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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the Job
As an experienced programmer in languages such as C, C++, Python I found the first 6 chapters of this book to be a good review, and very well done.
Further chapters describing Javascripts framework for objects, functions, etc. are fairly well done. However, at times the explanations are long-winded and repeated too often. Also, very important points are mentioned,...
Published on Sept. 19 2005 by Yasir

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners
This is not a book for beginners. It is more for someone who already knows JavaScript and would like to use as a reference. There is too much theory and not enough examples. There are snippets of code here and there and the ocasional full example but that is just not enough. You have to learn by doing. A better book to buy would be JavaScript by Example or...
Published on Aug. 10 2005


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners, Aug. 10 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
This is not a book for beginners. It is more for someone who already knows JavaScript and would like to use as a reference. There is too much theory and not enough examples. There are snippets of code here and there and the ocasional full example but that is just not enough. You have to learn by doing. A better book to buy would be JavaScript by Example or JavaScript: A beginner's guide.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does the Job, Sept. 19 2005
By 
Yasir (Toronto, Canada) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
As an experienced programmer in languages such as C, C++, Python I found the first 6 chapters of this book to be a good review, and very well done.
Further chapters describing Javascripts framework for objects, functions, etc. are fairly well done. However, at times the explanations are long-winded and repeated too often. Also, very important points are mentioned, but I felt at times they were not highlighted in anyway. With long explanations and flat text, is easy to miss on key points and be forced to re-read and search back to find them again.
Nonetheless, a good book and useful reference in my opinion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The classic reference guide..., Jan. 10 2004
By 
Thomas Duff "Duffbert" (Portland, OR United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
If you can only afford to get one book to help you with JavaScript coding, this would be the one to consider...
This book is a good mixture between raw reference material (Parts 3 - 6) and explanatory material to tell you how it all works together (Parts 1 - 2). While I don't think I'd want to try and learn JavaScript from scratch using this book, I'd definitely want it once I had learned how to do the basics. If you are learning JavaScript for the first time, perhaps O'Reilly's book Designing With JavaScript might be a good introduction into the topic.
Parts 1 and 2, while they look similar, present a complete look at JavaScript as used in web browsers. Part 1 tells you the how the language works, while part 2 tells you how it works within the framework of the web browser. Unless you understand how to manipulate the object model of the browser, you won't be able to harness the full value and power the JavaScript language in your web pages.
The reference sections of the book will quickly become bookmarked and dog-eared as you move forward. For each reference item, you have the method/property, a brief one line description, the earliest language level where it is first supported, whether it is deprecated or not, a synopsis of the syntax, the arguments to the method, a description of the method/property, an example (if applicable), any known bugs in the method/property, and a reference to any similar methods/properties that may relate to the item. Needless to say, a VERY complete set of information that you will come to rely on.
For a Notes/Domino developer, you will need a reference manual such as this. None of the Lotus/IBM documentation will cover the full depth of the language. This book will serve you well as you implement web applications with Domino. I would also suggest a book called Domino 5 Web Programming With XML, Java, and JavaScript by Randall Tamura. It will fill in some of the gaps as to how the DOM is implemented by Domino.
Conclusion
There's a reason why this book is in the fourth edition spanning 1996 through 2002. It gives you all the information you need to be effective with JavaScript. I highly recommend it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a Definitive Guide - But Is That What You Want?, Aug. 27 2003
By 
Warren J. Dew (Somerville, MA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
If you're looking for a complete reference on the JavaScript programming language, this is it. This book teaches the JavaScript language from the ground up and includes a very complete reference section.
On the other hand, if all you want is to write or understand JavaScript in its most common use - providing a little more dynamic content in web pages than can be done with html alone - the book may be overkill. For example, in addition to the useful sections on client side JavaScript - the JavaScript that you include in your web pages to be run in the client's browser - there are even larger sections that are really only useful for server side JavaScript - as if anyone uses JavaScript on the server side. As an experienced C, C++, and Java programmer, I had to wade through quite a bit of redundant material before I could effectively use the book to answer the simple questions I had.
In addition, some critical issues about using client side JavaScript are omitted from the book. For example, there is a chapter on security, but it only covers security issues applicable to the user - that with modern browsers, it's pretty safe for the user to allow JavaScripts to run. Issues pertaining to the security of the web site and the server it runs on - far more important to someone writing JavaScript code - are omitted. The book even provides a very unsafe example of allowing a client side script to calculate sales tax, which if used would make it easy for someone to tell your site he owed less tax than he really did, leaving the website owner holding the bag. It would have been better to include these server security issues and omit the client security issues.
