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Instant Javascript

by Nigel Mcfarlane

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About Book

JavaScript is a powerful way to extend HTML content and work with Java applets, but developing with this language can be tricky. With this one-volume reference, you can begin using scripts within Web pages and also learn some of JavaScript's high-end features.

Early sections treat JavaScript as just another programming language, detailing data types, operators, and basic keywords. Then the book turns to the nuts and bolts of script development inside Web pages, featuring advanced topics you might not find elsewhere, such as the possibility of running JavaScript scripts on the server.

Further chapters explain how to get to browser objects from JavaScript, describing windows, forms, and event handling. There is also a good introduction to manipulating Java applets and Netscape plug-ins (such as Shockwave) with JavaScript. But some of the best chapters teach you how to use browser cookies within Java and offer debugging tips from the author. (JavaScript is legendarily difficult to debug, and the author has a number of potentially helpful suggestions here.)

Final sections show JavaScript at work with dynamic HTML. The reference material at the end of Instant JavaScript gives a handy listing of JavaScript fundamentals and HTML tags, making this book useful as both a tutorial and a place where JavaScript developers can get answers.

Book Description
JavaScript is one of the most powerful tools in the Web developer's kit. Used well, it can add hugely to the functionality and interactivity of Web pages, and is almost universally supported by browsers. Unlike Dynamic HTML, JavaScript is a language in its own right but, until recently, there was no fully agreed standard. Instant Javascript is the first book to deal with this emergent standard: ECMAScript, it also goes into detail on the various compatibility problems with existing browser implementations of JavaScript, as well as looking at stand alone JavaScript

From the Publisher
All Web programmers need Javascript Instant Javascript is the book to teach them. Intended for HTML authors looking to add functionality to inter- or intra-nets, or for programmers who want a reference and guide to one of the most flexible scripting languages around, the book presumes some knowledge of HTML, and a familiarity with basic programming concepts

About the Author
Nigel McFarlane is a senior software engineer at TUSC Computer Systems Pty Ltd, based in Melbourne, Australia, where he helps develop telecommunications software. Previously he worked for a major database vendor. He seems to spend most of his professional life trying to work out what it all means, so if you have any ideas please speak up, or alternatively, come to the pub afterwards

Excerpted from Instant JavaScript by McFarlane, Nigel. Copyright © 1998. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved
Chapter Nine Dynamic HTML Web pages vary greatly in their appearance. Some HTML web documents are merely informative, being no more than heading-laden text. Some Web documents are both informative and interactive, such as HTML documents containing forms and a liberal dose of JavaScript. Magazine-style documents, strewn with images, applets and plugins, and sporting fancy styles, headings, colors and typefaces can be quite impressive visually, especially if backed-up by a good graphic artist. Via a few JavaScript multimedia tricks such as those outlined in Chapter 4, images can add a degree of animation. However, for truly impressive Web pages, nothing beats the possibility of independently animating every single tag in a document and its contents, either in response to user actions, or without the user needing to do anything at all. This possibility is offered by Dynamic HTML.

Client-side JavaScript, with its timing mechanisms and access to host objects that reflect a document's content is absolutely crucial for Dynamic HTML. Viewed from the JavaScript perspective, it is the script writer that creates dynamic behavior in a document that is otherwise just an inactive load of HTML.

As is the case for the Java language, Dynamic HTML is a subject rich in information that really requires a book of its own. Only the most important features are touched on here.

The term Dynamic HTML is somewhat vague. In a general, hand-waving sense, it means any HTML document in a browser that exploits one or more specific technical features in order to create one or more specific visual effects. From a practical point of view, that is hardly a useful description.

Defined as a technology Dynamic HTML can be viewed as an evolutionary improvement in browsers, rather than an entirely new, alien technology.



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