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on November 17, 1999
If you liked O'Reilly's PERL Cookbook, AVOID this book. Instead of helping you to code, this book dishes up complete applications which are better handled using PERL (or any other language) for CGIs.
Somehow, the editor(s) at O'Reilly missed the basic issue:
JavaScript isn't a language, but a shoehorn attempt at providing browser-side programming capabilities that may blow up easily, save for simple edit checks (including math operations).
JS requires enabled and capable browsers, and even then scripts can be problematical between browser versions and browser vendors. If you've worked in JS, you know the frustration when a property or method in one object isn't available in a seemingly similar object. More often calls between programmers mucking about in JS are along the lines of "How do you do 'x' in JS?" and not "How do you develop a website in JS?" (The answer to the later would be "Are you out of your @#!*$ mind! ")
Save your $$ and maybe O'Reilly may soon provide a robust JS cookbook.
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on September 16, 2002
I bought the book expecting to pick up techniques to accomplish some serious client-side actions. After working through the first chapter, I was pleased with the purchase. This is a no nonsense book that gets right to some usable applications.
Chapter one's search engine is not a lengthy script, but takes a while to digest because so many local variables are used. While this is economical, it makes picking up the logic flow from one function to the next a little more difficult. Having said that, the concepts presented in the code are well worth the effort to work through every line.
Downloading the zip file is the only way to go with this book. the code in the book is, due to format limitations, much more difficult to follow than the code viewed in a good editor. Besides you can comment the code line-by-line if that helps you.
If I was looking for an intermediate business oriented javascript book, this would be it!!
After fully mastering the approach of any one of the samples, you can begin immediately to see ways to either expand or apply the code. That's really what most of us are looking for.
Thanks for writing it.
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on January 10, 2004
This book fills a very nice gap in the world of JavaScript books. Most of the books either are basic "how to" learning guides or exhaustive reference manuals. Both of those types of books are necessary for a good developer, but there comes a time when you want to cross over from the theoretical to the practical. As in, "how would I do a function like this in JavaScript?"
The "cookbook" approach is designed to take a common web site feature, like a search engine, and code a common JavaScript routine that would do that. You can then take the code in the book and use it with very little modification. In most cases, you would learn from the code as you are implementing it, and from there you can enhance the function to better suit your particular needs. You get the best of both worlds... You are quickly able to implement a function you are getting paid to build, and you are learning at the same time.
I liked the piece on context-sensitive help files. Nothing is really complex or visually impressive. But it's core functionality that you can implement quickly, it's useful for the end user, and you can build on that technique both in your current and future applications.
For Notes/Domino developers, you'll find a lot you can use here. Being that Domino functionality often translates to the web, you may find that a pure JavaScript implementation of a feature may not be the fastest or easiest way to build something for your application. You'll need to examine the functionality you need for your application and determine the best way to do it. But even if you choose to use Domino to accomplish some task, seeing the way to do it in JavaScript can help you expand your horizons and consider different approaches.
I would recommend this book as a practical supplement to a good "how to" and a good reference book. If you're just starting to learn JavaScript, you may want to leave this one alone for awhile.
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on December 6, 1999
I, too, would have preferred a 'Perl Cookbook' or 'Numerical Recipes' style book. Granted, this would have put it out of reach of beginners, but it would have filled a hole in the current selection of advanced Javascript texts. The book covers a number of sample applications with snippets of general explaination sprinkled throughout. Most of the commentary is specific to the applications, though. And it concentrates on how the code works not why particular choices were made in the coding. The general explainations are kinda basic - how nested loops work, how to use eval(), avoiding multiple document.write() calls using variables. And they avoid important issues related to those topics - that the eval() function requires a lot of overhead so using array notation to access members of collections should be used whenever possible and single document.write() calls aren't only pretty but can prevent applications from crashing in particular circumstances.
Chapter 6 covers javascript source files (external .js files). I would have liked to see more coverage because they allow code to be cached and reused and they allow greater maintainability of existing applications. The presented libraries themselves leave a bit to be desired. cookies.js is a standard but others such as frames.js and arrays.js are a bit skimpy - I've seen better on the web at places like The dhtml.js library is almost useless - show() and hide() functions only. And using the images.js library would result in the same bloated pages created by using the builtin image functions in authoring environments like Dreamweaver or GoLive. At least they could have provided a scalable, portable, easily customizable and maintainable image rollover function.
Another concern is that there is no mention of the Mozilla project (the long-awaited Netscape 5) or even of Document Object Model support in IE5. The one DHTML application sticks to 4.x functionality.
If you find the leap between a beginner book like 'Visual QuickStart: JavaScript 1.2 for the World Wide Web' and a robust reference like 'JavaScript: The Definitive Guide' too much, this book might be helpful but the few lessons in it will be quickly learned and you will soon be looking for more.
