AdvancED DOM Scripting (Book review)

I have read many blog posts and several books that try to explain some of the JavaScript concepts that many have a hard time with, like scope, closures, and object oriented programming. I'll openly admit that I was still struggling to really wrap my head around closures, for instance.

Well, after reading AdvancED DOM Scripting I think I finally get it. I guess it's either because I have accumulated enough DOM scripting knowledge to make things 'click', or it's simply because the book's main author, Jeffrey Sambells, manages to explain these concepts in a very understandable way.

The first chapter of the book is titled "Do It Right with Best Practices", and you're right if you're guessing that I love that approach. Teaching best practices should be the main goal of any book on web development, and Jeffrey (and his co-author Aaron Gustafson) keeps best practices in mind throughout the book.

AdvancED DOM Scripting consists of three main parts:

  • DOM scripting in detail covers best practices, closures, objects, the DOM, events and event handling, and how to control and modify CSS with JavaScript.
  • Communicating outside the browser is where using Ajax to communicate with the server is explained.
  • Some great source takes the reader into the world of JavaScript libraries, visual effects and mashups.

Each part is concluded with a case study that makes use of much of what has been explained in the previous chapters.

I think this is a very enjoyable book to read, much thanks to the authors' writing style. Both Jeffrey and Aaron take care to explain how the techniques they use work and most importantly why. AdvancED DOM Scripting also encourages the reader to follow along by building their own JavaScript library of functions that make manipulating and interacting with the DOM easier. Hands-on practice really helps understanding, so that is an excellent approach.

The nitpicks I have are that I think the book could have used one more round of proofreading. While reading the book I managed to spot a number of typos, some of them potentially confusing. Also, there is a case study that walks you through building a photo cropping and resizing tool, where the example HTML code does not follow best practices. It's probably a simple oversight, but it's a bit ironic to find in a book that wants to teach how to do things the right way.

That said, I would still highly recommend AdvancED DOM Scripting to anyone with a medium to advanced level of JavaScript knowledge looking to learn more about modern DOM scripting.

AdvancED DOM Scripting
Authors: Jeffrey Sambells, Aaron Gustafson
ISBN-10: 1590598563
ISBN-13: 978-1590598566

Posted on November 29, 2007 in Reviews, JavaScript