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Supercharged JavaScript Graphics: with HTML5 canvas, jQuery, and More [Paperback]

Raffaele Cecco

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Book Description

Aug. 5 2011 1449393632 978-1449393632 1

With HTML5 and improved web browser support, JavaScript has become the tool of choice for creating high-performance web graphics. This faced-paced book shows you how to use JavaScript, jQuery, DHTML, and HTML5's Canvas element to create rich web applications for computers and mobile devices.

By following real-world examples, experienced web developers learn fun and useful approaches to arcade games, DHTML effects, business dashboards, and other applications. This book serves complex subjects in easily digestible pieces, and each topic acts as a foundation for the next.

  • Tackle JavaScript optimization and understand how it impacts performance
  • Create fast-moving graphics by combining old-school DHTML with jQuery
  • Learn advanced UI techniques using the jQuery UI and Ext JS libraries
  • Build games with collision detection, object handling, and JavaScript scrolling techniques
  • Master HTML5 Canvas basics for drawings, fills, bitmaps, animation, and more
  • Create applications for the small screen with jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap
  • Use Google’s data visualization tools to create interactive dashboards

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Product Description

About the Author

Raffaele Cecco is a veteran software developer from the European video games industry. He served as Technical Director at London-based software studio King of the Jungle Ltd, where he created software for clients such as Hasbro and Virgin. He has also worked with web technologies and retail e-commerce systems.


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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read for the intermediate JavaScript developer Aug. 22 2011
By Jeroen Oliemans - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I like that the book begins with a DHTML example, this makes the reader really understand the fact that building the web is possible with many tools and that each tool has its cons and pros. The newest toys ( canvas, webgl etc ) aren't necessarily the best or the fastest to build a proper user experience. In the beginning of the book the reader get acquainted with; the browser landscape, sprites, framerates and best practices for working with the DOM which is a pain for performance. The code examples are clear and luckily without excessive comments, which makes the example easy to read for the more experienced developers which are books target group.

The next chapters concern page enhancing techniques like scrolling effects, ui-libraries and shows the best way to create user interface elements form scratch. Al these chapters are a fine introduction for the more performance hungry subjects of games.

The second part of the book dicusses games, staring with a DHTML version of space invaders. This game example incorporates a lot previeous learned techniques en demonstrates the power and performance of well used DHTML.
Of course the power of the newer toys are easy to see with the examples in the book for example the ( recursive ) tree example is a brilliant example of the performance of the canvas element. The bigger part of this book emphasizes on the canvas element. The book clearly demonstrates the posibillities and raw power of the element.
The following chapters cover mobile javascript graphics, phonegap and the Google Charts API.

At first the mix of topics seemed strange to me, however the chapter were really fun to read and I will definitilly use Google Charts in upcoming projects if needed. jQuery Mobile is equally interesting, though personally I would probably take a more responsive way in the future with embedding the touch events into a global library for websites.

Bottom line

this book definitely is a fun read supported by excellent examples for medior to advanced javascript developers who develop applications at his moment, the author makes use of contemporary, but proven libraries and API's . Which is a plus these days with swift innovation cycles.

Supercharged JavaScript Graphics

Disclaimer: I was provided access by O'Reilly Publishing to an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book that provides straightforward insight Oct. 20 2011
By Leslie Harback - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
These days there are a ton of Javascript books out there. So many that it becomes difficult to sift through them all to find the one that's appropriate to your knowledge level and style of learning. Fortunately, Raffaele Cecco's Supercharged Javascript Graphics fills that role admirably.

The book runs the gamut of Javascript graphical effects, all explained in a way that's somewhere between a super dry omnibus tome that attempts to describe the language and its entire use and a 'cookbook' style super-topical volume that maybe doesn't go into as much detail as you'd like. I was delighted to find relatively in-depth approaches to things that I've never attempted, but that I still found fascinating to read about: 3D Carousels, multiple methods of scrolling, tilemaps, and animations, to name just a few. Again, these are things that, on starting this book, I had not really thought of using, but now that's I've read about them, I'm sure I'll have to work them into some Web design work.

I could discuss any number of sections of the book in detail, but as a game programmer, it only seems appropriate that I would gravitate that section of the book; in Chapter 5, the author begins the process of recreating a variation on a personal favorite game of mine, Space Invaders, called Orbit Assault. This alone is worth the price of this book, for me at least. While the game code itself is not especially complex (nor is the game itself, for that matter) stepping the reader through the entire process of creating sprites, importing game assets, and setting up the engine and user input is nicely self-contained and useful. I've personally not attempted to make a Javascript game, but after reading this, I suspect I'll give it a go, after seeing the ease with which it can be accomplished.

I've wracked my brain to think of a shortcoming of the book. Certainly Cecco's writing style is pleasant and accessible, the examples given are straightforward, useful, and never esoteric, and it's even organized nicely, flowing from one related subject to the next. I guess if I had to identify one issue, it's that at 280 pages it's a little too short. In the future I'd love to see more from the author on the same subject.

The bottom line? As with a lot of O'Reilly books, you're getting a great value, a solidly constructed book, and a well written one at that. If you're a Javascript developer, a game programmer who has interest in browser-level game creation, or if you're just interested in learning about these thing, go get yourself a copy. I doubt you'll regret it.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A fun way to deepen your knowledge of JavaScript Oct. 7 2011
By Ricardo Bánffy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I loved reviewing this book. Not only I learned a lot of new, cool tricks, the methods, tools and techniques I learned, from JavaScript code optimization to proper usage of jQuery Mobile and PhoneGap, were well worth the time invested in reading the book. The text flows well and the examples are easy to follow, understand and apply to your projects. When there is more ground to be covered, the book will point you in the right direction to continue playing with the technologies introduced.

Fair warning: JavaScript can be very alien to people who come from other languages and you have to be reasonably proficient with JavaScript to make full use of this book.

Disclosure: This book was provided by O'Reilly Media as part of their blogger review program
4.0 out of 5 stars Great code with some caveats April 3 2014
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is really a mixed bag. I have to give it a big thumbs up for the creativity in the code, and fast, efficient JavaScript. The author's approach to creating classes (even including a form of subclassing) is clever and easier to read than the standard prototype approach. Also, there are some clever tricks like shifting a number to the right 0 bits to make it an integer. He's obviously a JavaScript expert.

That said, there are a number of issues I have with the book. First, although much of the code is clever, his variable names leave much to be desired, and are sometimes deceptive. He doesn't comment his code that much (which I think is a big mistake), so the combination of complex code, minimal comments and deceptive variable names can make things confusing.

Also, although this is a short book, it kind of goes all over the place and ends up not covering certain topics very well. Notably, the last chapter on PhoneGap is really skimpy, and missing a ton of detail. PhoneGap is a big topic, and all this book does is introduce it and talk about installing the development tools and SDKs. Not super helpful.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Intermediate book March 5 2014
By Kenneth - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book for intermediates who have coding knowledge but may be just starting to experiment with the fun stuff. Enjoy.

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