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JavaScript Bible, Fifth Edition

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Customer Rating: 5
Summary: The JavaScript classic...
Comment: Target Audience
Anyone who either uses or wants to learn JavaScript.

This is a detailed reference and tutorial guide to the JavaScript language. It is divided into six parts and the following chapters:

Part 1 - Getting Started With JavaScript: JavaScript's Role In The World Wide Web And Beyond; Authoring Challenges Amid The Browser Wars; Your First JavaScript Script
Part 2 - JavaScript Tutorial - Browser And Document Objects; Scripts And HTML Documents; Programming Fundamentals, Part 1; Programming Fundamentals, Part 2; Window And Document Objects; Forms And Form Elements; Strings, Math, And Dates; Scripting Frames And Multiple Windows; Images And Dynamic HTML
Part 3 - Document Object Reference - JavaScript Essentials; Document Object Model Essentials; Generic HTML Elements Objects; Window And Frame Objects; Location And History Objects; The Document And Body Objects; Link And Anchor Objects; Image, Area, And Map Objects; The Form And Related Objects; Button Objects; Text-Related Form Objects; Select, Option, And FileUpload Objects; Event Objects; Style Sheet And Style Objects
Part 4 - JavaScript Core Language Reference - The String Object; The Math, Number, And Boolean Objects; The Date Object; The Array Object, Control Structures And Exception Handling; JavaScript Operators; Functions And Custom Objects; Global Functions And Statements; Body Text Objects
Part 5 - Appendixes - JavaScript And Browser Object Quick Reference; JavaScript Reserved Words; Answers To Tutorial Exercises; JavaScript And DOM Internet Resources; What's On The CD-ROM; Index
Part 6 - Bonus Chapters (CD-ROM) - HTML Directive Objects; Table And List Objects; The Navigator And Other Environment Objects; Positioned Objects; Embedded Objects; XML Objects; The Regular Expression And RegExp Objects; Data-Entry Validation; Scripting Java Applets And Plug-ins; Debugging Scripts; Security And Netscape Signed Scripts; Cross-Browser Dynamic HTML Issues; Internet Explorer Behaviors; Application: Tables And Calendars; Application: A Lookup Table; Application: A "Poor Man's" Order Form; Application: Outline-Style Table Of Contents; Application: Calculations And Graphics; Application: Intelligent "Updated" Flags; Application: Decision Helper; Application: Cross-Browser DHTML Map Puzzle; Application: Transforming XML Data

What can you say about a reference book that is in it's 5th edition? In this field, technologies change rapidly and it's tough to keep up. Often, authors stop after a first edition of a book, either due to lack of sales, financial return, or lack of interest in creating a follow-up. Not only has Danny Goodman created a definitive guide to the JavaScript language, he's continued to keep it current and fresh through five iterations. For that alone, he could be commended. But aside from longevity, this is likely the most complete coverage I've seen on a given topic.

By starting off with a tutorial that is easy to follow, the JavaScript Bible will appeal to new users of the scripting language. All of the essentials are covered, along with questions at the end of each chapter to test your retention. For the veteran coder, parts 3 and 4 are worth their weight in gold. Not only is every method and property of every object covered and documented, but you also are told what the browser compatibility expectations are. Since all the browsers are not equal in support of JavaScript, you can quickly get into situations where a coded routine will run for IE but not Netscape. You may even find problems between versions of the same brand browser. By paying attention to the compatibility information, you have a fighting chance of writing code that will be usable by more than one browser.

This is also a situation where the CD-is actually useful. The bonus chapters actually add more content to the book, instead of just adding on demo versions of software that you will never load. Since the CD contains the entire text of the book, you also have the distinct advantage of loading the PDF to your computer and searching for information you need. There isn't much in this book that is a waste of time, nor is there much else I can imagine that could be added to the book to improve it. It's truly a classic.

If you use JavaScript at all, this is the single reference book you'll need to own. This covers it all.