Head First JavaScript
A Learner's Companion to JavaScript
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: December 2007
Pages: 652

So you're ready to make the leap from writing HTML and CSS web pages to creating dynamic web applications. You want to take your web skills to the next level. And you're finally ready to add "programmer" to the resume. It sounds like you're ready to learn the Web's hottest programming language: JavaScript. Head First JavaScript is your ticket to going beyond copying and pasting the code from someone else's web site, and writing your own interactive web pages.

With Head First JavaScript, you learn:

  • The basics of programming, from variables to types to looping
  • How the web browser runs your code, and how you can talk to the browser with your code
  • Why you'll never have to worry about casting, overloading, or polymorphism when you're writing JavaScript code
  • How to use the Document Object Model to change your web pages without making your users click buttons
If you've ever read a Head First book, you know what to expect -- a visually rich format designed for the way your brain works. Head First JavaScript is no exception. It starts where HTML and CSS leave off, and takes you through your first program into more complex programming concepts -- like working directly with the web browser's object model and writing code that works on all modern browsers.

Don't be intimidated if you've never written a line of code before! In typical Head First style, Head First JavaScript doesn't skip steps, and we're not interested in having you cut and paste code. You'll learn JavaScript, understand it, and have a blast along the way. So get ready... dynamic and exciting web pages are just pages away.
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oreillyHead First JavaScript
 
3.5

(based on 11 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

71%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Easy to understand (3)
  • Well-written (3)

Cons

  • Difficult to understand (3)

Best Uses

  • Student (4)
  • Novice (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (4), Designer (3)

Reviewed by 11 customers

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4.0

Nice book for beginners

By Lizelight

from Kumla, Sweden

About Me Student

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

    One get the thought behind the code and not as in other books. Hello world... next page you have 100 lines of code. And you wonder if someone have ripped pages out of the book. Here you get the explaination why you do this or that.

    (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    3.0

    Attractive playful approach

    By Joey van der Bie

    from The Hague, The Netherlands

    About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand
    • Helpful examples
    • Playful Examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • A Tit Out Of Date
    • Not Meant As A Reference

    Best Uses

    • Novice
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

    Hi readers,

    At the Communication and Multimedia Design program, part of The Hague University of Applied Sciences (The Netherlands), we use the book Head First JavaScript (2007) in our programming courses. We like the book, because of its playful approach, which really motivates students. Cons are for us that some topics are a bit out of date now and our students find it difficult to use the book as a reference guide.

    To solve the out of date problem we started writing our own updates for parts that have better sollutions anno 2012.
    One of those updates is the now normal way of logging using the console.log() function instead of an alertbox or writing a custom logging object.
    Because probably more institutions are struggling with this topic I upload a (rough) English translation of our Dutch update. (The examples are still in Dutch, but readable for non-Dutch speakers.)

    The file can be downloaded from this location:
    https://docs.google.com/open?id=0B-SN5JPRfSQdTEpSVEFwLWxXU3c

    If you would like the original Word document or have suggestions for improvements you can contact me at J.H.F.vanderbie [at] hhs.nl
    Also we hope that the update of the book will soon be available resulting in a more up-to-date approach for the logging inside the book.

    Kind regards,
    Joey van der Bie
    Teacher at the Communication and Multimedia Design program
    The Hague University of Applied Sciences
    The Netherlands

    (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Good for basic webscripting

    By Praetore

    from Rotterdam, Netherlands

    About Me Developer

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

    • Not comprehensive enough

    Best Uses

    • Student

    Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

    I'm currently going through Chapter 5, I'm very satisfied.

    I already had some programming experience from Head First Programming, which is a good introductory book on programming. Without it I probably wouldn't be able to make most of the exercises, because the author sometimes assumes a little too quickly you're going to get to the end of the exercise as presented in the solution.

    For example, the fifth chapter isn't entirely explained - The jumps from learning about loops to already implementing multiple for-loops in one chapter is a bit too much. A little more explanation on some areas, would be nice.

    But overall, i'm very satisfied. It covers most of the important things in how to use Javascript in a fun exercising way, without going into too much detail. Definitely my recommended approach.

