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JavaScript Pocket Reference [Paperback]

David Flanagan
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 15.99
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Book Description

April 28 2012 1449316859 978-1449316853 Third Edition

JavaScript is the ubiquitous programming language of the Web, and for more than 15 years, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide has been the bible of JavaScript programmers around the world. Ideal for JavaScript developers at any level, this book is an all-new excerpt of The Definitive Guide, collecting the essential parts of that hefty volume into this slim yet dense pocket reference.

The first 9 chapters document the latest version (ECMAScript 5) of the core JavaScript language, covering:

  • Types, values, and variables
  • Operators, expressions, and statements
  • Objects and arrays
  • Functions and classes

The next 5 chapters document the fundamental APIs for using JavaScript with HTML5 and explain how to:

  • Interact with web browser windows
  • Script HTML documents and document elements
  • Modify and apply CSS styles and classes
  • Respond to user input events
  • Communicate with web servers
  • Store data locally on the user's computer

This book is a perfect companion to jQuery Pocket Reference.

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About the Author

David Flanagan is a JavaScript programmer at Mozilla. His books with O’Reilly include JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, jQuery Pocket Reference, The Ruby Programming Language, and Java in a Nutshell. David has a degree in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife and children in the U.S. Pacific Northwest between the cities of Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia. David has a blog at

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars July 26 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
30 of 36 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars So Disappointed April 25 2012
By Speednet - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
"Disappointed" is the only way I can describe this book.

I am an owner of the 2nd edition, which is just wonderful, and I was very much looking forward to the 3rd edition, which supposedly would expand to include the new technologies that have emerged.

It does indeed include the new technologies, but the entire book is no longer a "quick reference", but instead a mini version of a regular old technology chapter book.

Really, if I wanted a chapter book, I would buy the regular version of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide. I wanted a quick pocket reference -- meaning that I already know how to program in JavaScript, and I want a quick reference to the various language constructs, objects, properties, etc.

The 2nd edition was perfect for this. I could quickly flip through the book to find (for example) the methods of the Date object.

If I want to do that with this 3rd edition -- wait a minute, I just tried finding even the basic info about the Date object in the Index, and it's not even there! So I was about to say I could no longer find it by quickly scanning the top of the pages, but now I have to change that to say that there is no place in the book that includes the various methods of the Date object.

Want to know what properties and methods exist in the Regular Expression (RegExp) object? You can read a few paragraphs of text under the heading, "RegExp Properties and Methods", but there is no table of properties and methods. If you even want to track down this info in the book, you need to check the Index, or else be really good at scanning text as you flip pages.

Again, if I wanted to learn JavaScript, I would not be buying this book, I would buy a full-blown JavaScript book. I wanted a quick pocket reference, and I did not get one.

Bewildering and disappointing, especially after a really good 2nd edition.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, if you know what you're really buying May 22 2012
By attebury - Published on
TL;DR A useful and cheaper substitution for the 6th edition of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, especially if you travel. This is not a javascript reference. It's an excerpt.

From the preface:
"This book is an excerpt from the more comprehensive JavaScript: The Definitive Guide... I'm hopeful that some readers will find this shorter and denser book more useful than the larger and more intimidating volume from which it came."

Deciding to purchase JavaScript Pocket Reference depends upon whether or not you own JavaScript: The Definitive Guide.

If you do own JavaScript: The Definitive Guide there are only two reasons to purchase the pocket "reference":
1. You travel
2. You'd rather flip through 288 pages rather than 1000 pages

If you don't own the definitive guide, buy this and save yourself $25.

I reviewed this book as an ePub on the iPad for O'Reilly's Blogger Review Program.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a third edition... May 2 2012
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Unfortunately, this book is not 'JavaScript Pocket Reference, 3rd edition' but really 'JavaScript Pocket *Guide*, 1st edition'. Gone is the last part of the book with the description of the language's classes with their members and methods and occasional details about various browser differences.

I really like the 2nd edition and use it a lot, and was hoping to get the *same* book, just updated to the latest version of the language.

As a pocket guide, by quickly browsing the book, it looks like it deserves at least 4 stars, but this review is for the pocket reference.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quick Reference to JavaScript Oct. 14 2013
By Robert Salita - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm an experienced programmer. I wanted a quick reading reference to JavaScript with minimal fluff. This book was a great choice. After reading it, I felt well grounded in programming JavaScript.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a quick reference Feb. 18 2013
By Rebecca L Miller - Published on
I was hoping for a quick reference, something that would give me the quirks of Arrays, Strings, Math functions, etc, the nuances of the functions and methods of JavaScript. Instead, I got a dissertation on JavaScript, abbreviated so that it fits in a smaller form factor.

Disappointing. It does have some of what I was looking for, but it's not easy to find, and it's not as in depth about the requirements and usages of the functions as I was hoping for. Shopping now for a real pocket reference! Disappointing considering the quality I have come to expect from O'Reilly.
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