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JavaScript Pocket Reference (Pocket Reference (O'Reilly)) [Kindle Edition]

David Flanagan
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

JavaScript--the powerful, object-based scripting language that can be embedded directly into HTML pages--has earned its place in the web developer's toolkit, to the extent that it's now considered required knowledge for web developers. You can use JavaScript to create dynamic, interactive applications that run completely within a web browser. JavaScript is also the language of choice for developing Dynamic HTML content. Because its syntax is based on the popular programming languages C, C++, and Java, JavaScript is familiar and easy to learn for experienced programmers. At the same time, it's an interpreted scripting language, providing a flexible, forgiving programming environment for new programmers.

The JavaScript Pocket Reference, 2nd Edition, provides a complete overview of the core JavaScript language and client-side scripting environment, as well as quick-reference material on core and client-side objects, methods, and properties. The new edition has been revised to cover JavaScript 1.5, and is particularly useful for developers working with the standards-compliant web browsers, such as Internet Explorer 6, Netscape 7, and Mozilla. Ideal as an introduction for beginners and a quick reference for advanced developers, this pocket-sized book is easy to take anywhere and serves as the perfect companion volume to the bestselling JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition.

O'Reilly's Pocket References have become a favorite among developers everywhere. By providing a wealth of important details in a concise, well-organized format, these handy books deliver just what you need to complete the task at hand. When you've reached a sticking point and need to get to the answer quickly, the new JavaScript Pocket Reference is the book you'll want close at hand.

Editorial Reviews Review

At 4.5 by 7 inches in size and only 89 pages long, the aptly named JavaScript Pocket Reference will really almost fit in your pocket. Use this guide as a companion to turn to when you're in doubt about that function syntax or you're drawing a blank on the JavaScript object model.

The book concisely packs together the syntax of the scripting language, including summaries of expression and statement style. The real meat of the tiny title is an alphabetical listing of JavaScript objects, along with their associated methods, properties, and events. One nice feature of this section is the attention to the varying support between Microsoft and Netscape browser versions. However, this listing is useful only if you know what object you want to work with. Missing from the reference is a solutions-based reference to let you refresh your memory about how to do a particular task, such as validate a form field or roll over a graphic when the user moves the mouse.

One drawback is the book's illustration of the object model--done only in a small diagram. This is a bit of a shame since this is one of the key topics most developers need help with. If you're rather familiar with JavaScript, this pocket reference will be helpful. New coders, however, will likely find it insufficient. --Stephen W. Plain

About the Author

David Flanagan is a computer programmer who spends most of his time writing about JavaScript and Java. His books with O'Reilly include Java in a Nutshell, Java Examples in a Nutshell, Java Foundation Classes in a Nutshell, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, and JavaScript Pocket Reference. David has a degree in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife and son in the U.S. Pacific Northwest bewteen the cities of Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia. David has a simple website at

