JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition
Activate Your Web Pages
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: April 2011
Pages: 1096

Since 1996, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide has been the bible for JavaScript programmers—a programmer's guide and comprehensive reference to the core language and to the client-side JavaScript APIs defined by web browsers.

The 6th edition covers HTML5 and ECMAScript 5. Many chapters have been completely rewritten to bring them in line with today's best web development practices. New chapters in this edition document jQuery and server side JavaScript. It's recommended for experienced programmers who want to learn the programming language of the Web, and for current JavaScript programmers who want to master it.

"A must-have reference for expert JavaScript programmers...well-organized and detailed."
—Brendan Eich, creator of JavaScript, CTO of Mozilla

"I made a career of what I learned from JavaScript: The Definitive Guide.”
—Andrew Hedges, Tapulous

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oreillyJavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition
 
4.7

(based on 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

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    (1)

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96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Accurate (19)
  • Well-written (15)
  • Concise (14)
  • Helpful examples (14)
  • Easy to understand (10)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (19)
    • Expert (17)
    • Novice (10)
    • Student (7)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Developer (18), Designer (4)

    Reviewed by 23 customers

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great resource - very complete

    By DroidUnit1

    from Sammamish

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

        Really awesome coverage of a broad topic. My only complaint is that much has changed in the JavaScript world so it could use a refresh.

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Excellent reference book

        By CompilerGuru

        from AR

        About Me Designer, Developer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Compilerguru
        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

            I started doing serious software development in 1961, and I have mastered many languages. This book services two uses for me. It is full of code samples which are well designed and professional in detail. Secondly, it is an excellent reference manual for core Javascript and well as Client side Javascript programming. I use it everyday in my development work and highly recommend it for Javascript developers.

            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Best Manual for JavaScript

            By Hartwig

            from Zurich, Switzerland

            About Me Developer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate
              • Novice

              Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

              Exceedingly useful. Beats all online-manuals.
              Standard-conscious without becoming fundamentalist.
              No leanings towards specific vendors.
              Clear explanations.
              It is complete, practical und clearly written.
              The novice can learn the language from the first 100 pages. The expert will find everything imaginable.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Couldn't be better

              By Randy L.

              from Los Angeles, CA

              About Me Developer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate
                • Novice

                Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

                Exactly what I needed. Covers so much. Gets to the good stuff early.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                A really profound book

                By nyfigen

                from Copenhagen, Denmark

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • Well-written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice
                  • Student

                  Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

                  I could not think of a better book to teach me JavaScript.

                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  The word definitive is well put

                  By Jeroen

                  from Paris, France

                  About Me Developer

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Concise

                  Cons

                  • Difficult to understand

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert

                  Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

                  There is too much detail for me, but after all the book is called definitive guide and that is definitivly correct. A very complete book and I am happy to have a copy that I can always use as a reference.

                  (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Mustn't be your 1st book if you learn JS

                  By ArthurZ

                  from Toronto, ON, Canada

                  About Me Database Professional, Developer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Comprehensive
                  • Helpful examples

                  Cons

                  • Some Bugs

                  Best Uses

                  • Expert
                  • Transitioning To Expert

                  Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

                  A better name for this book would be JavaScript Bible, alas seems that this trademark name already belongs to another publisher: Wiley. Reading this book, well, made me feel exactly as reading the Bible: advance a little, go back, read slower, resume. Thing is, the amount of information thrown at you is overwhelming and thus begs to come back and revisit a chapter or two. Please do not take this wrongly, that is actually a good thing, this book supposed to be a hard read for those who are new to JavaScript: the King of the Scripting Languages for the Web which to my astonishment being attempted dethroned by Dart and possibly other contestants.

                  It is a fact that the book is being revised (a big +) for the 6th time and republished, so 100% David sure knows his subject.

                  However, to my dismay, I spotted several minor, but very obvious technical errors which I submitted to an already quite long errata at different points in time, none nevertheless appeared on the list as of the time of publishing this review.

                  If to continue on a negative note, one other bother for me (not related to the book though) was a hardship experimenting with all the code due to lack of a JavaScript IDE with a good debugging support. The author advocates using FireBug in FireFox which is not my preferred choice of a browser at the moment, but I have not figured out how to debug (set breakpoints) the code from the book. At the moment I have to blame myself here trying to grasp JavaScript being a non-functional and SQL programmer. Let me state this again - this is not a basic grounds kind of a book, but rather a comprehensive (1,000 pages plus!) set of very detailed information about every little aspect of the JavaScript. However, a large chunk of the book is occupied by the Client-Side JavaScript Reference which, can I say this: redundant?

                  On the positive note (finally), the author covers most topics extremely well as RegEx, CSS, graphics to name a few, just not too long and not too short, but enough to get you going. Also the notes about each popular browser differences and nuances are very thoughtful because that must help developing better cross browser web applications. HTML5 is covered, too, but to a lesser extent than I imagined to myself it had to, I will not argue with the author here though as it is a book about JavaScript after all.

