Dojo: The Definitive Guide

The book clearly describes how to use Dojo and will be of great assistance to those using Dojo. The shortcomings of Dojo are not clearly stated in the book but then for someone who has already chosen to use this library having a book on how to use it telling them how bad some of the core concepts of the library would not have been a good idea anyway.

If you have decided to use Dojo then this is an excellent book to add to your library. If you have decided to use a better JavaScript library instead then you will not need this book.

My Rating: yesyesyesnono

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This book is well written and covers the material in a consistent way but it gives me the impression that the JavaScript library that it is describing how to use leaves much to be desired. Of course the book does not actually point out these flaws directly.

As an example of how the book does indirectly demonstrates how bad it considers the Dojo library to be, there is a paragraph in the preface that begins - "Dojo embraces JavaScript for what it is...". You don't need to read far through the book to see the exact opposite view taken toward HTML. In Chapter one on page 30 the book clearly demonstrates how Dojo can completely disregard the HTML standard by inventing its own attributes. There is no such attribute as dojoType - the class attribute is the one provided for enabling JavaScript to interact with selected groups of elements in the page. The biggest flaw in the book is that while they show Dojo's complete disregard for what HTML is, the book never actually states in words that Dojo couldn't care less about having valid HTML and that as a result code based on Dojo will not work in all browsers - particularly those that are stricter about compliance to standards.

While the Dojo library has its flaws (as any JavaScript library does) the book would have done better to demonstrate how to use Dojo correctly with valid HTML.

As another example of where the book falls short, the Dojo library (as with all JavaScript libraries) is huge. Dojo goes part way to rectifying this by breaking the code up into modules that can be dynamically loaded (something many of the others do not do). The base module is still somewhat large at 36k though and so demonstrating how to get it to dynamically load itself after the rest of the page has loaded is one useful piece of information that the book could have supplied but didn't.

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