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Professional JavaScript for Web Developers Paperback – January 14, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

If you want to achieve JavaScript's full potential, it is critical to understand its nature, history, and limitations. This book sets the stage by covering JavaScript from its very beginning to the present-day incarnations that include support for the DOM and Ajax. It also shows you how to extend this powerful language to meet specific needs and create seamless client-server communication without intermediaries such as Java or hidden frames.

You'll explore basic concepts of JavaScript including its version of object-oriented programming, inheritance, and its use in HTML and XHTML. A detailed discussion of the components that make up a JavaScript implementation follows, with specific focus on standards such as ECMAScript and DOM. All three levels of DOM are explained, including advanced topics such as event simulation, XML parsing, and XPath queries. You'll also learn how to utilize regular expressions and build dynamic user interfaces. This valuable insight will help you apply JavaScript solutions to the business problems faced by Web developers everywhere.

What you will learn from this book

  • All of the details regarding JavaScript's built-in reference types

  • How to use object-oriented programming in JavaScript

  • Ways to detect the client machine and its capabilities

  • Debugging tools and techniques for each browser

  • Steps for reading and manipulating XML data

  • How to create a custom event framework

  • Various techniques for storing data on the client machine

  • Approaches to working with JavaScript in an enterprise environment

Who this book is for
This book is for Web developers who want to use JavaScript to dramatically improve the usability of their Web sites and Web applications and for those with programming experience, especially object-oriented programming experience.

Wrox Professional guides are planned and written by working programmers to meet the real-world needs of programmers, developers, and IT professionals. Focused and relevant, they address the issues technology professionals face every day. They provide examples, practical solutions, and expert education in new technologies, all designed to help programmers do a better job.

About the Author

Nicholas C. Zakas has a B.S. in Computer Science from Merrimack College and an M.B.A. from Endicott College. He is the coauthor of Professional Ajax, Second Edition (Wiley, 2007) as well as dozens of online articles. Nicholas works for Yahoo! as a principal front-end engineer on Yahoo!’s front page and a contributor to the Yahoo! User Interface (YUI) Library. He has worked in web development for more than eight years, during which time he has helped develop web solutions in use at some of the largest companies in the world. Nicholas can be reached through his web site www.nczonline.net.PM
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 840 pages
  • Publisher: Wrox; 2 edition (January 14, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 047022780X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470227800
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 1.7 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #907,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Nicholas C. Zakas is a front-end consultant who specializes in user interface design and implementation for web applications using JavaScript, Dynamic HTML, CSS, XML, and XSLT. Has has 15 years of web development experience and spent nearly five years at Yahoo! in various roles, including principal front end engineer for the Yahoo! homepage and contributor to the Yahoo! User Interface (YUI) library, having written the Cookie Utility, Profiler, and YUI Test.

Nicholas is the author of Professional JavaScript for Web Developers and High Performance JavaScript, a co-author on Professional Ajax, and a contributor to Even Faster Web Sites. He has also written for several online sites such as WebReference, Sitepoint, the YUI Blog, A List Apart, and the Web Performance Advent Calendar.

Nicholas regularly gives talks about web development, JavaScript, and best practices. He has given talks at companies such as Yahoo!, LinkedIn, Google, Netflix, TripAdvisor, and NASA, and conferences such as the Ajax Experience, the Rich Web Experience, OSCON, WebDirections, Fronteers, and Velocity.

Through his writing and speaking, Nicholas seeks to teach others the valuable lessons he's learned while working on some of the most popular and demanding web applications in the world. He firmly believes that no difficult problem should need to be solved more than once.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Toll on August 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is currently my favorite book on JavaScript.

