590595336 1

We know from the success of titles such as Web Standards Solutions, Cascading Style Sheets: Separating Content from Presentation, and The Web Designer's Reference that web designers are increasingly concerned with making sites that don’t just look pretty, but are also built using current best practices.

There are three main technologies married together to create usable, standards-compliant web designs: XHTML for data structure, Cascading Style Sheets for styling your data, and JavaScript for adding dynamic effects and manipulating structure on the fly using the Document Object Model.

This book is about the latter of the three. DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model gives you everything you need to start using JavaScript and the Document Object Model to enhance your web pages with client-side dynamic effects. Jeremy Keith starts off by giving you a basic crash course in JavaScript and the DOM, then moves on to provide you with several real-world examples built up from scratch, including dynamic image galleries and dynamic menus. Then, he shows you how to manipulate web page style using the CSS DOM, and create markup on the fly.

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jeremy Keith�is a web developer living and working in Brighton, England. Working with the web consultancy firm Clearleft (, he enjoys building accessible, elegant websites using the troika of web standards: XHTML, CSS, and the DOM. His online home is Jeremy is also a member of the, where he serves as joint leader of the DOM Scripting Task Force. When he's not building websites, Jeremy plays bouzouki in the band Salter Cane ( He is also the creator and curator of one of the web's largest online communities dedicated to Irish traditional music,

Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: friendsofED; 1 edition (September 19, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590595335
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590595336
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.5 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #763,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm a web developer living and working in Brighton, England.

Working with the web consultancy firm Clearleft, I enjoy building accessible, elegant websites using the troika of web standards: XHTML, CSS and the DOM.

My online home is

I'm is a member of the Web Standards Project where I serve as joint leader of the DOM Scripting Task Force.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
111 of 113 people found the following review helpful
This book is directed toward scripters at the beginning and intermediate level. This is also a very good book for the veteran scripter who wants to re-tool as DOM-based techniques take hold.

I think Jeremy Keith takes the best road when he launches directly into DOM methods and objects, only mentioning the older ways for completeness. Most often, JavaScript books do the opposite -- mentioning DOM scripting only as an advanced art. But why learn the older ways when you must unlearn them later?

The author focuses on teaching correct methods and approaches, often taking the long way around to make it easier to see the larger picture. This requires a lot of forethought and organization on the part of an author and here the material excels. I don't think anyone will trip up following this guide through the Web script jungle.

The author also avoids the unbearable humor and cutesy language encountered so often in tech books. Thank you Mr. Keith! This is good, clear writing to go with good, clean scripting.

Quibbles: I think the author should have been more concerned with compatibility issues, esp. with IE6, the decrepit but still dominant browser. For instance, on pp 200-01, he recommends using the setAttribute() method to set a class but does not mention that IE improperly demands "className" as a parameter. His snippet would fail in IE. The chapter on CSS scripting was good but barely scratched the surface, not mentioning a bunch of cool scriptable objects.

Overall, this book is a worthy tool that should be welcomed by the target audience.
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51 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a book to teach us JavaScript DOM January 28, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There's been a lull in the past couple years with JavaScript books. Even though there are many sites that use DHTML and DOM scripting, there never was any books that really explain how to do these very useful and cool effects. Plenty of websites to download and copy code, but nothing that really explains how to do it. UNTIL NOW!!!

The moment I start reading the first chapter, I knew I would finally learn what DOM scripting really meant. I've read through many basic JavaScript books from different publishers but all of them just briefly described how the DOM worked in one brief chapter. The whole DOM Scripting book talks about it.

The first 2 chapters are a brief refresher course of the JavaScript basics, and then the 3rd chapter starts in with the DOM. After a thorough explanation of what it is and how it can be used, the next chapters go through various projects in reviewing how it can be used in real life web design.

There are eight chapters that explain and show you how DOM scripting can be used. The final chapter talks about the future of scripting and gives examples of AJAX--a great bonus!

I highly recommend this book to anybody who wants to take their JavaScript code to the next level. It's also a great book to help would-be AJAX programmers as well. Since you have to have a very good understanding of DOM to create AJAX applications.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Javascript/DOM book for beginners March 24, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
When a Javascript/DOM book:

1) ..starts by introducing Javascript and it's syntax instead of jumping into DOM immediately.