Still, this book will let you find the answers to your questions, even if it does take longer than it seems like it should.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Yet - Guide and Reference to JavaScript, April 29 2003
By 
James May "creative, dedicated eccentric" (San Saba, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
If you can't learn JavaScript with this book you may as well give it up. I have an extensive library of programming books covering a variety of languages and this is easily the best I have ever seen. If you are an inexperienced programmer trying to learn JavaScript this is THE book. If you are experienced and want more depth of understanding, this is your book.
As each new concept is introduced, the usual questions which occur to any programmer are answered clearly and concisely. Browser specific issues are addressed. Material is organized well so you can always find what you need. Nuances of the different Document Object Models are covered. This volume is uniquely qualified to be both a reference and a text book.
My profession requires that I read extensively, but I almost never write a review. I am compelled to make an exception in this case. This book is so good it simply must receive it's due.
"JavaScript: The Definitive Guide" should be required reading for anyone aspiring to write a book on any language. This is the standard by which all other books on the subject could be judged. Four adjetives say it all; readable, clear, accurate and thorough. By all means buy it. It's the best on the planet.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thorough introduction for experienced programmers, Feb. 6 2003
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This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
Usually putting a subtitle such as "The Definitive Guide" on a book is a setup for a joke, but Flanagan's "JavaScript" neatly avoids this trap by being truly definitive. JavaScript should be familiar as the implementation of ECMAScript found on most web browsers. I actually picked the book up when I needed to embed ECMAScript into a speech recognition grammar formalism for work, a rather daunting task for someone who'd never read a line of JavaScript. JavaScript is designed for embedding; unlike Perl, Python or Tcl, it's completely isolated from the operating system.
The ECMAScript specification is dense, but more readable than the specs from the W3C. "ECMA" used to be an acronym for the European Computer Manufacturers Association; now it's just a name for yet another standards body. Flanagan's book is the perfect bridge for a programmer who knows nothing to the spec.
Flanagan assumes a reader who is an experienced programmer; this is not JavaScript for novices. Basically, this is the Kernighan and Ritchie of JavaScript. As such, the book is classically organized, taking the reader from syntax and control through the object model. Most usefully, Flanagan clearly describes how the JavaScript object model works, which is no mean feat given the double inheritance chain along with the overloading of members, methods and constructors.
For those who prefer source code, Mozilla distributes their reference JavaScript implementations: the Rhino implementation in Java, and the SpiderMonkey implementation in C. The code is quite well organized and the Mozilla message boards are closely monitored by the coders. You'll also find the latest information on known bugs through their Bugzilla trackers.
Note: Because I was using JavaScript for an embedded application, I thoroughly studied the first half of the book, but never even cracked the DOM sections in the back, which describe JavaScript's integration with web browsers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars THE Javascript Reference!, Jan. 22 2003
By 
James W. Anderson (Alpharetta, GA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
I can't imagine any serious Javascript developer not having this book in his or her collection. It is the most complete reference I have seen on Javascript, and one of the most professionally written books period.
Where I work, the book is near ubiquitous among our web developers and has proven to be a valuable desk-side resource. I recently bought the 4th edition, after some of my coworkers commented on how worn my 3rd edition had become. No surprise, really, considering that I had to share the 3rd edition among six developers, all of whom were learning Javascript for the first time. I'm glad to once again have a nice, fresh copy of this book, and even more so, glad to have an updated reference with coverage of the new features in Javascript 1.5.
I'm pleased to say that the 4th edition lives up to the reputation of its predecessor. Reading is easy and informative, and the reference section provides answers to just about any question you'd have regarding the language syntax and object model.
If you're a web developer and have no other books in your collection, make sure you have this one.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Reference book, not guide, Dec 18 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
The word "guide" suggests a book that will help you learn something from the beginning. This book won't.
"JavaScript - The Definitive Guide" is a very thorough and up-to-date compendium of the JavaScript programming language, so it's definitely an excellent reference book. However, unless you're already very familiar with other languages that have similar syntax and structure (C, C++, Java and perhaps PHP), don't expect to learn how to write JavaScript programs with this book.
