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am 28. April 2000
This book is an apple, not an orange, so don't call it an orange. It's not a comprehensive guide to the esoteric ins and outs of JavaScript. That's what O'Reilly's JavaScript: the Definitive Guide is for. This book --- like all the books in the excellent Visual QuickStart Guide series --- is aimed at getting you into the topic and doing stuff with it quickly. The other books like the O'Reilly book (which would leave a beginner pulling her hair out) are for later.
The examples in this book show you the most common uses of JS and provide sample scripts (which are available for download on the companion web site). The newer, 3d. ed. of the book adds a significant amount of additional information, and is worth the price of admission (I also owned the 2d. ed.). It gets you doing cool stuff with Javascript quickly. That simplicity is its strength and also one of my complaints about it.
The examples are not often very flexible. They do one thing well (which is described quickly and in a manner in which you can easily understand), but its not always easy to modify the script to similar uses. And, because it's how it is, it doesn't teach you enough to understand the theory of the JS you're using, so you rarely understand how to modify those scripts. BUT, as I said above, that's beyond the scope of this book.
One example: in the doing things with windows chapter, there are scripts for opening and closing a second window from within the main window. Great scripts and they work well. But, if you want to open the new window from the main window, then close the new window from the new window (not the main window), too bad, because it doesn't show you how to do that.
But, on that point, I'm starting to lean in the direction of calling this book an orange.
For absolute beginners: it's a must, and is probably the best introduction to JavaScript. For Intermediate JavaScripters, its hit or miss, so check it out thoroughly (though it's still a great quick reference for when you forget something). For advanced JavaScript and JS applications, check out one of the O'reilly reference works.
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am 11. März 2000
I have found this book *extremely* helpful in integrating certain JavaScript elements into web pages (using the authors' web site which supplements the material in the book is essential, however.)I would highly recommend it to someone with little or no JavaScript knowledge. I think most of the negative reviews (the ones that rate it a star or two because it's "not for serious programmers") are missing the point. If you want to go on a trip to Mexico and need to learn some Spanish quickly to help you survive, you pick up a phrase book by Berlitz or some such publisher. Learning the entire grammar of the Spanish language would be a waste of time for this purpose. Likewise, if you want to read Cervantes in the original, memorizing how order a meal in a restaurant isn't going to help you much. I think the analogy holds true for this book - if you want to journey into the land of JavaScript, this is a good phrase book to help you get along (the authors themselves even encourage you to copy-and-paste many of the commands from their web site so you don't even have to do the typing.) If you want to delve into the grammar of the language, this book would be limited for that purpose.
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am 3. Mai 2000
I am an HTML designer trying to use Javascript in my web pages. I have bought 4 books on Javascript in the last 2 years -- all have been useless to me. I wanted a book that would provide solutions for specific problems that I was trying to solve. THIS IS THE BOOK I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR! All the others require you to read through the whole book before you'll understand what you're doing. Even then, you still don't have much of an idea how to write scripts that you'll be able to use.
This book shows you exactly how to write scripts to solve specific problems. It's also written in such a way that you can adapt the scripts to serve your needs.
This is not an advanced programming book, nor is it a complete reference for javascript. However, it is very straight-forward, easy to read, and you'll be able to QUICKLY use javascript in your web pages!
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am 9. Februar 1999
Get both the first and second edition. More than an instruction book (although with some study of the code, you can more or less teach yourself the principles underlying the programming)- both volumes are nice, concise collections of useful scripts (no 500 lines of bloat code to make a rudimentary appointment book like I've seen in some Javascript books). Definitely Netscape-centric, but so what? If you're using MSIE, have you stopped to consider "why"? Can you say - proprietary extensions? If you insist on MSIE, then wait for Microsoft to write a book on same. But, alas, they rarely do this. MSIE's version of Javascript is contemptible. Hail to anyone who refuses to be cowed by their corporate presence, and who uses OpenSource software. These books do a good job for "standard" Javascript, so they do serve their purpose rather well.
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am 4. August 1999
I bought this book when I felt satisfied and confortable with HTML and wanted to go further in to web publishing. It provides a quick start for you if you had no idea of javascript but have a fair understanding of web design using HTML. Simple scripts are given, then explained one line after another. Then you trans-script it to your page. There is also a companion homepage to the book. There, you copy the scripts and paste on your page. Basically, therefore, it is a user-manual kind of book. But it suited me as a beginner. I later learned how to combine some of the scripts together to produce effects that the book never mentioned. In summary, the book has helped me tremendously to have a good start with Javascript. Tom, Dori, that is a good book. Looking forward to the 3rd edition.
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am 27. Mai 1999
I thought that it was a really good book. I read thru the chapters and topics that I needed to and without any prior knowledge of JavaScript, I added JavaScript methods to my web pages that did input field validations and corrected the text of other input fields.
I did want more of an explanation of some methods, and so I wonder what the next book is. I wasn't sure of the syntax of some of the methods and I had to guess when the errors occurred. I wanted to see sample JavaScript code in the book that was contained comprehensive examples.
However, there was an excellent tree structure in the back of the book that told what types of methods or event handlers or properties each type of object understands (windows, forms, radio buttons, text fields, etc).
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am 11. Juli 2000
For the most part the book works well as a primer. Basically, instead of getting yourself one of those Teach Yourself books, you could use this one instead. Believe me, I have the teach yourself book, and this one is much better. It works like a "Cheat" book. Good for quickly referencing a script that you might be in need of. Also, it works well as a learn through examples. However, I have to emphasize that the book is very light on details, therefore you should complememnt it with a real reference book such as O'Reilly's or the JavaScript Bible. Please note that the book only claims to be a quickstart book, not a panacia.
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am 27. April 2000
This book is not a complete reference (O'Reilly's 'Definitive Guide' probably comes closest to that definition), but it is a superior way to learn the most useful JavaScript techniques (form verification, images, frames, cookies -- and debugging) quickly. The use of illustrations in these 'Visual QuickStart' guides can't be beat, and every line of code is explained thoroughly. If you need to learn advanced JavaScript -- or Dynamic HTML -- you'll need to look elsewhere. But you can't go wrong by starting your JavaScript training with this book.
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am 2. Juni 1999
I like the VSQ series. Hope my eyesight remains good in the next few years though...The prints are getting smaller and smaller...But the content is good. Direct. Clear. Practical. You get results straight away! There's nothing worse than reading long winding pages and only to find out that you can't implement what you've just read onto the web site. With this book, at least you don't feel so...stupid!
And hey! the book is cheap !!!
Thanks Dori.
Kien Caoxuan from Cherrybrook Sydney Australia
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am 23. Juni 2000
I found this to be an excellent book to go from Beginner to Intermediate level JavaScript. All topics are covered (some like "Storing Information in Frames" are a little choppy and hard to follow). I was able to use several of the examples in the book to enhance websites that I maintain, AND to move off of the unpopular VBScript allowing things to be more browser independent (i.e. Linux)! That made it a pretty good reference as well. Overall a good book for beginners.
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