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JavaScript: The Missing Manual--New from O'Reilly: Clear, Concise, and Entertaining Answers to JavaScript Questions

July 28, 2008

Sebastopol, CA—In today's Web 2.0 world, creating modern, interactive Web sites requires learning JavaScript. But, unlike HTML and CSS, JavaScript is a true programming language with complex rules that are challenging for most Web designers to learn. In JavaScript: The Missing Manual (O'Reilly, $39.99), David McFarland--bestselling author of Dreamweaver: The Missing Manual and CSS: The Missing Manual--teaches you how to use JavaScript in sophisticated ways, even if you have little or no programming experience.

Now that JavaScript is picking up in popularity, David says it was time to write a book for the average user. "JavaScript used to be a language that 'real' programmers looked down on, and which many people thought was only good for creating annoying pop-up ads, or making stars follow your cursor around the screen. But then big sites like Google Maps and GMail got a hold of JavaScript and used it to create user interfaces that rival desktop computer programs. JavaScript has never been as popular as it is now; nor has it ever been as widely used to make compelling Web interfaces."

But JavaScript isn't just for programmers. It's for Web designers too. "JavaScript opens up a lot of new design possibilities that can help [Web designers] make Web sites that are easier to use and which provide exciting interactive experiences. This also means that JavaScript is now becoming another one of the 'must-know' tools of the Web design trade, so it's important for designers to learn how JavaScript can be used to improve the look and functionality of their sites."

On that note, in a clear, entertaining way, the book starts out by teaching you how to build a basic JavaScript program. Then, once you've mastered the structure and terminology, you'll learn how to use advanced JavaScript tools to add useful interactivity to your sites quickly and painlessly, rather than scripting everything from scratch.

David also includes information about jQuery, the most popular JavaScript library. There are tips on how to use jQuery to create interactive slideshows and Web forms, as well as complete instructions for downloading and installing free JavaScript libraries. But as these libraries can at times be overwhelming, JavaScript: The Missing Manual contains advice on which ones work best.

To jump-start your progress, the book offers several "living examples"--step-by-step tutorials for building Web site components with JavaScript using raw materials, such as graphics and half-completed Web pages, that you can download from the book's companion Web site.

In this book, you will learn:

  • How to get started. The book introduces the building blocks of JavaScript, and general tips on computer programming. You will learn to add scripts to a Web page, store and manipulate information, communicate with the browser window, respond to events like mouse clicks and form submissions, and identify and modify HTML.
  • How to build Web page features. McFarland provides real-world examples of JavaScript in action. You will learn to create pop-up navigation bars, enhance HTML tables, build an interactive photo gallery, and make Web forms more usable. You'll also create interesting user interfaces with tabbed panels, accordion panels and pop-up dialog boxes.
  • How to troubleshoot and debug. The book will teach you how to avoid the ten most common errors new programmers make, and how to find and fix bugs.
  • How to communicate with the Web server. In addition to basic JavaScript, this manual covers Ajax, the approach that made JavaScript glamorous. Learn to use JavaScript to communicate with a server so that your Web pages can receive information without having to reload.

If you want to put JavaScript to work right away without getting tangled up in code, JavaScript: The Missing Manual is the best book available.

For a review copy or more information please email maryr@oreilly.com. Please include your delivery address and contact information.

David Sawyer McFarland is the president of Sawyer McFarland Media Inc., a web development and training company located in Portland, Oregon. David is also the author of CSS: The Missing Manual and Dreamweaver CS3: The Missing Manual.

Additional Resources:
For more information about the book, including table of contents, index, author bios, and cover graphic, see: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/9780596515898

JavaScript: The Missing Manual
David Sawyer McFarland
ISBN: 9780596515898, 543 pages, $39.99 USD, £24.99 GBP

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About the Missing Manual series
The book that should have been in the box. Warm, witty, and jargon-free, Missing Manuals have enough clarity for the novice, and enough depth and detail for the power user.