JavaScript - The Definitive Guide

This book really does live up to its name, covering everything that can currently be done with JavaScript as well as what is proposed by the latest standard.

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This is a "must have" book for anyone writing JavaScript for use with web pages. No matter what your level of JavaScript knowledge (as long as you know some JavaScript) you will be able to benefit from this book. It comprehensively covers JavaScript as it is today. While not all of the new JavaScript statements are supported by all browsers in common use, the book clearly describes how to work around that lack of support so that your script doesn't crash while still benefiting from the advances in what the language allows.

The book covers both the modern approach to writing JavaScript as well as how JavaScript used to be written (so as to help you to understand what the old code actually does). Most of the time the book does make the distinction between them and advises you as to which is the appropriate way to do things.

Perhaps the antiquated info that has the most space dedicated to it is browser sniffing using the user enterable free format user_agent information in the navigator object - while there are unfortunately lots of web pages that have made the mistake of using this the approach has actually been obsolete since Netscape 2 introduced feature sensing. The book does admit that browser sniffing is 'problematic' but still devotes a couple of pages to how to do it where that space would have been better used to list a summary of a few of the reasons why you shouldn't use it.

The complete opposite approach is taken with regard to the now antiquated document.write statement with the book including the code for a streaming API for innerHTML to make it a trivial exercise to get rid of all such antiquated statements.

The very few flaws in this book make up a minute fraction of the book but they stood out for me mainly because the rest of the book is to such a high standard. This book isn't for beginners but for anyone who has even a slight knowledge of JavaScript, this is a book you need to get. If you can only afford one JavaScript book then get this one.

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