    (2 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Does not live up to expectations

    By Satyanidhi

    from Ahmedabad

    About Me Developer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

      Sort(function (blog1,blog2){ return blog2-blog1;})has not been explained which makes it difficult to understand the content based on it. Very serious flaw. I bet it will throw you into a struggle for explanation.This book is not suitable for beginners. Be warned or be ready to regret your decision.

      (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Kinda confusing

      By dbseeker

      from Los Angeles

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

        Cons

        • Difficult to understand

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate

        Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

        I'm a newbie. There, I said it. But I'm also sick and tired of having to read books on programming only to stop early cause of confusion about certain concepts or unclear explanation, or lack there of, so I was seriously hoping this wasn't going to be the case with HF JavaScript, but sad to say, it was. By chapter 3 I was confused. I was looking at "Sharpen your pencil" portions of the book and was expected to write out my own code and was like "hu?" "you want me to what??" "uuuh, well, don't know where to start." So I would flip to the next page for the answer and look with amazement at coding that had not yet been discussed. I mean, if this wasn't meant for total newbies than say something. I like the idea of how they put the book together, just some of the information was being fed without explanation leaving me to get pissed off. Would I recommend this book, sure, to someone who knows the basics of JavaScript, but to a newbie, no.

        (3 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        2.0

        not as good as head first html

        By sometime i can fly

        from Bandung, Indonesia

        About Me Designer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Difficult to understand

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

            kinda confusing. which line is important and which is not. but i must admit, i stop read from chapter 3. i don't really understand this chapter and earlier, and i don't feel will understand next chapter. feels like kinda blended mix fruit juice, not really get what original taste like.

            (14 of 14 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Beautifully Amazing

            By cascading-style

            from htmlforums[@]

            About Me Designer, Developer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Has That Special Somethin
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Between Novice and Medium
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

              Especially well-written. This book brought me from that simple, bad, W3Schools JavaScript knowledge to knowing how to traverse a DOM tree with ease and write Ajax with my back turned to the computer.

              The cool thing about the Head First series (I've read HTML w/ CSS & XHTML, JavaScript, PHP & MySQL, and Java) is that they don't only give you the code, they show you how it works. Why it works.

              "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime."

              I think that the writers of Head First really took this to heart.

              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Finally, a different approach to teaching JavaScript.

              By Mfragin

              from Undisclosed

              Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

              I pre-ordered this book on the strong reputation this line of books has. I like the Head First Java, 2nd Edition book, and still believe their Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML book is the best book there is for learning "smart" XHTML and CSS at the same time--whereas many books have NOT handled that balance well.

              I sponsor a high school computer programming club and my students had me pre-order this book for them, as they loved the Head First HTML book and felt this would be their best bet at really understanding JavaScript.

              JavaScript is a strange language to teach. Although you want to teach the basics of programming, you also want to have early exciting examples that show its possibilities when embedded in a web page. This book does about as well as can be done in one book, with sections on loops, decision making, de-bugging, functions and objects for those new to programming. Then there are also chapters on the most common uses of JavaScript, including, of course, forms and validation.

              If you're familiar with the Head First approach, you will find this book to fit in perfectly with their other titles. This is the kind of book you buy, highlight, and write in. Active learning. This is not a reference book.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Fairly easy to follow and understand

              By SuperSpongeMan

              from Undisclosed

              Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

              I found this book to be well written for a scripting/programming book. It has a lot of entertaining images, humor and matter of fact information that almost makes you feel as though you are in an actual classroom. Your Instructor is always nearby ready to assist and answer any questions you never thought to ask.

              I have read through this book once completely. 6 weeks, 100 pages a week) I am now going back through it again, (currently on Chapter 2) to complete every example and make sure that they work and that I understand all the concepts.

              Interactive websites using Javascript will be soon be Mine ! : )

              (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Excellent introduction to Javascript

              By Chris W.

              from Undisclosed

              Comments about oreilly Head First JavaScript:

              This is the first computer book since the K&R C book that I've read cover to cover. Why? Because it's edutainment. It filled in a lot of holes in my Javascript knowledge and it didn't feel painful like the typical language book that punishes me with fifty pages of syntax before I get to write one line of code. From the beginning, there's programs that actually work and are easy to modify if you want to experiment. It's very nonlinear and that kept me reading.

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