15 May 2011

Book Review--Javascript: The Definitive Guide the 6th Edition

Javascript: The Definitive Guide the 6th Edition
by David Flanagan
O'Reilly Press  2011

I was provided access by O'Reilly Publishing to an electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

This is an updated edition to the classic reference book on Javascript to include new information on new standards (such as HTML5 and CSS3), conventions, and frameworks.   Although it is possible to learn Javascript from this book, its really meant more as a reference guide and an explanation of how and why Javascript works the way it does.  For example, the 1st chapter explains in some detail how Javascript works on the client side and how each of the following chapters will relate to this.  The book includes numerous examples of codes to illustrate the concepts and explains the concepts in a clear, easy to follow fashion that doesn't require a degree in astrophysics to understand.

As I said it's not really a book to learn Javascript from, for that I would recommend something like "Head First Javascript" (also by O'Reilly press.)  What I do really like about this book is that it is comprehensive in what is possible with Javascript.  While it may not cover the concept in depth, such as the chapter on Jquery, it does give a starting point to the concept.  I know it sounds odd, but I really liked the index.  It is completely through and easy to find the concept or word that I need to make something work correctly in whatever I'm writing.  It's even better with the book because of the hyperlinks that take you right to the section.

My advice? Buy the ebook version, it's much easier to search and to follow to specific links vs. trying to find the stuff in the print edition.  Even better, O'Reilly provides multiple formats of the book to suit your needs.  Overall, it's a good handy reference to have around to answer questions and introduce new concepts.

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

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