Murach's JavaScript and DOM Scripting

I gave up on trying to review this book about half way through. The number of misleading statements and the difficult to understand sections that I had discovered by then meant that I had no desire to even look at the second half of the book. Almost all other books on JavaScript for beginners are better than this one so I recommend you ignore this book and get one that is going to be easier to read, contains correct information about JavaScript, and hopefully doesn't contain old fashioned code. There are a few things in the book that may be of interest to advanced JavaScript programmer.

My Rating: yesnononono





The first impression that I got from reading this book is that the author is a programmer with a lot of experience with some other programming languages and that they write their JavaScript as close as they can to that other language. Many of the constructs used in the JavaScript in this book are ones you don't see very often in JavaScript. The clearest indication of this is on page 381 where such unusual constructs are used that at first I thought there was a misprint in the code.

The author does not properly explain the difference between HTML and XHTML since the book refers to XHTML exclusively and yet all the code in the book assumes that it is dealing with HTML. Using an XHTML doctype for HTML is perfectly valid which is what the author has done. Referring to the HTML as XHTML when it isn't is misleading.

Perhaps one of the bigger mistakes that the book makes is in trying to separate the sections on JavaScript and the Document Object Model too much. With modern browsers the Document Object Model is an integral part of just about any JavaScript that you write (JavaScript itself being made up of ECMAScript, DOM, and BOM). This non use of the proper DOM calls in the earlier part of the book results in many antiquated JavaScript constructs being used in early examples that people really need to unlearn in order to use JavaScript to its full potential. Sure you need to explain the core components first before starting on the DOM but you really ought to show properly written JavaScript right from the start that uses the DOM even though a full explanation of how the code works doesn't come until later. The first half of the book is filled with constructs such as document.write() which are outdated 20th century techniques no longer required now that we have the DOM.

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