The JavaScript Anthology (Book review)

When two persons who are well known for their Web standards and JavaScript skills write a book together, expectations are high. And when James “Brothercake” Edwards and Cameron “The Man in Blue” Adams get together and write The JavaScript Anthology, those high expectations are met.

The subtitle “101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks” may make you slightly suspicious of this book. Don’t worry though - this is not a “101 Greatest l33t JavaScript Hacks evah!”-book, but a very thorough guide to writing modern and responsible JavaScript.

In this book, James Edwards and Cameron Adams share loads and loads of extremely useful code examples, all very well explained. You’ll learn how to work with numbers, strings, arrays, cookies, dates, images, and much more. The authors also cover more advanced topics like how to use JavaScript with Flash, how to build web applications with JavaScript, and object oriented programming.

Reading the book made me realise that there are many ways of improving my own scripts, and I believe that I now have a much better understanding of some of the more advanced areas of JavaScript.

The JavaScript Anthology teaches scripting the right way. All scripts are unobtrusive, cross-platform, and will degrade gracefully. An entire (and long) chapter is devoted to JavaScript and accessibility.

It is of course inevitable for a book that contains advanced JavaScript techniques to also describe client-induced bling bling techniques such as drag-and-drop, scrolling news tickers, and fly-out menus. The good thing is that accessibility and usability are always discussed, and the reader is warned of any potential problems in those areas. In the end, it is up to you to use what you learn from this book in a responsible way.

Seriously, this book is a must-have. If you’re not a JavaScript enthusiast now, you will be by the time you finish reading The JavaScript Anthology.

As with all SitePoint books, there are sample chapters you can download to find out if the book is right for you.

The JavaScript Anthology : 101 Essential Tips, Tricks & Hacks
Authors: Cameron Adams and James Edwards
ISBN: 0975240269

Posted on August 4, 2006 in Reviews


  1. August 4, 2006 by Johan

    I interviewed recently one of the two authors namely Cameron Adams. I asked him about the book as well. If this may be of intrest for anyone.

    link to article

  2. August 5, 2006 by Poncho

    I thought I had a pretty good grasp of javascript, but there are always new things to learn and this book gave me plenty to think about.

    It is indeed a great book and I have added it to my rapidly growing library along with SitePoint’s “Build your own AJAX Web Applications” for some light reading when I get time.

    Cheers; Poncho

  3. I was talking to Veerle about Javascript begining’s references, and she told me about your review… good merchandise, you have realy influenced me on buying this book. Thanks.

  4. I’m shooting myself in the foot here - just having released my own book, and seeing the rather hefty price of this one - but I must say this is a splendind reference book for any javaScript developer to have at hand. I wouldn’t call it a beginners book though. Dean Edward’s Accessible Multi Dropdown chapter and the Animation chapter by Cameron are really well explained and point out all the issues both of these techniques have.

    It is a good book.

  5. Thanks for the great review Roger! From what you’ve said, it sounds like we achieved just what we set out to do.

    While I’m here, congrats on the re-design as well, you and Veerle did a spiffy job.

    And Christian, I think you’re getting your Edwardses mixed up. Although Dean Edwards is an awesome JS coder, James Edwards does the accessible menus :D

  6. August 7, 2006 by Michaƫl Guitton

    BTW, James Edwards’ website (a.k.a. seems to have been suspended…

  7. doh Hard not to when they are all on the same mailinglists. We need fresh blood in the JavaScript camp.

  8. Yes I had a little, erm.. account problem earlier! All sorted now :)

  9. You should really use .hreview for your reviews Roger … ;) and a hCard would be nice.

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