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on December 2, 2010
While the author clearly knows what she's talking about, the way the information is presented in this book, it's very difficult to follow at times unless you are an experienced programmer. It reads less like a friendly instructor bending over your shoulder guiding you along, and more as someone standing at a podium reading from an encyclopedia using incredibly distilled language that gets quite tedious after a while. As others have already pointed this out, I thought I would include some specific examples to illustrate.

Here is a sample of text from Chapter 7:
"The XHTML transitional and strict DOCTYPEs trigger standards mode for most browsers, depending on whether the page is served up as XHTML with an optional XML prolog."

I had to read this several times to first find the verb. At no time is 'transitional' defined, nor is the concept of 'XML prolog'. It's mentioned once here and then dropped. Head swimming. I want to roll up this sentence and toss it back.

There are several examples that mention (as opposed to formally introduce) concepts that haven't been spoken about yet. This is quite jarring for a reader trying to follow along. Again, as an example in Chapter 7, there is lots of discussion around accessing the DOM objects using JavaScript, but none of this has actually been covered yet.

Not to belabor the point, but there was one needlessly complicated example (5-5) to illustrate embedded functions where a function is called from within a return statement from inside a function inside another function. This makes my head want to explode. I wish the author spent at least a paragraph trying to explain exactly how this would work, because it's not at all clear.

I will update the review as I follow along, but for now yes I'm learning JavaScript, but aaarrrgh!
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on July 26, 2017
Good reference book.
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on September 12, 2013
This was a required book for my class. I have since taken JavaScript at another school and had to use another version. I think this version is very technical. I felt over whelmed with terminology. I think for someone who is just trying to learn the language there are much better books to start with.
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on September 30, 2010
Some reviewers felt it wasn't appropriate for beginners. I think the book is targeted for people who have some programming experience, but you don't need ANY Javascript background to find this book immensely helpful. A basic understanding of HTML I think is a must. Beyond that, you could learn Javascript with very little understanding of programming.
Shelley meticulously steps through the language and applications. Though occasionally using something discussed later in the book, she tells you so and where she will discuss it further; I didn't find those few references to be a problem.
Shelley provides real examples every step of the way. Whenever I think she may have made a mistake (and I take pen in hand to tell her so), I find I just didn't read carefully.
Shelley nicely handles the cross-browser issues as well though AFTER reading this book, you may want to think about JQuery as a next step.
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on November 25, 2006
I've been a programmer for 35 years. On the web side, I've used PERL, CGI, and PHP. So I could work around the problems (and spot the numerous errors). But it was still disappointing. On the one hand, the book advertises that it's appropriate for "someone new to development" and then helpfully explains why a conditional statement is called "conditional." On the other hand, the author jumps right in in Chapter 4 to discussing objects (and related terms such as properties, methods, encapsulation, and instantiation) without providing any definitions at all. Often, the code examples given to demonstrate something simple crucially (and unnecessarily) rely on other constructs that haven't been introduced. Needlessly, the author wraps code fragments within the same, redundant set of declarations over and over again. This distracts from finding the code, and takes away from space that could be much better used with additional and much-needed examples. Like I said, if you've been around the block a few times, you can piece it all together. But the obstacles it presents to learners are really avoidable and unnecessary. After reading 4 chapters, I'm back at Amazon looking for something better.
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on August 19, 2012
You should check the errata for this book at [...] before you decide to buy it.

It's a surprisingly long list, for a book of this size.
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on January 20, 2008
As a n00b to web development, this book was not appropriate for me, and in retrospect, I realize I must not have been the intended audience. As a person who has taught and practiced technical writing and composition in the past, I would say that this book was intended for someone who was already familiar with other scripting languages and was looking for a quick entrance into Javascript. For my part, I was hoping for more explanation of the basic mechanics of Javascript and the DOM than this text offers. I haven't gotten past the initial chapter on defining variables and DOM, as both chapters used unfamiliar technical terms and concepts without explaining them. Why have an introductory chapter on DOM without explaining, step-by-step, what the explanatory terms mean? In other words, each concept could and should be further disaggregated and explained. This is NOT a book for the beginner!!

However, beginners take heart! I'm happy to report that I have found a truly helpful line of books with which to compare this book (and the O'Reily line of books, in general). After purchasing and reading through a couple of books from this aforementioned line (including one on CSS and XHTML), which ARE suited for the beginner, I can say with confidence that a beginner's book can be written and is available. I won't name the line (as I don't intend for this review to be an advertisement), but I will say that it is associated with a popular on-line development website and forum, and one can find it by looking around the developer forums. (One can even download free chapters of these books for personal review!!) If the books give you hangups -- which I doubt -- then one can easily go to the forum (which is quite hospitable to n00bs!!) and tune in to some truly "open-source" learning. Ask an intelligent, thoughtful question and the forum will respond.

As far as _Learning Javascript_, I would say that perhaps someone already initiated into the developer scene could benefit from this book. But, then, why bother when more comprehensive references are available? For my part, I'll reread the book when I have a basic working knowledge of Javascript and see what I can pick up. After all, I do own it, now. It will make an alright back-up reference. Best wishes, fellow n00bs!!
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on September 5, 2014
I am still reading and absorbing but I love knowledge and why not teach myself!!
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on September 19, 2015
I purchased this because it was required by my school. It has great examples
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on November 5, 2015
Great.
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