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About the Author
In addition to his primary profession as a writer and technical consultant, Michael is the founder of Stalefish Labs (http://www.stalefishlabs.com), an entertainment company specializing in games, toys, and interactive media. When not glued to his computer, skateboarding, playing hockey, or watching movies with his wife, Masheed, Michael enjoys hanging out by his koi pond.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is really good value for money, as is their one on HTML & CSS. If I need to get any more books on computer scripting , I will first check to see if Headfirst has a book on the topic....Well done to the writers as they have been able to transform an otherwise dry subject into an engaging, easy read!
Very well done piece of paper, shipped promptly...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
What I mean by this is that the other Head First books I've used (XHTML & CSS, SQL, and C#) have been highly interactive, easy to use, and really got the concepts into my head. I was amazed that, after just a few days with these books, I could actually build professional-looking web pages that were rigorously standards compliant; or create complex applications in C# quickly and easily; or navigate the intricacies of building and using SQL databases. The Head First method certainly seemed to work.
So when I heard the HF people were producing a JS book, I was overjoyed. Sadly, it's been a bit of a letdown. The book smacks strongly of rushed production, lacking many of the features that makes the HF series special. For example, in the C# book, the authors take the reader through application construction in a step-by-step manner, carefully explaining everything as they go. The effect is of a very knowledgeable teacher standing over your shoulder and guiding you while you code. The reader is actively involved in every exercise, building their code from scratch. There are copies of every piece of code available for download at Head First's website, but these are merely tools for checking the reader's work.
2) Chapter 7 is definitely my favorite chapter of the book. It introduced me to a much more efficient way of data editing/validation. I had always used indexof but this chapter introduced me to regular expressions and they ROCKED my world! A very practical and useful chapter.
3) The code examples- The examples they use in the book are very relevant to what you might actually use on your own website. Each chapter introduced the code layer by layer so as to not overwhelm me with its complexity
4) Attention to detail- As I read the book, I often had unanswered questions and then a couple of pages later the author would answer it. If there was function or object I wasn't familiar with, it would be explained with the pencil writing.
5) The FUN Factor! The code examples they use like the choose your own adventure in ch.8 are very creative and interesting. Some might consider the humor sophomoric but a young college student like myself appreciated it.
Long version: Less than a month ago, I knew very little about web design, much less any sort of programming. I'd tried to teach myself HTML from a rather dry text perhaps ten years ago, but nothing stuck. But I had a desire to give it another go, and set about finding another HTML book. I settled on HFHTML -- while it took many more pages to explain concepts which other books treated succinctly, the writing was much better in the Head First volume and I guessed I'd retain more from it.
When it arrived, I eagerly began from the beginning, skipping nothing (just as I'd done w/HFHTML). Did the quizzes, the crosswords, but from the beginning, things were a little off. In HFHTML, the authors show you where and how to introduce new code in your example pages, but in HFJS, it wasn't even clear whether you were supposed to be coding along, or merely just reading the book's examples. And while HFHTML proceeded very logically from basic to more advanced concepts, HFJS appeared to be veering all over the place. I persisted for 250 pages, but had to admit to myself that none of it was sinking in.
If you're familiar with the Head First approach, you will find this book to fit in perfectly with their other titles. This is the kind of book you buy, highlight, and write in. Active learning. This is not a reference book.
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