JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages (Definitive Guides)

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Activate Your Web Pages (Definitive Guides)
By David Flanagan

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Product Description

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

Product Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #18831 in Books
  • Brand: O'Reilly Media
  • Published on: 2011-05-13
  • Ingredients: Example Ingredients
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 9.19" h x 2.40" w x 7.00" l, 3.85 pounds
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 1096 pages


  • Used Book in Good Condition

Editorial Reviews

From the Author
My 10 Favorite Examples from this Book
The 6th edition of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide includes 125 examples that you can view and download from from or from
These are ten of my favorites from the book. Note that many of these use new features of ES5 or of HTML5, and will only work in the newest browsers:
1) Example 1-1 is is an extended example in the first chapter of the book, intended to show readers a simple but non-trivial example of JavaScript. This is the loan calculator example from the last edition, but made much more interesting with the addition of client-side graphics, localStorage, and Ajax.
2) Example 9-7 emulates Java-style enumerated types in JavaScript. It demonstrates that JavaScript's prototype-based inheritance is so flexible that factory methods can be normal object factories or even class factories. That example is a little clearer if you look at the code in Example 9-8.
3) Example 9-16 defines a class hierarchy of abstract and concrete Set classes. This one is a favorite because it involves data types and API design. Chapter 9 includes a number of other Set examples, too.
4) Example 9-23 demonstrates the ES5 Object.defineProperty() method and defines a convenient way to inspect and modify the attributes of the properties of an object. It may not be practical, but I think it is a beautiful hack.
5) Example 15-10 is a simple stream-like API wrapped around the innerHTML property of an element. When you're generating text (a table, for example) for display it is sometimes easier to pass each chunk that you compute to a write() method than it is to concatenate it all together and set it on innerHTML.
6) Example 21-03 is an analog clock implemented as an SVG graphic with scriptable hands. I love client-side graphics, and this is a favorite of mine because making the hands rotate is so simple with SVG transforms.
7) Example 21-06 draws a fractal Koch snowflake using the tag. I like it because it draws the same line over and over again, but uses transformations to make the line appear at different locations, orientations and sizes.
8) Example 21-13 is another graphical example: it draws sparklines ( This one is a favorite just because sparklines are so cool.
9) Example 22-1 uses the HTML5 geolocation API to find out where you are then uses the Google Maps API to obtain a static map of your location. I like it because geolocation (via wifi networks) is just pure magic!
10) Example 22-15 is a long example that demonstrates the IndexedDB API. I like it because the idea of a client-side database in a web browser is crazy and cool. This one is really cutting-edge, but if you're running Firefox 4, you can try it out here:

From the Back Cover
Since 1996, JavaScript: The Definitive Guide has been the bible for JavaScript programmers. With more than 500,000 copies in print, web developers are still raving about 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
  • "The Definitive Guide taught me JavaScript"--Tom Robinson, cofounder of 280 North, cocreator of Cappuccino
  • "I know which parts of JavaScript matter, based on how crinkled the spine of my copy of The Definitive Guide is in that section"--J. Chris Anderson, cofounder of CoucheBase, Apache CouchDB committer, and author of CouchDB:The Definitive Guide
  • " indispensable reference for all JavaScript developers. If there's something I need to know about JavaScript, I trust The Definitive Guide will have the right answer for me. It's that good."--Rey Bango, Microsoft Client-Web Community Program Manager and jQuery Team member.

About the Author

David Flanagan is a programmer and writer with a website at His other O'Reilly books include JavaScript Pocket Reference, The Ruby Programming Language, and Java in a Nutshell. David has a degree in computer science and engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He lives with his wife and children in the Pacific Northwest between the cities of Seattle, Washington, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

88 of 89 people found the following review helpful.
5For those doubting a book is better than what can be found online
By Charlie
I simply wanted to say how much David's book has meant to my learning and understanding of Javascript, and programming in general. I had initially tried learning through many free sources online, and while most were very good in tackling specific issues or illustrating solutions to esoteric problems, none gave me the confidence that I was getting a solid foundation in the language, or programming in general.

In search of something better, I looked to stackoverflow which constantly recommended David's book. To be honest, I pirated it first. But after the first 3 chapters I went straight to Amazon and bought it, as well as Javascript Patters from Stoyan and Douglas's Crockford book Javascript: the good parts (another big hit on the stackoverflow forums). I was dumbfounded at how easy and clear his book made the language. For the first time, ideas were presented in a logical order, with concepts obviously introduced to build on previous ones. Concepts I've been told are essential (hoisting, closures, etc) but were intimidating because I'd never seen them in a cohesive narrative, shocked me in how intuitive they actually were when written well and paired with succinct examples.

I know this all seems overzealous enough to border on the insincere, but for someone who always had a passion for technology and wanted to create his own, but was beginning to be deterred from it all because I thought it was simply above my grasp, I want to say thank you to David and O'Reilly.

They very may well have single-handedly created a new developer, and have dramatically changed my life in the process.

Thanks again.

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful.
5My Choice For The Best JavaScript Book Available
By KWKelly
I've been a professional web developer for 18 years and have always read every JavaScript book, blog, post and ebook I could find. A junior web developer on staff asked me if I could recommend a good JavaScript book. I recommended Maintainable JavaScript by Nicholas Zakas, JavaScript Patterns by Stoyan Stefanov and this David Flanagan gem as the first priority and gave it as a welcome aboard gift. I don't care how good at Googling JavaScript questions you are, if you read this book cover to cover, you'll keep thinking, "I didn't know you could do that!" I highly recommend it to web devs of any level.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful.
5I would say I feel so good after reading it and have more confidence in talking ...
By Susan
I spent one month finishing reading this book. I would say I feel so good after reading it and have more confidence in talking about Javascript as a programming language (not as a tool). Before this book, I also read "Beginning to Javascript", so I had certain preparation to read this heavy-content book. "Beginning to Javascript" teaches me to use JavaScript as a tool and I can quickly building something in JS after reading it. But this book is different, it fulfills my needs to learn and know JavaScript as a programming language that worths certain respect.

If you think that this book is full of theory but no practice so it does not worth a read, I have nothing to say as different programmer learn to program and know about programming languages in different ways. This book is for those who want to know more about JavaScript and get inspired.

See all 343 customer reviews...

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