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68 Reviews
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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming from a real language? This book is your best bet.
There is a line from Lion King where little Simba comments on his Uncle Scar's weirdness. Scar replies "You have no idea."

The main point of this review is that Javascript is a really weird contraption, and that this book points this out in a way that is very helpful for programmers coming from more traditional compiled programming languages.

I...
Published 20 months ago by Kevin Stokes

versus
9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lots of information, some suspect claims, and a TERRIBLE index
I will never understand the technical writer who, upon completing the multi-year work on their nigh-thousand-page tome, allows it to go into print with an inadequate index. The book is 900 pages long; the index is 22 pages long. By contrast, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide is about 1000 pages long, and its index is 59 pages. A look at an arbitrary entry shows us why...
Published 16 months ago by Galen Menzel


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72 of 74 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming from a real language? This book is your best bet., November 3, 2012
By 
Kevin Stokes (Fairport, NY USA) - See all my reviews
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There is a line from Lion King where little Simba comments on his Uncle Scar's weirdness. Scar replies "You have no idea."

The main point of this review is that Javascript is a really weird contraption, and that this book points this out in a way that is very helpful for programmers coming from more traditional compiled programming languages.

I have programmed in C, C++, Java, C# for many years. I have read other books on Javascript which tried to teach by examples. With normal programming languages, this works fine. However, within a few hours with this book I realized that to understand Javascript, you must give up on some basic expectations you may have as a code developer. This was a surprise to me, but crucial to be able to learn Javascript well enough to work on non-trivial projects with existing code.

Javascript is simply bizarre. There are many different ways to implement object-oriented patterns which all use different-looking code, and have subtle differences, making it so easy to get bitten by unintended consequences. From this book I learned that there is no one solid way to implement the basic pattern of your code, you must make a choice.

If you try to read a Javascript book which teaches by examples, you will be in trouble when you actually start to modify someone else's Javascript code which used a different pattern. This book doesn't just show trivial examples, it methodically goes through how it works in enough detail so you can understand how it is working under the hood.

Also, the text has plenty of warnings about buggy implementations and common pitfalls. After you get about 1/4 of the way through it you will be wondering how any Javascript code runs on Internet Explorer at all, since about every other page is another 'this-is-broken-in-IE' warning boxes.

The text is written in a very clear style, never glossing over anything. It isn't at all cute or made to be entertaining, just kind of down to business.

There is no question I will be using this book nearly every time I have to work on Javascript code.

If you are just looking to make a little mouse button handler in a web page, this is probably not the book for you. It does not jump right into little useful examples.

If you are coming from a programming background in traditional compiled languages, and you want to know more about Javascript than little tiny scripts, IMHO this book is absolutely necessary. You will never regret purchasing it.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars User friendly, March 20, 2012
By 
Francois Piat (Besancon, France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers (Paperback)
If you have already read the previous edition of this book, the reading of this third edition will bring you a lot of new stuffs. This book is not only a complete rewriting, but also a more deep explanation and a detailed presentation of HTML5 apis.
For me, "JavaScript for Web Developpers" is really really more user friendly than "Javascript, the definitive guide". Code samples are easy to understand (and don't spread across 3 or 4 pages). The style is simple and the writing is easily understood by a "non english native" like me.
The only thing I would change if I could is stripping out the 50 pages on XML and replacing them by more of advanced techniques.
Definitly a must-have.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long but so is the topic, March 19, 2012
This review is from: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers (Paperback)
I usually get turned of by books this big as I assume they are badly edited. However, before this I read many books on JavaScript and while I learnt a lot from each one I never quite got my head around the more complicated parts of the language such as inheritance until reading this book. Zaka's just explains everything really well, though don't interpret that as meaning at length, I think his chapters are more the natural length of the topics they describe. Not condensed down to 'seem' friendly as in "The Good Parts".
This is the book which finally got me comfortable with the core language, though it also taught me a lot which I didn't expect to be taught or hadn't even heard of such as document fragments and many aspects of the browser API's. So while this book could have been a lot shorter by removing a lot of the stuff most people won't care about, I am glad the author kept them in as I found them interesting. Actually I wish the book was longer. And besides its well enough organised that you could simply skip to 'the good parts' and still end up with a better book than its restricted cousins.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic encyclopedia of not just Javascript but web development in general, May 22, 2012
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This review is from: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers (Paperback)
This book is about so much more than Javascript, its a huge encyclopedia of everything related to modern-day web development techniques.
It does an excellent job of describing Javascript, with a lengthy section on OO techniques (describing the pros and cons of dynamic prototyping, parasitic construction, durable construction, prototype chaining, constructor chaining parasitic combination inheritance, and so on, to name a few).
Then it has full descriptions of all web related technologies such as BOM, DOM, AJAX, COMET, JSON, XML,HTML5, event handling, and much much more. Each of these topics is covered in depth and clearly explained.
The book also contains a substantial amount of history describing the evolution of the web, which is essential to provide context to understand where the web is today, how it got here and how the legacy of the past still echoes today.

