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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide Fifth Edition Edition

99 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596101992
ISBN-10: 0596101996
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"Excellent, detailed guide." - Computer Shopper, February 2007

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 1032 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; Fifth Edition edition (August 27, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596101996
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596101992
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #148,395 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Russell Brooks on January 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
The previous edition of this book, 4th edition, remained at arm's length at all times at work and rescued me repeatedly from various day-to-day JavaScript challenges. It has become tattered from rigorous use. I always loved how the book was organized, with the first half as a walk through the entire gamut of JavaScript's workings -- tutorials, walk-thrus, code samples, cross-browser issues, and practical solutions -- and the second half of the book as a complete JavaScript language and DOM reference. That already very useful format has actually been improved upon. David has combined the DOM API reference and client-side JavaScript reference into a single alphabetized section. Now that I think about it, I did find myself flipping back and forth a lot in the previous edition, so this is a welcome improvement. Each object, property, and method contains a helpful "availability" of that item. This may be the standards spec it came from [DOM Level 2 HTML, ECMAScript v1], the JavaScript version in which it emerged [JavaScript 1.0], or a list of browser versions, if it is a proprietary feature. This is critical info to have at-a-glance - could perhaps save you 2 days of work implementing a non-standard, IE-specific JavaScript feature, when you could have been coding the standards-compliant equivalent. David has removed a lot of the deprecated, not-widely-adopted DOM interfaces that no longer apply to modern browsers. David has also moved focus away from some of the more oddball DOM interfaces that have been replaced by more sensible JavaScript objects that implement those interfaces, for example, window.getComputedStyle() rather than AbstractView.getComputedStyle(). In other words, David has removed all of the "stuff that still exists, but you no longer need to worry about".Read more ›
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful By calvinnme HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 18, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
First off, this is a review of the 5th edition, released August 1, 2006. All other reviews prior to that date are talking about previous editions of this book, which are considerably different than the current one.

The reason the various editions of this book have been so good over the last ten years is probably because they have all been written by the same author, David Flanagan, who seems to really know his audience. Part one of the book is pretty much the same as in the previous edition. It acts as a complete tutorial on the language, taking you all the way from basic language constructs into object-oriented programming and finally basic scripting.

Where things get really interesting and cutting edge is in part two of the book, "Client-Side Javascript". Most of the examples we've seen so far, while legal JavaScript code, had no particular context - they were JavaScript fragments that ran in no specified environment. Chapters 13 and 14, "Javascript in Web Browsers", and "Scripting Browser Windows" provide that context. This begins with a conceptual introduction to the web browser programming environment and basic client-side JavaScript concepts. Next, it discusses how to embed JavaScript code within HTML documents so it can run in a web browser. Finally, the chapter goes into detail about how JavaScript programs are executed in a web browser.

Next, the book turns its attention to the Document Object Model (DOM). Client-side JavaScript exists to turn static HTML documents into interactive programs. It is the Document object that gives JavaScript interactive access to the content of otherwise static documents.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By FW on October 20, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'm a technical trainer, and we've decided to distribute this book as part of our Ajax courseware. We've reviewed many other JavaScript books, but we keep coming back to this one.

Suffice to say - its an excellent Core javaScript coursebook by itself (the first 220 pages). But the latest 5th edition is also a great resource for other Web 2.0 relevant topics: Ajax/Remote Scripting, CSS, Event handling, DOM scripting, ... The fifth edition also includes comments related to the just-release Internet Explorer 7.

Add in another 100+ page Core JavaScript reference section

Plus another 240+ page Client-Side JavaScript Object reference section (classes, methods, properties, and event handlers...such as XMLHttpRequest, Document, Window, Event)

And it all adds up to one thick/heavy book that deserves to be on your bookshelf...

My only complaint - the reference section has changed. Previous editions would tell you specifically which browser versions are applicable. In this edition, the author chose to tell us what standard provides the specification. Ex: "ECMAScript v1". IMHO - I wish the reference section consistently showed both bits of information ALL the time: the specification standard, and the browsers which support it.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Frank Stepanski on October 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This is the 5th edition of this almost thousand page book (992), and has been pretty much the gold standard for JavaScript reference books. I have the 4th edition that came out a few years ago and it was worth upgrading to this new 5th edition.

JavaScript use has changed a lot the past few years and this new edition definitely focuses on the changes that have been following JavaScript with Ajax and DOM implementations. The book is totally updated for updated browser support (IE6, Firefox, Opera and Safari) and details any specific browser quirks as well. This book will replace your hours of surfing online for JavaScript sites looking for that one obscure thing that you can't find in your other books. I also like it because it is easy to find things with its divided sections into: Core JavaScript, Client-Side JavaScript, Core JavaScript Reference, and Client-Side JavaScript Reference.

I really can say that this book does not leave anything out. Though I'm not a JavaScript guru (yet), but this book is as complete as you'll find (even comparing it to the Bible books). This should not be your first JavaScript book, unless you have some programming background because it can be a little daunting going through everything because it is so detailed. If you do any real JavaScript programming or development (or will be doing some in the future), this definitely has to be in your bookshelf.
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