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Mike Riley

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JavaScript Cookbook Review

August 19, 2010

JavaScript has become a paramount language over the years, giving intelligence to what would otherwise be a dumb terminal web browsing experience. The security implications of such client-side script execution are tempered by the power in the hands of skilled developers. JavaScript Cookbook attempts to traverse a wide range of scenarios, from string manipulation to Ajax effects. How does it compare to other O'Reilly cookbooks? Read on to find out.The first seven chapters of the book deal with the basics of working with strings, regular expressions, dates, times, timers, numbers, math, arrays, loops and event handling. The next two chapters cover form validation, and error handling. Chapters 11 through 15 delve deeper into accessing and manipulating page elements and attributes, page spaces and creating interactive and rich media client-side effects. Chapters 16 and 17 explore JavaScript Objects and Libraries, followed by chapters on communication, structured data and persistence. The final chapter, "JavaScript Outside the Box" provides samples of using the language outside of the context of a typical web page, such as using it for writing a Google Chrome extension or Greasemonkey script as well as a Mac Dashboard or an OpenOffice add-in.

Author Shelly Powers wrote her first book on JavaScript over 15 years ago and her knowledge of the subject is deep and wide. Her tech writing skills are also top notch, given the fact that she has honed that talent over half a dozen other O'Reilly books to her name. And like other O'Reilly cookbook titles, JavaScript Cookbook is not a tutorial; rather, it is a series of technical problems and their related answers. Those seeking a comprehensive introduction to the language should consider Shelly's Learning JavaScript, Second Edition. For those already well versed in the language, JavaScript Cookbook will offer more than what can be Googled for or pulled up on StackOverflow due to the patience and clarity the author practices while describing a selected topic's Problem, Solution and Discussion. This format works just as well in this book as it has for other O'Reilly Cookbooks, and offers more meaningful investigations with solutions that stick. JavaScript Cookbook is a book I recommend anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the capabilities of the language beyond using it for rudimentary web alert boxes and simple form validations.

Title: JavaScript Cookbook Author: Shelly Powers Publisher: O'Reilly Media ISBN: 978-0-596-80613-2 Pages: 560 Price: $49.99 US

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