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JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

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Conventions Used in This Book
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In recent months, the pace of technical innovation has shot through the roof. It's been said that the Internet has turned "man-months" into "web-weeks." It's hard to keep up!

When Netscape released a final version of Navigator 2.0, I imagined that JavaScript would finally be stable, and that the time was ripe for a book documenting it. Soon after I started writing, a beta release of Netscape 3.0 was announced. It seems like I've been playing catch-up ever since. In order to keep up with this rapidly evolving language, we printed a "beta edition" of this book which documented the final beta release of Navigator 3.0.

With the beta edition released, I was able to catch my breath and really document JavaScript the way it needed to be documented. This edition is far superior to the last. It is over one hundred pages longer and contains several new chapters, many practical new examples, far fewer errors, and dramatically improved coverage of cookies, the Image object, LiveConnect, and other topics.

Fortunately (for my sanity), this edition of the book goes to print before the first beta version of Navigator 4.0, a.k.a. Communicator, is released. The word is that there will be a lot of powerful and interesting new JavaScript features in Navigator 4.0, and you can be sure that we'll update this book to cover them when the final version of 4.0 comes out. In the meantime, I hope you'll agree that this book is truly the definitive guide to JavaScript.

Conventions Used in This Book

I use the following formatting conventions in this book:

  • Bold is used for headings in the text, and occasionally to refer to particular keys on a computer keyboard or to portions of user interfaces, such as the Back button or the Options menu.

  • Italics are used for emphasis, and to signify the first use of a term. Italics are also used for email addresses, web sites, FTP sites, file and directory names, and newsgroups. Furthermore, italics are used in this book for the names of Java classes, to help keep Java class names distinct from JavaScript names.

  • Letter Gothic is used in all JavaScript code and HTML text listings, and generally for anything that you would type literally when programming.

  • Letter Gothic Oblique is used for the name of function arguments, and generally as a placeholder to indicate an item that would be replaced with an actual value in your programs. It is also used for comments in Javascript code.

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