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JavaScript: The Missing Manual 1st Edition

49 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0596515898
ISBN-10: 0596515898
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

David Sawyer McFarland is the president of Sawyer McFarland Media Inc., a web development and training company located in Portland, Oregon. In addition, he teaches JavaScript programming, Flash, and web design at the University of California, Berkeley, the Center for Electronic Art, the Academy of Art College, and Ex'Pression College for Digital Arts. He was formerly the webmaster at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center. David is also the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual.


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Product Details

  • Series: Missing Manual
  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (July 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0596515898
  • ISBN-13: 978-0596515898
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #367,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David McFarland is a Portland, Oregon based Web developer who's been designing and building Web sites since 1995. He is the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual. He is also a Macromedia-certified trainer, and a member of the faculty of the multimedia program at Portland State University.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

117 of 123 people found the following review helpful By Brett Merkey on August 11, 2008
Format: Paperback

I thought the author's other "Missing Manual" on CSS was very good and said so. ( CSS: The Missing Manual ) I am not so sure about this one.

This book is meant to be a beginner book and it certainly does treat certain aspects of JavaScript well from that perspective. My problem is that the author has chosen to integrate a particular JavaScript framework, jQuery, into the examples, starting with the introductory chapter.

I have used jQuery and have a high opinion of it, esp. of its CSS-like selector syntax. However, I don't think I ever could have learned the basics of JavaScript using jQuery. jQuery has its own syntax and its own ways of doing things that are different from other JavaScript frameworks and certainly *much* different from generic JavaScript.

A true beginner is going to find it difficult separating what is applicable to the wide world of JavaScript from what will only be applicable in one particular circumstance.

Perhaps the book may be better labeled as a getting started with JavaScript and jQuery text.

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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Bharat C. Ruparel on August 24, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have David's CSS book and was waiting for this book to come out. I can understand one of the author's reservations about this book being jQuery specific, but if you stop to think of it, is also one of its strengths. There are "n" number of Javascript books out there which are pretty good, but do not take you beyond beginning/inermediate Javascript programming.

Realistically and practically, in order to get anything useful done in a reasonable amount of time, you have to use one of the frameworks. It could be jQuery, Prototype/Scripty, Dojo, Yahoo, any of these frameworks will do. The author has chosen to use jQuery which is an excellent choice.

Actually, my nitpicking is on the other side, i.e., the author should have left beginning Javascript material to any one of the other books and simply focused on Javascript with jQuery. His presentation style is very effective and he obviously knows CSS/Javascript world very well. Even better, he can communicate it equally well.

If you are beyond the introductory phase in CSS/Javascript world and are looking to build something useful beyond the toy pages, this book along with his CSS book becomes very useful.

jQuery, without a doubt, is a superior framework. I prefer it to Prototype and Scriptaculous. I do not know Yahoo or Dojo so I cannot comment on them.

I would buy other books from David again. In fact, I would love to see an "advanced" book where he brings together all of his knowledge and communication skills for creating "professional" web front-ends. Keep the same tutorial format though.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Ming Zhu on October 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
As Brett mentioned, this book integrates jQuery (a popular javascript library) into examples. More than half of the book teaches you how to use the jQuery library to enhance user experiences. It won't teach you how to write XMLHTTPRequest from scrach. Instead, the book teaches you how to make Ajax requests with jQuery, which greatly simplifies the problem (1~10 lines of code). The book exposes you to real-world problems and the practical way of solving them (that is using javascript libraries such as jQuery).

I strongly recommend this book to those who know nothing about javascript/ajax or jQuery. It serves as a great introduction to both of the topics. After you finish this book, you will be quite comfortable with javascript syntax. And if you want, you can always read other books to further extend you knowledge of plain javascript (the javascript without any library).

Brett gives a 3-star rating. I feel it is worth more than three, but I agree that it would be better if the publisher named the book "Javascript with jQuery" like.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Eric on November 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I haven't completed this book yet, so I will come back and update this review once I have, but I wanted to get something out there to convince others who might be on the fence about buying this book. First off, it's more of a jQuery book than it is a Javascript book. Sure jQuery is a library that runs on top of Javascript, but it's important to make that distinction. The first 100 pages or so of the book get you quickly up to speed with Javascript statements, variables, string arrays, functions, regular expressions, etc. The basics are covered quite well with a number of succinct and well-explained examples.

Up next the author covers the basics of modifying the document object model (DOM) or quite simply: adding, changing and removing HTML content on a page. He shows you the basic document object methods and how to do things "the hard way". He doesn't spend much time on the "hard way" and quickly introduces the lightweight, fast and widely accepted jQuery library. When I first heard about jQuery, I was skeptical. I like writing my own code. I like being able to understand the nuts and bolts of what is being interpreted or executed at runtime. Sadly, Javascript doesn't always run the same way on different browsers and different operating systems. Writing cross-browser code isn't impossible, in fact the SitePoint book Simply Javascript was a good tutorial on how to write your own "cross-browser" library, it's just that jQuery adds so much more. It adds in helper methods for selecting HTML elements on your page (the $ CSS selector syntax), cross-browser event handling, plug-in support, and much more. More and more people are starting to use jQuery and Microsoft and Nokia have even given it heavy endorsements.

Getting back to the book.
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