Pro JavaScript Techniques

2 comments | Posted: 4 April 07 in Books, by Nathan Smith

Pro JavaScript Techniques I an avid user of the concise JavaScript library jQuery. Though I am not a Star Trek fan at all, I like to think of jQuery as a universal translator of sorts. As long as I can intelligibly express in logical JavaScript syntax what I want to happen, jQuery does the heavy lifting, making it work in multiple browsers on differing operating systems, and it is all done unobtrusively. Needless to say, when I heard of the jQuery author writing a book, I was eager to read it.

I have just finished Pro JavaScript Techniques, penned by John Resig and tech-reviewed by Dan Webb. Let me just say that this book does not disappoint. This book takes a straightforward approach, and presupposes a fair amount of familiarity with JavaScript. It does not re-hash the history of the language as with many beginner books, and instead gets right into the fray. It picks up where its Apress predecessor Beginning JavaScript left off.

I appreciated that while this book could have easily been used as a selfish proclamational platform for jQuery, Resig took the high road and presented in-depth examples of writing complex DOM scripting. He also touches on other popular JS frameworks: Dojo, Moo.fx, Script.aculo.us and Prototype.

He also gets into the principles behind writing object-oriented code and optimizing it for reusability and avoiding of namespace collisions, when working alongside other developers. He then covers how to make the best use of Ajax, and the implications behind accessibility and need for a fall-back plan.

One of the serendipitous moments for me was seeing the name of a former coworker, Godbit contributor Cody Lindley. He was mentioned for his work on ThickBox, an in-browser modal window popup which can be used for image galleries and Ajax content. It runs atop the jQuery library, and I had the privilege of making the animated loading icon for it (tutorial here).

As the book’s byline touts, this is a book full of real-world scenarios. As such, there are several code-complete examples: basic animations, form validation, infinitely scrolling WordPress blog archive, image gallery, auto-complete search, and an Ajax wiki. The last section covers what’s on the JavaScript horizon: version 1.6, 1.7, Web Applications 1.0 recommendation, and the canvas tag.

There are also three appendices which are well worth reading, a DOM reference, Events reference and modern browser overview. When it’s all said and done, this book is one that no scripting pro should be without. I am already eagerly awaiting Resig’s next printed endeavor, the definitive jQuery Book.

Discuss This Topic

  1. 1 Marc Grabanski

    Thanks for the review! I will pick it up on my next bookpool purchase.

     
  2. 2 Nathan Smith

    Marc: You’re welcome. I think that you will enjoy this book.

     

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