Beginning JavaScript

Author: Paul Wilton & Jeremy McPeak
Publisher: Wrox, 2009 4th Editiion
Pages: 792
ISBN: 978-0470525937
Aimed at: Complete beginners to programming
Rating: 4
Pros: Solid and comprehensive, suitable for well motivated beginner
Cons: Dry presentations, frameworks only introduced at end
Reviewed by: Ian Elliot

This book is aimed at the non-programming beginner who knows something about web design and construction and is a very traditional and solid approach to learning JavaScript. Despite having reached its 4th edition there are still some simple typos to look out for.


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It starts out from the basics and introduces the language quite rapidly. By Chapter Five the authors are introducing objects and how to use them, having already covered variables and control structures. The presentation is very straightforward with no novelties and little to keep you interested if you're not.

This is a book best consumed by a reader who wants to learn JavaScript and already has some of the basics of programming sorted out. This said the chapter on "Common Mistakes" would help a beginner get started as these really are the sort of mistakes that hold people up and make them think that they don't understand - when the problem is minor.

The book suffers from the common problem of trying to tell the beginner too much in an effort to be complete, but you can always skip the detail. Later chapters deal with more advanced techniques and focus on using JavaScript in the browser - forms handling, strings, date and time and timers and cookies.Most of the examples used are small enough to be understandable and reasonable enough for the non-programmer to see why doing something similar might be useful, e.g. a temperature conversion web page.

Chapter 12 goes into DHTML and DOM, which are so central to JavaScript that they really need to be treated together. The final chapters deal with the old and the new - ActiveX and Ajax.  The final chapter outlines possible choices of JavaScript Frameworks without really giving the reader much advice as to which one to select. Today so much of JavaScript is directly concerned with using Frameworks that there is an argument for jumping straight to one or the other much earlier in a beginner's book than this. Of course this would raise the question of which Framework and this is a difficult question that I can't answer any more than the authors can!

 

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PHP Advanced and Object-Oriented Programming (3e)

Author: Larry Ullman
Publisher: Peachpit Press
Pages: 504
ISBN: 978-0321832184
Audience: Intermediate PHP programmers
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Ian Elliot

PHP isn't the first language you think about in connection with object-oriented ideas but it has supported objects for some time. 



Computer Science Illuminated

Author: Nell Dale & John Lewis
Publisher: Jones & Bartlett
Pages: 672
ISBN: 978-1449672843
Audience: Undergraduate students
Rating: 4
Reviewer: Mike James

A gentle introduction to computer science - just what a lot of people are looking for.


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Last Updated ( Thursday, 28 October 2010 )
 
 

   
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