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JavaScript: Visual QuickStart Guide (8th Edition) [Paperback]

Tom Negrino , Dori Smith

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Book Description

July 27 2011 0321772970 978-0321772978 8
This task-based, visual-reference guide has been fully revised and uses step-by-step instructions and plenty of screenshots to give beginning and intermediate scripters what they need to know to keep their skills up-to-date. Readers can start from the beginning to get a tour of the programming language, or look up specific tasks to learn just what they need to know. In this updated eighth edition, readers will find new information on using frameworks and libraries--such as jQuery--and modern coding techniques.

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JavaScript: Visual QuickStart Guide (8th Edition) + HTML and CSS: Visual QuickStart Guide (8th Edition) + PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites: Visual QuickPro Guide (4th Edition)
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About the Author

Tom Negrino is the author of dozens of books including Visual QuickStart Guides covering Keynote and Contribute, and Visual QuickProject Guides on PowerPoint, Quicken, and upgrading Mac OS X. Dori Smith is the author of Java 2: Visual QuickStart Guide. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences, publisher of the Wise-Women’s Web community, and a founding member of the Web Standards Project. Together they’ve written Styling Web Pages with CSS: Visual QuickProject Guide and several best-selling editions of Dreamweaver: Visual QuickStart Guide. They have also written numerous print and online articles, and publish the Backup Brain weblog. Tom and Dori have lived in Northern California’s wine country since they fled the Los Angeles area in 1999.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not quite what I expected Dec 26 2011
By Sergiu Luca - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book hoping to get a gentle introduction to the ubiquitous programming language, Javascript. Being at the 8th edition, it seemed that this book has stood the test of time and were a good choice for an aspiring web developer with no technical background. Actually, I had a bad feeling about this book, when after 5 pages I read the following advice from the authors: "Don't type that code[...] It was tough enough for us to do all the that typing, and there's no reason you should have to repeat that work." Compare this, with the recommandation of another author, Larry Ullman: "I strongly encourage you to type the scripts yourself in order to become more familiar with the structure and syntax of PHP".

The main reason I took a dislike to this book is because it's a tutorial-based text with insufficient explanatory details for understanding the example script code. The examples are unnecessary difficult to comprehend for a beginner because the theory behind the topics being presented, is meager. I was constantly refering to other resources in order to understand the logic behind the code scripts. I'll present an example of this, so you can judge if my complain is justified or not:

Chapter 9, Cookies in JS, says that a cookie is a text string with the following format: cookieName=cookieValue;expires=expirationDateGMT;path=URLpath;domain=siteDomain. Then, a function, setCookie(), is set to construct a cookie, and among other lines, it contains the line: document.cookie = "userName=" + username + ";expires=" + expireDate.toGMTString();
After this, the authors write a function that reads and displays the cookies, with the following lines:

var thisCookie = document.cookie.split(";");
for (var i=0; i<thisCookie.length; i++) {
outMsg += "Cookie name " + thisCookie[i].split("=")[0];
outMsg += "Cookie value " + thisCookie[i].split("=")[1];

For a cookie set, for example, to "ppkcookie1=testcookie; expires=Thu, 2 Aug 2012 20:47:11 UTC", I was wondering for many minutes why the code would display only "Cookie name ppkcookie1 Cookie value testcookie", and would not the display the part with the expiration date that was a part of the original string.
Luckily, I found the explanation for this apparently unexplainable behaviour of this string, in a site about JS: "Cookies can be created, read and erased by JavaScript. They are accessible through the property document.cookie. Though you can treat document.cookie as if it's a string, it isn't really, and you have only access to the name-value pairs". If this information was available in the text, I would have understood at first hand, why only the name-value pairs were accessable from the document.cookie.
In conclusion, will one learn some JS by reading this book? This book will teach you some JS, but it is necessary to consult other sources in order to keep up with the code examples: unfortunately all the authors do, is tell you what to do, instead teaching the language.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great primer for Javascript Jan. 24 2012
By Christopher M. Goodman - Published on
Dori and Tom's primer on Javascript has continued to a great starting point for learning web programming.
It has evolved with progressive editions, including sections on JQuery, AJAX and the DOM.
It begins with usual sections covering images, forms and frames (which are being deprecated in CSS3).
Then the authors move on to event handling, object-oriented JS using the DOM (Document Object Model).
Cookie handling is described as well. Then they address dynamic web pages including AJAX.
Afterward, they cover JS toolkits, of which there are many, including Dojo, JQuery, etc.
JQuery is covered in more detail, which is of particular importance for HTML5 web programmers.

For those individuals, who was more detail about the thoughts behind a given task, it is always worthwhile to have David Flanagan's Javascript: The Definitive Guide as a reference, but I find the Visual Guide series much easier for people just coming to Javascript. As it is example driven, one acquires a core set of examples to use. I find Dori and Tom's book flows better than the Head First Javascript book by Michael Morrison, which lacks any significant coverage of JQuery and HTML5 relevant material.

Thanks again to the dynamic duo - Dori Smith and Tom Negrino!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-written book Sept. 8 2012
By Wordman - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
After learning PHP, I wanted to move up and tackle JavaScript. I made a short pit-stop along the way with jQuery and got so frustrated with the lack of support with that library that I was determined to get to know JavaScript better.

I buy nearly all of my computer books on Amazon, but I sample them before purchasing in an actual bookstore. Reviews and recommendations do not help me when purchasing a computer book...I need to read through it, see if there is an answer to a specific problem I'm looking to solve and if the book 'feels right' then I take a note and buy it on Amazon unless I'm in need of immediate gratification. Sorry B&N, but at 30% less, I can't justify the in-store purchase.

This book is likely better suited for someone with more base knowledge of JavaScript than I, but I know that as I learn, this book will become more of an asset to me. I thought PHP was confusing at first, but JavaScript makes it look like a cake walk in comparison as far as I'm concerned. I'm hoping this book will help me tackle the elusive, 'A-HA!' understanding I need to 'get' JavaScript.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Must have book! Feb. 22 2013
By David E.Valdez - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of my best book in JavaScript reading overall. From start to end, this book is easy to follow....
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book for JavaScript beginners Nov. 23 2012
By Ashwin - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I found this book good to understand basics of JavaScript. But it i not elaborate and you will need to get hold of other resources to learn advanced concepts

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