Product Details

  • File Size: 298 KB
  • Print Length: 138 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 2 edition (February 9, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0026OR2U4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #870,535 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For programmers who don't need fluff, just syntax. March 24, 1999
By A Customer
A very rare O'Reilly book that isn't well written (that's because there is no writing!) An utterly consise book with nothing other than the syntax and VERY brief descriptions programmers will understand immediately. Get it if you need to have that site up and running today.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars near perfect, nothing better is currently available August 26, 2000
First off, I'd like to say that I find these pocket reference books absolutely indispensible. They're relatively inexpensive, they contain MOST (if not almost all) of what you need, and they save you the need to carry absolutely HUGE tomes when all you want is just to look something up quickly. If you know HTML and JavaScript, then get this (JavaScript) and the HTML quick references and you'll be able to do almost anything on your own. To nerds, pockets were invented for carrying such useful pocket guides.
The JavaScript pocket ref continues the tradition of indispensible pocket references by O'Reilly. The organisation is good, and the book contains examples and explanations that you wouldn't expect to see in a pocket reference.
Amazingly though, there's no treatment of objects and object oriented programming in JavaScript. Most readers can be expected to know this, but if you're used to programming in C++ and Java, and don't do a lot of JavaScript, it's easy to forget. I think all the missing material on objects could be treated in ONE MORE PAGE. (hint for next edition!)
Otherwise, this is a wonderful book.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This books rules! February 13, 2000
Anyone with a mind to program in JavaScript NEEDS this book. I really mean that. It does not waste any time explaining, it gets straight to the rules/syntax of this language. I rate it as top-notch. I lost my first copy so I'm ordering another one. That's how important I think it is.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent reference, but missing valuable info March 13, 2000
While I like this reference as a whole, I find it a bit lacking for info that programmers really need. While working with Javascript just today, I found myself struggling because of this book ... it does not indicate whether a returned value from a class property is a string, integer or even a OBJECT!
I found myself trying to perform a "replace" operation on an OBJECT because this book didn't tell me that it returned an OBJECT!
I know it's a little nit-picking and, yes, while someone who has coded in Javascript forever might already know this, for those of us who understand programming and are just looking for a reference book to use its classes, this book is lacking of some important information.
I just hope New Riders comes out with a Javascript reference -- as a Lotus Domino developer, I find their Essential Reference book perfect and invaluable!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I was hoping and expecting that this little book would be the same quick-and-easy reference book that e.g. the "VBScript Pocket Reference" is -- I was sadly disappointed.
Since "JavaScript: The Definitive Guide" is by the same author and publisher, I also expected this book to be a (somewhat) boiled-down version of the very thorough JavaScript Reference from that much larger book. I was even more disappointed there.
In a "pocket reference" such as this I want and need nothing more or less than an alphabetical listing of the JavaScript universe. However, this book is divided into numerous chapters that require you to already know what category the thing you seek belongs to. Since there's no index in these little books, it is useless to me as someone who's still learning this stuff. I've set my copy aside and use the "Definitive Guide" exclusively.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The API guide to know and love April 14, 1999
By A Customer
If you already know how to program and just need to learn the JavaScript syntax this is THE book to get. Can't wait until their SQL Pocket Reference is available!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where's the rest? March 21, 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I realize it's a pocket reference, but this is a brief guide to syntax and then the DOM for the rest of the book. It doesn't cover any of the API stuff like the Date class. It'd be nice to have more information at the price of needing slightly larger pockets.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Lacks a good index July 23, 2000
By A Customer
I bought this book because of all the good reviews posted. Unfortunately, I cannot agree. As a good reference tool, I expect it to have at least a good index. So that when I am coding and forget the exact syntax, I can quickly find it. Unfortunately I can't use this book for this purpose. I keep on having to go back to the bulky JavaScript Bible, which has an excellent index.
This book simply does not serve the purpose for me. What good is a concise reference if I can not quickly locate the info I want?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great reference except for the lack of an index
I really appreciate the O'Reilly Pocket Reference series of books, and JavaScript 2nd Edition is usefully detailed. Read more
Published 22 months ago by AKS
5.0 out of 5 stars Go to reference for javascript.
This is the javascript book I've referred to most when I do any web development. It's well organized and easy to search. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Howard
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay, but not what was expected.
This reference guide definitely has a lot of JavaScript references, however the code description is lacking some details that I think would be helpful, especially to those who... Read more
Published on August 13, 2012 by David Hardin
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Pocket Reference
I read this JavaScript pocket reference twice through in review for an exam, which I passed thanks to this book. Read more
Published on February 16, 2010 by WDM
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks an index
The book is really good as a quick review of JavaScript and the topics are well-explained, but not having an index, if even a computer-generated one, is unforgivable! Read more
Published on October 5, 2009 by Eduardo M.
4.0 out of 5 stars O'Reilly JavaScript Pocket Reference
Very nice addidion to the reference book. I work at both home and at the office, and instead of carrying all of my reference books with me each day, I find the pocket references... Read more
Published on September 9, 2009 by bykrmom
4.0 out of 5 stars Well-written pocket reference
I've been learning JavaScript off and on, with some success, for three months. In doing so, I've skimmed about a half-dozen books and tried the following three, so far, "graded"... Read more
Published on March 8, 2008 by T. BOND
4.0 out of 5 stars Moderately good.
I am not a big fan of these 'Pocket Reference' books by O'Reilly. Although I have 8 of them, I find them too brief to be very helpful as a reference. Read more
Published on January 31, 2006 by P. N. Payne
2.0 out of 5 stars Missing the Point
If you are new to JavaScript and looking for a helper title, this isn't it. If you're already familiar with JavaScript, and need specific information, you probably need more than... Read more
Published on November 23, 2005 by Jase T. Wolfe
3.0 out of 5 stars printing error
The copy I have contained printing errors. the first 66 pages was the beginning section to "vi editor pocket reference" then it picks up on page 73 with what seems to be the rest... Read more
Published on October 26, 2004 by Markdesign
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More About the Author

David Flanagan is a computer programmer who has spent much of the last 20 years writing books about programming languages. He now works at Mozilla. David lives with his wife and children in the Pacific Northwest, between the cities of Seattle and Vancouver.

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