JavaScript book recommendations

This is a discussion on JavaScript book recommendations within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Hi all, I'd like your suggestions on a good JavaScript book. I'm looking for something which could be considered "low-level" ...

  1. #1
    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    JavaScript book recommendations

    Hi all,

    I'd like your suggestions on a good JavaScript book. I'm looking for something which could be considered "low-level" for a scripting language. I'm not looking for a beginner's book by all means, as I currently use it on the side for work applications. I'm more interested in a book which can supply specifications and details (and I understand web browsers implement this differently).

    Ideally I would like to become as comfortable with JavaScript as I am with C - with a decent ability to read through and detect problems and their causes. For instance with JavaScript I have no problem understanding the basics, but when I have to jump into using jQuery or ASP.NET (and provided client-side functionality) I tend to feel like I've jumped into a darkroom, and just randomly calling functions to see what works (and since in business world, it ends up going to production). I'm looking to learn JavaScript well enough that I can understand enough of third-party add-ons and what they're trying to do (and how).

    Is there a book out there that can help qualm my overwhelmed frustration with this sort of thing? I know it sounds like I'm asking for a lot in a book, but as an example, when I had to jump into XML, I per-chance found an amazing book (Xml Family of Specifications) which is very thorough with wide-span coverage.

    Some of the key concepts I am looking for in-depth coverage:
    • Efficient DOM Access (Memory Usage vs Processing)
    • JavaScript and CSS
    • Events
    • Cache and issues
    • JSON
    • AJAX - XMLHttpRequest
    • Security Models
    • Cross-Browser info would be nice to have
    • Implementations of JavaScript
    • Using JavaScript Engine in my own Applications


    The last two items are something I think would really help me out. I've tried looking for Google Chrome's V8 engine source, but haven't found it on their repository yet.

    Here are the books I'm currently considering:


    Anyone have these and willing to comment, or other suggestions? Thanks everyone.

    P.S. I know most learning comes through practice, but would really like a resource away from the computer.

    P.S. I've looked through one of the books above at a bookstore, the others weren't in stock anywhere -- so I have looked through what I can, just trying to make a decision.
    Last edited by neandrake; 03-31-2009 at 07:23 PM. Reason: modified list topics
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  2. #2
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    I definitely recommend "Javascript: The Definitive Guide", it's a great reference to have around. I would also add "JavaScript: The Good Parts" to your list; it will not give you much help in the areas you specified, but it will make you a much better Javascript programmer. It covers some of the more intricate parts of Javascript, gives you some common idioms, and points out some features that can cause problems. If you're into design patterns you may also like "Pro Javascript Design Patterns".

    The V8 source is here: v8 - Google Code
    You may also want to check out Mozilla's SpiderMonkey and Rhino.

  3. #3
    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    Well I managed to get "Professional JavaScript for Web Developers, 2nd ed." written off for work purposes. Just pointing out that so far it's a pretty decent book that covers a lot of the material I was looking for. Some of the examples are a little too simple and don't fully convey the author's point at times, but being so familiar with another language helps in this department. Probably can't knock it for that, since it is for "professionals". Thanks for the response rt454.

    Also, the local bookstore recently received in the Deitel's JavaScript for Programmers. I began looking through it and it doesn't look very thorough, as far as the topics I was concerned with.
    Environment: OS X, GCC / G++
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