If you have any involvement in web technologies, direct or tangentially, or you have no involvement in them but are curious and want to learn about them, then this is a must read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Level Up, May 21, 2012
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This review is from: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers (Paperback)
Professional JavaScript for Web Developers is a deep dive into the JavaScript programming language. It also covers, in great detail, things such as - the DOM, the BOM, OOP, Ajax, JSON, Canvas ... the list goes on.

If you want to become an expert in JavaScript, this is the book for you.

Nicholas Zakas has a real knack for getting the knowledge from his brain into yours. He does so by first giving a detailed explanation of a subject, followed by a short snippet of relevant code, and finally he explains the code.
If you find yourself unsure of a particular concept, trudge along, it will be explained.

I highly recommend you buy this book. It's easily the best book I've read on the subject.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive and Concise, March 21, 2012
This review is from: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers (Paperback)
I would highly recommend this book to anyone seeking a comprehensive knowledge of JavaScript and best practices. Within a few minutes you can take your knowledge of JavaScript from intermediate to advanced.

I really appreciate the examples of cross browser solutions (facades) used throughout to illustrate advanced techniques and patterns.

Whether you skip around the chapters to topics of interest or read in chronological order, you won't be disappointed. The book is well written with concise examples.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding book for advanced and intermediate JavaScript developers alike!, December 27, 2012
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This review is from: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers (Paperback)
This book is NOT for most beginners, but maybe for beginners with other coding experience or with a natural knack for logic, scripting, and coding type exercises. Otherwise, advanced coders of most any language, or intermediate to advanced JavaScript developers will find this book very useful.

I am a self taught JavaScript coder, with about seven years of experience. Before studying this book, I was already writing some relatively complicated code, including functions, constructors, methods on constructors, jQuery add-ons, and more. This book took my existing JavaScript knowledgebase and cleared it up, fixed some existing misconceptions I had regarding JavaScript, taught me industry standard practices/naming conventions/coding practices/etc. that I had not already picked up on, and then it took my skills to the next level by covering topics I had a loose understanding of at best.

After going through this book in its entirety (twice for good measure :) ...), I can truly say that I am a more efficient, cleaner, and certainly more sophisticated JavaScript developer. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to learn the latest ECMA 5.x has to offer (I previously coded to ECMA-262 version 3 based JavaScript only), those looking to learn advanced JavaScript coding skills, and/or those looking to refine their existing skillset to reflect the latest best industry practices used when coding in JavaScript.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version missing content, March 10, 2013
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This review is about the Kindle edition. Beware that it does not contain all of the content of the book (one of my pet peeves regarding electronic editions in general). It is missing the Forward and Introduction completely. They are not listed in the table of contents like they are in the print edition and they are actually missing. I have not found other problems yet. If I do I will update my review.

Regarding the book, I have just started the book and so far it looks like a keeper.

Update: Sent a message to Wrox, they replied. All of the material between the front cover and before the first chapter is included, but is located after the end of the book. If you go to the end of the long table of contents the Introduction is listed after Appendix D. The forward and other front material can be found between Appendix D and the Introduction. Not intuitive, but it is there. Changing from 3 stars to 4 stars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hands down the best JS book available, May 11, 2013
By 
Joel Kemp (New York, USA) - See all my reviews
Out of all of the JS books that I've read so far: Resig's Ninja book, Effective JS, The Good Parts, and JS Web Applications; Zakas' book is in in a different league. He's not only incredibly knowledgeable of the language and its environments, but he's a great teacher.

I'm a huge fan and wouldn't be half of the JS programmer that I am without this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is my javascript bible, August 8, 2012
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This review is from: Professional JavaScript for Web Developers (Paperback)
I bought a couple of books of javascript and each time I want to understand more deeply a subject, I try to search in the other books and each time, the real and complete answer is in this book. I will not iterate throught all subjects to book talk about; I just want to say that the first edition was great and that the second edition was fantastic.
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Professional JavaScript for Web Developers
Professional JavaScript for Web Developers by Nicholas C. Zakas (Paperback - January 18, 2012)
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