From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 02:38:02 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

JavaScript for Dummies

   by Emily A. Vander Veer

    For Dummies
    01 October, 2000


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Editorial description(s):

Book Info
Explains, in plain English for the nonprofessional, how to use JavaScript to write programs for the Internet. The CD-ROM is packed with bonus and trial software and HTML scripting and editing tools. Previous edition not cited. Softcover.

From the Publisher
JavaScript For Dummies, 3rd edition:

Explains JavaScript and how it differs from java, HTML, and other Web programming tools

Describes what users can do with JavaScript that they can't do with HTML

Outlines how JavaScript, the platform-independent scripting language, works with the latest versions of Netscape Navigator 5 and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.5

Includes an important overview of Object-Oriented Concepts and the JavaScript language

Shows users how to "team up" JavaScript with Java, C++, OpenDoc, and Common Gateway Interface (CGI) to create powerful multimedia applications

Describes how to build a quickie Web page using HTML tags

Shows users how to create a Java applet and run the applet from the Web page

Covers JavaScript's forms so users can easily enter data and receive feedback

Guides users as they write and debug their own JavaScript programs


Hot utility and sample programs, including Dreamweaver demo version, SurfMap JavaScript, Joust, NetObjects ScriptBuilder 3 trial version, Allaire HomeSite 4.5 trial version, Ant Tools Demo 3, ArtBeats Web Tools, BBEdit 4.5.1, HTML WebWeaver Lite, Paint Shop Pro 5 demo, and more!

From the Back Cover
Discover how to create dynamic, user-friendly Web sites!

Trial version of NetObjects ScriptBuilder on CD-ROM

Your key to creating dynamic, interactive web-based applications!

Explains how JavaScript works with the latest Web browser versions — in plain English!
Get with the program! Use this friendly guide to build powerful interactive Web site — without having to master a difficult programming language! Inside, you'll get tips for teaming JavaScript up with other technologies to create impressive multimedia applications, including user-friendly forms, cookies, alert-box messages, and more.

Discover how to:
all this on bonus CD-ROM Get Smart!

About the Author
Emily A. Vander Veer has authored several books and numerous articles on Web technologies and trends, including JavaScript For Dummies Quick Reference.

Book Description
JavaScript has evolved quite a bit since its earliest days, from a relatively basic scripting language to a full-blown programming language in its own right. You can use JavaScript to create even more breathtakingly cool Web sites than ever before. You've probably seen Web sites with the following features:

All of these features (and much more) can be created with JavaScript. The thing is, JavaScript isn't easy to use. The JavaScript language itself has become more complex than its earlier incarnations – but that's where his new, improved, better-tasting edition of JavaScript For Dummies comes in! Even if you're not a crackerjack programmer, you can use the techniques and sample scripts in this book to create interactive, "intelligent" Web pages bursting with animated effects.

JavaScript For Dummies, 3rd Edition, gives you all you need to know to get started with JavaScript, plus some really cool JavaScript tricks, all explained from the point of view of the first-time JavaScript programmer. Here are just a few of the topics you'll find covered:

JavaScript For Dummies, 3rd Edition, also includes a CD-ROM with trial versions of popular Web creations tools, such as HomeSite, Dreamweaver, NetObjects ScriptBuilder, and SurfMap JavaScript.

So if you've worked with HTML before but want to add more flexibility and punch to your pages, or even if you've never written a stick of code in your life but are eager to hop on the JavaScript bandwagon, JavaScript For Dummies, 3rd Edition, is the book for you.

Reader review(s):

Javascript Professionals learn by doing, not reading!, April 13, 1999
I, as well was not too impressed with the book. Fortunately, I know some Java so that JS was not too difficult. But, if you are a total novice and know nothing about object-oriented or object-based programming, then you are going to be totally lost. I think that the author dives into functions and object methods way too early. There are some useful scripts in the book, especially for client-side form validation. But, if you are not familiar with Javascript you're going to be lost. My suggestion to the author is that she also have exercises to test the reader's knowledge - you can only learn this stuff by doing. If any novice is reading this review, my suggestion would be to first visit Joe Burns' javagoodies ( and go through the 30 javascript primers that are there. The best thing about them is that they're free! Also, if Joe's new book on Javascript (Javascript Goodies) is anything like his web tutorials or his HTML Goodies book, then I would save your money and wait for that one to come out.

Don't be a dummy. Don't buy this book!, December 7, 2000
Ok. I may not be a techno geek, but I am not an idiot either. After reading this book, I was still in the "fog" about JavaScript. This is not a book for beginners of JavaScript, as the author does not teach the subject well.

It was recommended to me that I look at:

The Book of JavaScript by David Thau

Guess what. It is a great book. The examples make sense. The reasons why things happen are explained in a way that a non programmer can understand!

The entire book is like taking a class with an excellent teacher. The chapters are like assignments. In four chapters, I already know more than I did after finishing the "Dummies" book.

If you want to have a book that you can just cut and paste code with a vague idea how it works, then Dummies book may work for you. However, if you want to have understanding of what you are doing, purchase:

The Book of JavaScript by David Thau! won't mind. They sell both

5 stars, but minus 1 for being misleading, December 22, 1998
This book is a fantastic book, IF YOU ARE AN EXPERIENCED PROGRAMMER. Don't be mislead by the "For Dummies" title. This book is packed with some serious heavy programming concepts. I'm a Computer Science student at Rowan University and have a background in C, C++, and Java, so diving into this book was like a breath of fresh air. However, I encourage others that aren't experienced with programming to look elsewhere and come back to this book later. The book offers rather a free way of learning the code. I basically picked through and took what I wanted, since learning the syntax was not a very steep curve. Most of the examples are useful for examples only, but I felt they were a great reference. The book doesn't slow down, and it gets to the point fast. It's code, page after page of it, and it's great! The more I picked up on the language the more ideas came up with to create. I have a lot of coding to do!