The author has no qualms about using complicated language to supposedly "explain" simple concepts. You don't have to take my word for it; here's an excerpt, from page 110:
"The Arguments object has one very unusual feature. When a function has named arguments, the array elements of the Arguments object are synonyms for the local variables that hold the function arguments. The arguments[] array and the argument named arguments are two different ways of referring to the same variable. Changing the value of an argument with an argument name changes the value that is retrieved through the arguments[] array. Changing the value of an argument through the arguments[] array changes the value that is retrieved by the argument name.ï¿
Okay, so after reading the above paragraph two or three times you finally get it. But just imagine reading 424 pages (Iï¿m discounting the reference part of the book) of equally dense text, with examples that are sometimes clear as mud.
Bottomline: Need a good JavaScript reference book? Look no further. Want to start learning how to write scripts for the web? You'd probably be better off with a book from the "Teach yourself" series (published by Sams).
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3.0 out of 5 stars For the experienced JavaScript programmer!, Dec 12 2002
By 
Chris (San Antonio, Tx) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
I am new to JavaScript programming and Webprogramming in general. This book was very hard to read and understand if you dont have some experience writing JavaScript. As a reference book this book is great but as a learning tool for beginners I think its terrible. I have only gotten to the third chapter so far and I had to go back to reading my 21 day JavaScript book in order for me to work up the the Definitive Guide. I think they should've added several chapters and tutorials for beginners so the beginners can get something out of this book as well.
If you are a beginner or are a person that needs hands on experience to learn JavaScript I suggest that you get a book that has lots of tutorials and full completed examples and results and explains things thoroughly in regular words that normal people can understand. I would say this book is more of a JavaScript Dictionary than a learning tool. This book is definatively NOT for the new JavaScript programmer! I have always had good luck with the 21 day books so I will read that one first and come back to this one since my professor recommeded it and then decide if it was worth my money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars One of the most successful Javascript Book, Aug. 24 2002
By 
Golden Lion "Reader" (North Ogden, Ut United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition (Paperback)
As a Web developer, who has written popular javascript code snippets, for thousands of satisfied developers, I love this book! This book provides comprehensive explainations about the javascript language. The author explains differences between netscape and internet explorer. One of the most important chapter in the book explains how to create an javascript object, inline functions, and prototyping. Build your internet javascript library of inline objects. Over time the power of this approach will give you an extremely feature rich web page.
I wrote javascript packages for xml and dom, httpxml, the browser, date functions, form functions, windows, string, math functions, and numerous helpful javascript functions.
Did you know that its possible to create recursive javascript functions? I wrote a javascript route that parsed an xml tree creating a tree structure in html.
Did you know that you can control DHTML elements using javascript? I wrote an DHTML editor in javascript that built the web page entirely using javascript and DHTML. The javascript structure outputted XML (see the loosely coupled interface DHTML editor).
Did you know that you can control multimedia using javascript? Javascript can be used to play music, display a show case of images, and create marquee and iframe news scrolls. Using knowledge from the book it was easy to build iframe elements in the form using javascript.
Did you know that you can create calendars, calculators, and clocks using javascript? Javascript is a very versitile language. Javascript grammer parsing can be done so programming code can be stored as data but run as an algorithm like lisp. I was absolutely shock after discovering this capability. If your into expert systems or neural nets think about javascript. You can load data from either client side or server side data and manipulate the data with C like function providing: loops, arrays, associative arrays, functions, and recursion capabilities.
Did you know that Active Server Pages can be written entirely in javascript? I though javascript was more robust than VB script. For example, the connection of ADO, XML, or an activeX object is possible using server side ASP javascript. I've used javascript to create database transactions, file manipulation, associative arrays, and data parsing. Javascript is a powerful development language. Hugh Websites run critical server side code in javascript. If you had to write 300,000 lines of code, wouldn't you like to write and maintain it in an object oriented language? Javascript is object oriented. Even though javascript is a subset of java, it seems to do the job.
In sum, if you haven't invested yet in javascript, I strongly encourage you to do so and purchase this book. The book will help you reach a professional level of coding. Basically, my rule is if it can be thought it can be built. You think of a desired function capability and there is probably a way to create the functionality using javascript. Wow netscape your awesome in creating such a powerful language!
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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition
JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: The Definitive Guide, 4th Edition by David Flanagan (Paperback - Nov. 29 2001)
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