DOM Scripting – Book Review

There are a few books that can be unanimously placed in the ‘You Should Really Have This in your Library’ category by Web designers/developers. DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith, in my opinion, is one of those books. From reading the few words on the cover (along with the endless supportive references from other developers) I knew this would be a great resource before I began it.

DOM Scripting Book Cover

We can think back to the days of DHTML and the inaccessible, obtrusive scripts that came along with it. Theory behind JavaScript has come such a long way in recent years and techniques are available to include JavaScript with alternate content where applicable, and JavaScript can be an asset for a document when used properly.

DOM Scripting: Web Design with JavaScript and the Document Object Model.
Separate behavior from structure using unobtrusive JavaScript.
Add dynamic effects with progressive enhancement.
Ensure backwards-compatibility through graceful degradation.

Seeing a book cover with that collection of my favorite phrases had me content in knowing the author and I are on the same wavelength. Jeremy Keith keeps focus on unobtrusive JavaScript throughout the entire text, explaining pitfalls when they appear and explaining why they’re detrimental if left as-is.

Getting into DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith

The book begins by explaining the history and origin of JavaScript and goes over some basic JavaScript syntax. Time is taken to give a great explanation of the DOM to clear up any confusion readers may have about it.

One of the many reasons I love this book is the way it’s written. It’s as if Jeremy Keith is sitting across a coffee table with you, just chatting about the DOM and explaining why certain techniques are considered best practice. The book is very easy to read and things are explained in a way where you don’t have to go back and re-read sections very often.

Jeremy Keith uses an image gallery example within the book, and continually refines it, explaining why certain things work and others don’t. He always keeps good practice in mind by separating structure, style, and behavior. By the end of the book some light is shed on more successful applications of unobtrusive JavaScript including form validation and more.

If you’re looking to dive into proper JavaScript use, DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith is the book I would suggest for you.