                  My closing remark, this is a worth every penny book with which you can grow as a mature developer, one would find answers in it to most programming techniques, but again, this book should not be your first book learning the basics of the JavaScript, or may be not even a second.

                  It is hard to not to give this book a 5 out of 5 rating, even though a 4 begs to be given, but since it is already a 6th edition, hey, I have a lot of respect to its loyal readers.

                  Disclaimer: I received this book for free as part of the O'Reilly Blogger Review program.

                  (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  The Javascript

                  By power

                  from south africa

                  About Me Designer, Developer

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Accurate
                  • Concise
                  • Easy to understand
                  • Well-written

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Expert
                    • Intermediate

                    Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

                    David Flanagan understand js well and that is clearly evident in this book.His style of presenting is unmatcheable...amongst aplethora of js books out there "this" book is the best.

                    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Awesome, A work of art

                    By Cole

                    from Grand Rapids, MI

                    About Me Developer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Accurate
                    • Concise
                    • Easy to understand
                    • Helpful examples
                    • Well-written

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Expert
                      • Intermediate

                      Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

                      David Flanagan's writing is clear, his explanations of JavaScript concepts are understandable and his appreciation for the subject is evident on every page. This book is absolutely *the* JavaScript reference.

                      It's not a tutorial for beginning programmers, but I do think that advanced-beginner/intermediate programmers coming from other languages could learn JavaScript from this book.

                      Aside from the reference value of the book, the pleasure of reading David Flanagan's incredibly clear writing alone is worth the price. This book will make you fall in love with JavaScript.

                      (11 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Great reference for Clien Side Scripting

                      By alan

                      from Pacific Palisades, CA

                      About Me Sys Admin

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Accurate
                      • Concise
                      • Helpful examples
                      • Well-written

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Intermediate
                        • Novice

                        Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition:

                        JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition
                        Activate Your Web Pages
                        By David Flanagan

                        Released: April 2011
                        Pages: 1100
                        ~ $50.00 by O'Reilly

                        http://shop.oreilly.com/product/9780596805531.do

                        Free Sampler:
                        http://cdn.oreilly.com/oreilly/booksamplers/9780596805524_sampler.pdf

                        When a book calls itself the definitive guide it sets certain expectations. And this book delivers.

                        It starts out assuming that you know absolutely nothing about programming although those that have a background in programming will of course have a leg up on those that don't.

                        The first ten chapters are geared towards getting you up to speed on general programming and how it relates specifically to Javascript.

                        These chapters are your foundation as you will use what is written in these chapters over and over and over again.

                        Once you have these chapters down then you're ready to move on and start putting that knowledge to use.

                        The subtitle of the book is activating your web pages and this book will get you well on your way to doing just that.

                        It's been written that one of the problems with the new trend to massive open online courses is that there is no textbook to go with them.

                        Well, with this book, that problem is solved for Javascript.

                        MOOC sites such as Code Academy (http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/javascript) or Lynda.com (http://www.codecademy.com/tracks/javascript) can provide you with videos to compliment the book.

                        Those are online courses for beginners. After you get some time with the book and the starter video courses then you are ready to move on to hard topics.

                        And there are online courses for those as well.

                        Udacity (https://www.udacity.com/course/cs255) has an online course for developing games using HTML 5 and Javascript. That fits hand in glove with this book.

                        Lynda.com also has some courses for intermediate users as well.

                        So if you have a problem with the book you can look at the online videos or use their forums to get assistance.

                        Learning is nice you say but I want to get certified so if someone asks me I can show them something other than example web sites that I have built using the materials found in this book.

                        Fear not for O'Reilly has you covered there as well.

                        They do offer a certificate in Client Side Web Programming (http://www.oreillyschool.com/certificate-programs/client-side-programming/).

                        After the foundation part of the book the book gives you a very brief introduction to server side programming using either Rhino or Node.

                        Node has garnered a lot of press recently but to explore it in detail you will have to look elsewhere.

                        From there the goal of book is to move you onto programming web pages.

                        You won't be building stale static web pages anymore.

                        You will instead transition to building dynamic web pages where the end user can interact with the web page and do things with it.

                        jQuery is a Javascript library that like Node is garnering a lot of press. A lot of projects use it to do things that they would not be able to do otherwise.

                        A great thing about this book is it introduces you to jQuery and gets you well on your way to adding it to your repertoire so you can wow your new clients.

                        Between this book and the free online courses you will be well on your way to becoming a formidable Javascript coder in your own right.

                        And you can pursue a certificate if you so desire.

                        The only real drawback to this book is that the HTML 5 specifications were still in the weeding out process at the time this book was being published. As such some of the HTML 5 areas are a bit lacking. This is not the fault of the author as it takes many people and long time for specifications to get hammered out. The original date to ship HTML 5 was some time in the early 2020's. That time frame has been pushed up to around 2015 so I would expect an update to this book but in the meantime there is no time like the present to start learning the language. Then when the HTML 5 specifications are really nailed down you'll just be that much further ahead of the game.

                        Enjoy!

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