2) ..Explains every single bit of code in a simple language.

3) ..uses simple and easy-to-follow code.

4) ..Starts a chapter with a very simple program and build on it as you read.

5) ..lets you put up your first useful/practical Javascript script in a few hours.

6) ..encourages you to 'understand' the code instead of 'memorizing' it

7) written by Jeremy Keith

..Then you know it's worth every single cent you spend on it. I have nothing to say here except that if you're someone who knows nothing about Javascript/DOM and is willing to learn it, then you really shouldn't miss this book. But If you're an intermediate or advanced Javascript/DOM coder, then buying this book is not a good idea. It was solely made for begginers.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
The intent of the author is to show how JavaScript, with the DOM Api, can indeed be used in an intelligent way, debunking the myth (somehow justified by the horrific javascript code laying around) that "scripting languages" are somehow inherently inferior to compiled ones. Incidentally, this effort is similar to what Damian Conway has recently done, in a larger scale, for Perl ("Perl Best Practices").

The book is at its best when it describes how to methodically partition the design of a web page in 3 areas: the content-markup (xhtml), the presentation (css), the behavior (JavaScript, DOM). Jeremy Keith achieves this not by abruptly inflicting the reader with massive dosis of W3C standards, but rather "by evolution", taking one example (an "image gallery") coded in the traditional way, and continuously improving and refining it. Incidentally, the web pages that emerge are of a stunning beauty.

The book has its weak moments; I mention only two of them, one on the theory, the other on programming:

1) an apparent inconsistency on the properties of childNode[] array. After having repeatedly stated that this array contains ALL the children of an element node ("including the attribute nodes", see p. 67), it suddenly states (p. 70, p. 154, etc) that the text node of a paragraph node is the first and ONLY node of childNodes[]. Some tests (using elements that had attributes) confirmed that this last statement was correct. So, apparently, the childNodes[] array of an element does NOT report its attribute nodes, contradicting the first assertion.

2) the function "showPicture()", the central routine of the example that runs across all the book. All is fine, until Jeremy suddenly decides to change (ch 6, p.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars a necessary evil
first they tell you that you have to learn all the stuff in this book. if you pass that class and go on to the next, they tell you to forget everything from the previous class and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by patrick reed
5.0 out of 5 stars A very good Read and a must if you are keen to develop your own...
So far this book has broken down every part step by step. I have not completed this book yet but i am looking forward to every chapter going forward.
Published 4 months ago by Adam
2.0 out of 5 stars Was hard for me to read
I had to use this for an intro coding class when we didnt know what to do. This is not a good book for intro stuff. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ben Irwin
4.0 out of 5 stars Outdated, but still a very easy and useful introduction
Dom Scripting is a subject that many authors have shied away especially in the past years, to avoid having to tackle the annoying browser inconsistencies, and this is a real pity... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Riccardo Audano
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Book I found on JS!
SUPER clear and easy to read. Very well done exercises and concepts well explained. I loved this book and learned a ton from it! GREAT reference!!!
Published 10 months ago by M. J. Phillips
5.0 out of 5 stars Very clear and well-written
I found this book to be very useful in explaining the fundamentals of the DOM. Tips for coding in Javascript to increase the likelihood that it will work across different browsers... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Ted Frick
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book to learn DOM
It's the best book to learn how to manipulate DOM with javascript.

You won't learn in depth about javascript but enough to understand the DOM. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Quoc Doan
3.0 out of 5 stars Required for class
This book is extremely difficult to follow and find necessary information, I relied more on websites than this book to get work done.
Published 15 months ago by Alexa Sonderman
3.0 out of 5 stars decent book
It has the basic needs of a book. i learned a little. i really actually didn't read it. been to busy.
Published 19 months ago by Darren
5.0 out of 5 stars Javascript for Beginners or a pre-req to jQuery
Picked this up after feeling like I was missing something when learning jQuery and felt it was a pretty solid introduction to Javascript basics. Read more
Published on April 11, 2012 by Christopher G. Loverich
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