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on June 18, 2002
Anyone interested in serious programming with Javascript should definitely consider "Javascript Application Cookbook" by Jerry Bradembaugh. First and foremost, this book is not for the lighthearted. One should be well versed with programming (Javascript, Java, C, C++) before considering taking on this book.
From the very first sample (Online Test), I knew this book would be teaching me a lot of new techniques. Having a web-based application running solely (actually, more like 99%) on Javascript is great. Bradenbaugh is very thorough in his writing, explaining, and guiding readers through various sections of each application. His presentations of the processes and variables used are so helpful when walking through the source code.
Right out of the book, there is no need to configure anything except to download the samples. Once you have it saved on your machine, it's time to make things happen. The best thing about the author's walk-through is that he tells you explicitly what is going on, and he offers ways to enhance each application. That's a must when you are looking for ideas from someone with as much knowledge as he has.
I see combining several chapters worth of code into a bigger and better application. For example, using the file I/O techniques used in the Online Test application in conjunction with the Slideshow application, one could create a database of images used and allow users to load and save them. Better yet, why not offer something like a shopping cart for your users to select which image to include in a slideshow. The possibilities are endless from the use of this book. If time permits, incorporate other functions and create a true scripting-library. Use the include directive to bring in what is needed to make your application lean and user-friendly.
There are some sample chapters of the JavaScript...
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on January 20, 2000
I must say I don't understand some of you saying this book isn't what you hoped for - you certainly didn't know what you were buying. As for being an "application cookbook" this book does what it's supposed to do and does it well.
The application examples include an online test system, a slideshow/image viewer and something I found very useful, a cookie based shopping cart. Even if there isn't really a wide variety of different examples, those provided are advanced enough to show the capabilities of JavaScript at a high level, and gave me ideas on other things I could program myself, using the examples as guidelines while moving along..
My impression of the code in the book is that it is clean and hi-qual, it works w/o glitches in 4.x gen browser, which really are what you should be developing for these days.
Only gripe is the price.. a little too much maybe.. but I guess I could live with that after saving alot of work cop.. *cough* .. learning from the code in the book :)
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on September 17, 2002
After working through the first chapter (site search engine) I felt that this was a book work reading. It isn't a beginner's book, but anyone with intermediate javascript skills and an interest in using client-side processing will pick up a good amount of useful techniques and some needed perspective on how client-side scripting can be a powerful asset.
The code could be better (as could anyone's). There is a strong focus on using local variables instead of global and the naming conventions make following the logic from one function to the next a little difficult. This, however, does not diminish the value of the concepts presented.
To use the book, you "MUST" download the files. Not only are they a lot easier to read, you can comment them extensively as you go and pick up logic bits.
An inportant suggestion is to not blow through the example application too quickly. If you take the time to take them apart, modify them and reassemble, you will pick up much more than just running them reading the code and moving on.
I wish there were more books that presented the business functionality of javascript and how it can be used to handle many of the things that are being passed to server-side processing.
I bought it, used it and would buy it again...
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on December 15, 1999
When I received my copy of the JavaScript Cookbook, I got exactly what I was looking for - a JAVASCRIPT resource. This is a solid piece of work that not only includes practical web ready applications & code, but also provides clear and concise explanations each step of the way. I found most of these explanations to hold considerable value beyond just the scope of the particular recipe; I had no problem using them to broaden my understanding in the bigger picture of JavaScript.
I found Bradenbaugh's book quite helpful and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in expanding their bag of JS tricks with immediate applicability. (I am currently using the client-side search engine application, and have dog-eared a handful of practical JS functions in Chapter 6). However, to all those reviewers below looking to learn Perl, you might want to first read this book's title before you pick it up.
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on February 4, 2003
The text is focused on providing ready built constructs that can be applied to any website. In summary this book contains 11 application constructs. 3 are possibly applicable in todays world, albeit their relevancy is questioned, the other 9 topics such as text ciphers in JavaScript and Shopping Carts in JavaScript, etc. are completely unacceptable in today's world. Adding text cipher or Shopping cart logic in the browser completely exposes that logic to the hacking public leaving your site completely vulnerable to attack. Even in 1999, when this book was written, this would have been a ridiculous way of implementing these things. I must say I gathered no useful information from this text. And as for the author, anyone who had their site implemented by this person should hire a professional to correct the security holes he has most likely left behind.
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on November 21, 1999
I thought this book would be the Javascript equivalent of the Perl Cookbook, but not even close. This book just doesn't serve the same purpose. It's not a bad book, but it needs to be simplified into categories. Us programmers don't need to have our hands held while we code stuff, we just need help here and there and that's what made the Perl Cookbook so good. This book just describes whole projects. Screw that.
Believe it or not, I think JavaScript for Dummies is still king for a reference when being stuck on something. Either that or rack your own brain and solve it yourself. :-)
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