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JavaScript and Ajax for the Web: Visual QuickStart Guide (7th Edition) Paperback – October 24, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0321564085 ISBN-10: 0321564081 Edition: 7th
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Negrino is the author of dozens of books including Visual QuickStart Guides covering Macromedia Contribute and Keynote, and Visual QuickProject Guides on upgrading to Mac OS X Tiger, Keynote, and PowerPoint.

Dori Smith is the author of Java for the World Wide Web: Visual QuickStart Guide. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, publisher of the Wise-Women’s Web community, and a member of the Web Standards Project. Together they’ve written the best-selling Macromedia Dreamweaver 8 for Windows and Macintosh: Visual QuickStart Guide, authored numerous print and online articles, and maintain the Backup Brain weblog. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Peachpit Press; 7 edition (October 24, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0321564081
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321564085
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,004,518 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Frank Stepanski on January 5, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is the sixth editing of the Visual QuickStart Guide to this book and it is the best so far. It finally focuses on some of the WSC standard DOM practices that all the other new JavaScript books have been showing the past year. It also has some a great chapter on one of the most popular JavaScript library/toolkits: Yahoo! UI. This library by Yahoo! has tons of ways to help you create quickly a JavaScript and/or Ajax widget/application for your own site.

This book is a great beginner book for people trying to get into coding or programming since all you need is a web browser and no fancy compiler or other costly program. The book goes though the basics of JavaScript with creating variables and where to put your scripts. The author shows you some simple examples to get you started. It then focuses on more language basics such as loops, if statements, creating custom functions, and arrays. It gives a simple examples for each topic and then builds a small application with each new topic covered to show the reader how they all can be put together. I really like how the author does this because it shows the reader what can be done with JavaScript instead of just explaining each topic and moving on.

The book then covers manipulating images with JavaScript since doing image-rollovers is what got JavaScript noticed years ago. Then the bigger chapters focus on handling forms which the other big use of JavaScript for years. Being able to manipulate data in forms as well as validate that data is crucial for understanding some of the power of JavaScript. The book also has a good section in Chapter 8, with forms and regular expressions.
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22 of 26 people found the following review helpful By K. Thrasher on February 12, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was required to purchase this book for a class on JavaScript and Ajax. Now that we're a few weeks into the semester, pretty much everyone in my class--including my professor--agrees that this book is more or less useless.

This book does not teach JavaScript. Rather, it teaches you how to complete the examples in each chapter. It doesn't explain the script it wants you to use, and it doesn't really go over any of the basics of JavaScript. My experience with this book has been entirely negative. I have no previous JS experience, and this book isn't helping me to learn anything. At all.

I would not recommend this book to anybody who knows nothing about JavaScript--which of course are the people who could really benefit from a teaching manual (like me). Unfortunately I cannot think of any other text to suggest, but I'm hoping that will change in the near future once I have acquired a different book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John C. Welch on November 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
While this is not the book to use if you've never even attempted programming, if you have at least moderate experience, Dori and Tom's latest revision will get you moving in the JS/Ajax world quite quickly. As a sysadmin running everything but AS/400s at the moment, I am more than a little appreciative that they tested out the book's code on as many browsers and platforms as they did.

It's not the Ultimate Tome Of Javascript Knowledge, but it's not supposed to be. Nor is it going to tell you how to do everything. But what it will do, and by design, is get you pointed in the right direction , and give you the basic skills and knowledge you need to get down to business quickly.

I will agree that some of the pagination is suboptimal, but that's Peachpit's problem, and at least to me, didn't detract, and doesn't detract from the book's ability to get me from 0 to 60 in a short amount of time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Barge on July 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Javascript is quite hard to learn from books (well, it's a hard scripting language to learn for a number of reasons, mostly because *nobody* seems to understand the need for teaching syntax in the setting of a full script). Most books give you long, impenetrable narrative about the DOM and DOM2, the history of ECMA, deep theoretical discussions of the difference between, say, NULL and "undefined" and NaN. They are impossibly poorly suited to some guy like me, who builds webpages, has a good grasp of server-side languages, and wants to know some more solid client-side js techniques than putting a few event handlers into forms or alerting "Hello World!". These respected tomes teach little practical syntax or structure for an actual script.

This Visual QuickStart guide almost succeeds. Unlike the others, after teaching the necessary grammatical basics, it runs you through actual scripts while explaining what they do and why. It's an excellent method of teaching any programming language from a book. Larry Ullman, for instance, is a master of this writing style.

Unfortunately, the approach suffers from major defects of execution. Negrino clearly has a few philosophical postures about how javascript should be written, especially that js scripts should be written in external files in such a manner that they can be used, without modification, on any html page. This is actually okay, since it's a good approach for a more advanced programmer -- it just leaves out all other possible ways of accomplishing something and, at the worst, buries some concepts inside unnecessarily complex structures .

Much worse, the book is just poorly edited and supported. It is a nightmare to try to download the scripts from the website and, when you do, necessary graphics are missing.
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