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JavaScript: The Definitive GuideJavaScript: The Definitive GuideSearch this book

1.9. Using the Rest of This Book

The rest of this book is in five parts. Part I, which immediately follows this chapter, documents the core JavaScript language. Chapter 2 through Chapter 6 begin this section with some bland but necessary reading -- these chapters cover the basic information you need to understand when learning a new programming language:

  • Chapter 2 explains the basic structure of the language.

  • Chapter 3 documents the data types supported by JavaScript.

  • Chapter 4 covers variables, variable scope, and related topics.

  • Chapter 5 explains expressions in JavaScript and documents each of the operators supported by JavaScript. Because JavaScript syntax is modeled on Java, which is, in turn, modeled on C and C++, experienced C, C++, or Java programmers can skim much of this chapter.

  • Chapter 6 describes the syntax and usage of each of the JavaScript statements. Again, experienced C, C++, and Java programmers can skim some, but not all, of this chapter.

The next five chapters of this first section become more interesting. They still cover the core of the JavaScript language, but they document parts of the language that will not already be familiar to you even if you already know C or Java. These chapters must be studied carefully if you want to really understand JavaScript:

  • Chapter 7 documents how functions are defined, invoked, and manipulated in JavaScript.

  • Chapter 8 explains objects, the most important JavaScript data type. This chapter discusses object-oriented programming in JavaScript and explains how you can define your own classes of objects in JavaScript.

  • Chapter 9 describes the creation and use of arrays in JavaScript.

  • Chapter 10 explains how to use regular expressions in JavaScript to perform pattern-matching and search-and-replace operations.

  • Chapter 11 covers advanced topics that have not been covered elsewhere. You can skip this chapter the first time through the book, but the material it contains is important to understand if you want to become a JavaScript expert.

Part II explains client-side JavaScript. The chapters in this part document the web-browser objects that are at the heart of client-side JavaScript and provide detailed examples of their use. Any interesting JavaScript program running in a web browser will rely heavily on features specific to the client side.

Here's what you'll find in Part III:

  • Chapter 12 explains the integration of JavaScript with web browsers. It discusses the web browser as a programming environment and explains the various ways in which JavaScript is integrated into web pages for execution on the client side.

  • Chapter 13 documents the most central and important object of client-side JavaScript, the Window object, as well as several important window-related objects.

  • Chapter 14 explains the Document object and related objects that expose the contents of an HTML document to JavaScript code.

  • Chapter 15 documents the Form object, which represents HTML forms. It also documents the various form element objects that appear within HTML forms and shows examples of JavaScript programming using forms.

  • Chapter 16 illustrates the use of cookies to save state in web programming.

  • Chapter 17 explains the core pieces of the W3C DOM standard and shows how a JavaScript script can access any element of an HTML document.

  • Chapter 18 explains the portions of the W3C DOM standard that allow a JavaScript program to manipulate the style, appearance, and position of the elements within an HTML document. This chapter shows how you can create many DHTML effects with CSS properties.

  • Chapter 19 covers JavaScript events and event handlers, which are central to all JavaScript programs that interact with the user. This chapter covers the traditional event model, the W3C DOM standard event model, and the Internet Explorer proprietary event model.

  • Chapter 20 explores the important issue of compatibility in JavaScript programming and discusses techniques you can use to write JavaScript programs that run correctly (or fail gracefully) on a wide variety of web browsers.

  • Chapter 21 enumerates the security restrictions built into client-side JavaScript and explains the rationale for them.

  • Chapter 22 explains how you can use JavaScript to communicate with and control Java applets. It also covers how you can do the reverse -- invoke JavaScript code from Java applets.

Part III, Part IV, and Part V are reference sections that document the objects defined by the core JavaScript language, the objects defined in traditional client-side JavaScript programming, and the objects defined by the new W3C DOM standard, respectively.

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