Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Simply Javascript

“Everything you need to learn JavaScript from scratch!”

This JavaScript beginner’s book will show you how to:

  • Learn JavaScript’s built-in functions, methods, and properties.
  • Easily integrate JavaScript into your web site.
  • Use JavaScript to validate form entries and interact with your users.
  • Understand how to respond to user events.
  • Create animations that bring your web site to life.
  • Start programming using the DOM and Ajax.

On the surface, JavaScript is a simple programming language that lets you make changes to your web pages on the fly, while they’re being displayed in a web browser. How hard could that be to learn, right? It sounds like something you could knock over in an afternoon.

But JavaScript is bigger on the inside than it seems from the outside. If you were a Dr. Who fan, you might call it the Tardis of programming languages. If you’re not a Dr. Who fan, roll your eyes with me as the fanboys (and girls) geek out.

Everyone back with me? Put your Daleks away, Jimmy.

As I was saying, JavaScript sounds like it should be simple. Nevertheless, throughout its ten year history (so far), the best ways of doing things with JavaScript have seemed to change with the seasons. And advice on how to write good JavaScript can be found everywhere: “Do it this way—it’ll run faster!” “Use this code—it’ll run on more browsers!” “Stay away from that feature—it causes memory leaks!”

Too many other JavaScript books—some of them from very respected names in the industry—will teach you a handful of simple solutions to simple problems and then call it a day, leaving you with just enough rope with which to hang yourself when you actually try to solve a real-world problem on your own. And when in desperation you go looking on the Web for an example that does what you need it to, you’ll likely be unable to make sense of the JavaScript code you find, because the book you bought didn’t cover many of the truly useful features of the language, such as object literals, event listeners, or closures.



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