DOM Scripting – Book Review

Posted: January 15, 2007 Comments

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.

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Comments

  1. Definitely a great book. Maybe not the best beginner book, but with a minimal amount of javascript knowledge an absolute must-have. I find myself going back to my copy all the time.

  2. This is definitely a great book if you are getting in to the basics of JavaScript. It teaches best-practices from the start, which is what you need really (difficult breaking those bad habits). Like any good recent web standards book it preaches separation and degradation, which is great. Check out the official DOM Scripting book website.

    I highly recommend the DOM Scripting book as well.

    And, if you like Jeremy Keith and the book DOM Scripting, but want to improve on the basics which are discussed — Jeremy has just Announced his new book titled Bulletproof Ajax.

  3. @Andy: You’re right, it would absolutely help if you had at least a small bit of previous experience with JavaScript or another programming language. Jeremy does a great job of explaining things, but having previous knowledge is always good.

  4. @trovster: As usual, you provide some great resources and clarifications. You’re right in that the book doesn’t cover very many advanced techniques and I’m really looking forward to reading Bulletproof Ajax.

  5. […] DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith – now BulletProof AJAX too: http://tinyurl.com/tmmml 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. Amazon used: $8 […]

  6. […] This book is for a very particular person; a programmer interested in working with Ext of course, but also more. If you’re interested in working with Ext, but have no prior experience with JavaScript, I would suggest putting Learning Ext JS on hold until you’ve had a proper introduction to JavaScript. I would suggest something like DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith. […]

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