Zakas doesn't pull any punches. It took me a while to work through some of the chapters, primarily Chapter 5 (Reference Types), Chapter 6 (Object-Oriented Programming) and Chapter 18 (Advanced Techniques) because of the difficulty of the material. This is a good thing: the difficulty is due to the sometimes non-intuituve aspects of JavaScript (i.e., function binding and currying), not to any possible failure on the part of the author. His command of his material is evident in his ability to explain these difficult techniques, which can seem overwhelming at first blush. I really like that he doesn't insult his reader's intelligence by sticking with the easier-to-understand aspects of JavaScript but covers the most advanced JavaScript topics thoroughly. I expect to be challenged when reading a book on JavaScript, and taking time to work through the examples by stepping through them in Firebug is well worth it and what I look forward to doing. I don't like when I can read a book and not have to touch a keyboard to understand the material.

I especially love the chapter on OO programming and how he breaks down each OO pattern. He starts with the most basic example of inheritance and works up to the best-case scenario, always giving the pros and cons of each pattern along the way and when each pattern could be employed. In doing so, he provides an invaluable service to those who want to understand how libraries are engineered. I remember when I first was looking at the source code for a particular library, and I was completely baffled by what I saw. For example, I would often see this:

MyClass.superclass.constructor.call(this);

There was no explanation to what this esoteric statement was doing.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By R. Friesel Jr. on February 5, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I was reading this, I liked to imagine that I was at university and that Douglas Crockford was the insanely popular genius professor that showed up late for lectures, and then either spoke too fast or else mumbled a lot, and then locked himself in his office refusing to answer the door during office hours while he worked on his Next Big Thing that would make everyone oooh and aaah and validate his brilliance. Meanwhile, in that same imaginary university, Nicholas Zakas was the graduate student that served as the TA to that class--and he happened to be equally brilliant and super-accessible and willing to take the time out to explain it all in a way that was thorough and comprehensible.

So that being said, if you consider yourself or would like to consider yourself a professional front-end engineer for web applications (or in any way want to become a JavaScript expert), I cannot recommend this book enough. On the one hand, you have Crockford's JavaScript: The Good Parts--which does a great job of eviscerating JavaScript while at the same time extracting its (well...) its Good Parts--but it's like someone ran the text through a minification utility and made it tokenized and super-dense and stripped out all the comments. And on the other hand, you have Zakas' Professional JavaScript for Web Developers which one might describe as <em>The Good Parts (the long version)</em>.

What Zakas gives us--while assuming that you are already doing some professional JavaScript web development--is a good overview of JavaScript/ECMAScript, with special care given to make the text practical.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Harold on June 6, 2009
Format: Paperback
I bought this wonderful book a short while ago, just after the 2nd edition was released. Although I haven't finished it (over halfway through), the author's writing style makes understanding JavaScript easier. I have bought many other books on JavaScript but most follow the copy-and-paste code tutorial style which can be completely confusing for the complete JavaScript beginner such as myself. This book offers simple explanations using concepts that illuminate, rather than befuddle, the nuances and idiosyncrasies inherent in JavaScript. While there are many JavaScript books out there, the roads they follow lead to being just another bookshelf dust collector; this book breaks new trails into expanding your JavaScript skill, actually guiding you on to the golden path to Internet rockstardom!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Pablo Arista on October 2, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
**Note: This review is for the 2nd edition 2009 version**

This book is awesome. I had read previously read "Simply JavaScript" by Kevin Yank of [...]. That book is fine if you want to slap something into a website, clog up the browser's memory, and never write re-usable code. After that book (and many online tutorials) I was beginning to think there was something wrong with me because C++ was easier than JavaScript. Mr. Zakas goes in depth with JavaScript. I am so glad he wrote this book. I was riping my hair out of my head trying to understand this strange language. He covers everything from data types, functions, inline functions, references, arrays (which act like vectors and stacks, etc...), dom 1, 2, 3, event listeners, ajax, json, xml, animations, and the new future standards.

If you know C++ and JAVA it will be easier to understand the language. But generally speaking, if you know how to program you will do just fine. Just remember OOP in JavaScript is different. He explains the different methods since JavaScript isn't a OOP based languaged it's a prototype based language.

I read the 1 star reviews from the 1st edition. Don't be fooled by those reviews, the new version is king. If you really want to code JavaScript and master it, this book will be your bible.
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