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Professional Javascript for Web Developers

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The Bottom Line

This book has undergone a major rewrite since its first edition three years ago. The book is now bigger and better than before and a must have for every experienced programmer who writes JavaScript.
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  • Covers all aspects of JavaScript including history and future development.
  • Set out like a programmer would expect a book introducing a language to be set out.
  • Uses the same approach as expected in a book on programming.
  • Treats Javascript as a proper programming language.
  • Covers both error handling and best coding practices.


  • Doesn't show better alternatives to <noscript>
  • Doesn't mention the extra checkbox Opera places in system dialogs.
  • Doesn't mention that IE and Firefox allow the useragent to be changed to anything at all.
  • Doesn't mention using <\/script> in code to prevent it terminating the script.


  • Second edition published 2009
  • 800 page paperback
  • Published by Wiley Publishing Inc
  • ISBN 978-0-470-22780-0
  • A WROX professional guide (programmer to programmer)
  • Author Nicholas C Zakas

Guide Review - Professional Javascript for Web Developers

This book will serve both as an introduction to JavaScript for those with an extensive background in programming as well as serving as a useful reference book for those already using JavaScript. Rather than introducing JavaScript the way most JavaScript for beginners books do by covering small parts of the language that will allow you to get started, this book covers each aspect of the language thoroughly in a way that even those with an intermediate level of knowledge of JavaScript can use the book to extend their knowledge of how to better utilise JavaScript.

The order in which the information is presented in this book is significantly different from the way most other JavaScript books handle it which makes the book into a useful reference for experienced JavaScript programmers as each subject is covered in great depth all in the one place rather than being limited to what a beginner would understand on first reading. Each section starts with the basics and moves on to more complex aspects so even a relative newcomer to JavaScript should be able to utilise the book provided that they stop reading each chapter once it starts to move beyond their current level of understanding of programming.

The historical section at the start of the book puts JavaScript into perspective and provides an understanding of why so many people still write JavaScript in ways that are not as effective as can be done. The section at the end covering ECMAScript 3.1 and 4 and the possible futures of JavaScript is perhaps not as useful as the rest of the book but will at least give an indication of where JavaScript might be heading.

As well as all the things that can be done using JavaScript that work in all browsers the book also covers many of the things that enough popular browsers support to make them useful. It also clearly identifies which browsers it works for.

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