Again, for those of you who aren't experienced with much programming, I suggest picking up a more basic book on the subject. Also if it helps, the JavaScript language is extremely similar to C and C++. It might be a good idea to try and learn that too, and kill 3 birds with one stone. The concepts are the same: objects, functions, passing parameters, Top Down Design, OOP, etc.... even the syntax is almost identical. Hope I helped.

Best of luck to everyone. ___James

5 stars, but minus 1 for being misleading

Not all bad., June 29, 2001
I agree with the folks who say this isn't really a bad book, but it is misleadingly titled. If you have experience with object oriented programming languages like Visual Basic you will be able to learn some things about javascript with it. If not, you will be lost. Very little time is spent on the basics, and what there is isn't very good.

An example: at the start of the chapter introducing objects, the author begins with a somewhat complicated example(for a beginner) involving "this" referances without explaining how "this" works, several objects that are contained within other objects, and two functions. The code used to illustrate these ideas consists of a few brief lines, without much context or explanation. Further confusing things is the author's habit of refering to everything as an object, from functions to properties, and this after an analogy comparing an object to a noun.

Very confusing. You just have all these terms and concepts dumped on you at once, and all of it barely explained in a few brief pages. A more experienced programmer will be able to sort through it all and figure out what is happening. Anyone else will be absolutely lost.

OK, it's not me after's the book that sucks, March 2, 2001
I tried to get through this book several times and kept giving up. I couldn't figure out why I was having such a hard time with learning JavaScript. I've learned other languages on my own. Therefore, why was it so hard to get a handle on the concepts of Javascript? I mean, this book is supposed to be for dummies like me, right? However, after my latest attempt to read this book and after reading some of the reviews on this site, I realize it's not me, it's the book. First off, the author fails to provide a context for JavaScript. She just launches into coding. There's no answer to the question "why?" A better approach would be to show a sample web page that uses JavaScript and then explain how the JavaScript accomplishes the end result. Then, explain the advantages of JavaScript over other possible solutions. Also, the author tries much to hard to make cutesy little jokes and puns and they get really annoying really fast. I don't think it's much of an exaggeration to say that she tries to make a joke in every other paragraph. I believe another review on this site recommends Thau's "Book of JavaScript." And, I agree with that recommendation. His book is just about everything this one isn't. It provides sample and context for the explanation of JavaScript. There is a light-hearted tone to the writing, which makes the reading of a technical topic easier. But, he doesn't go overboard with the cutesy puns and quips. So, if you want a beginner's guide to JavaScript, avoid this book. Try "Book of JavaScript" by Thau instead.

Not a bad reference; not the best book to learn from, May 21, 2002
Once upon a time the "For Dummies" series stood alone as the only name brand instructional company in the world. However, like most great ideas, variations of the same concept were adopted. In the case of internet lingo, O'Reilly's and The Complete Idiot's guides were created.

I have read both the O'Reilly and the For Dummies book, and after completing both of them (I am an advanced J-Script user), I found the O'Reilly book, although not geared specifically towards beginners, as the more instructional book. It gives typical O'Reilly plans and lessons that will guide you to being an earnest Java Script writer.

The main problem with the For Dummies book is its lack of direction for the overall web constructor. The author advertises Java Script as the ideal programming language, and in doing so has written chapters on how to do things in this language which I, and many other professional web designers feel should not be done.

Therefore, keep yourself away from this book until you have read a truly introductory book, as well as a book like O'Reillys... after that you should DEFINETLY buy this book as a reference because of the vast amount of intermeddiate knowledge it has.

JavaScript, NOT FOR DUMMIES, March 11, 2001
Uhh, i've been writing javaScript for money for years now. When i saw that my usually intelligent roomate was having trouble learning this easy language, i decided to look into it. I picked up this book, that he had been using and i found his problem immediatley. I looked over the first few chapters, and even i became confused. The beginning (most important) chapters are horribly laid out and poorly explained. The author's attempt at humor is pathetic as well.

I agree (It blows chunks), October 4, 2001
When I first encountered JavaScript as part of a CIW certification course I was intrigued - programming all the nifty things you can do on websites. I had an excellent learning experience with A+ Certification for Dummies (which is all you really need for A+), so I had high hopes of learning Javascript from the same publishers. Doh.

This book promises to teach you all the tricks of doing the important interactive things on a contemporary website: form validation, rollovers, frames, etc. What it delivers is page upon page of unintelligible code (for the newbie)interspersed with vague hints about programming ideas. Core concepts and syntax of programming are treated as an afterthought. There are no exercises to work through, even if the concepts were there, so it's very, very difficult to learn anything in depth. In addition, there's very little reference material; this book isn't worth the time.

As an alternative, I suggest Pollock's book (on this site somewhere) The topics he covers are not flashy (rollovers don;t get covered until 2/3rds through the book) but it teaches concepts thoroughly using simple illustrative exercises. I'm about half way through this book and it's already helping me learn ActionScript (the OOP language built into Flash 5.0. Highly recommended.

Run, dont walk, as far away from this book as possible!, November 1, 2000
I have never publicly criticized someone's writing ever before. However, a book this bad deserves special attention. The harm done to the literary world by publishing this book cannot be fully calculated. Over the past couple of years, I have been slowly upgrading my computer skills. I decided to tackle what should be an easy topic for someone who can program in Basic, Pascal, Fortran, and who writes html and designs Access databases. Not that I'm a rocket scientist, but then again, JavaScript isn't rocket science. Java Script For Dummies is so poorly written, that even when I already knew what the author was TRYING to say, I could not understand what she actually was saying. The first examples of code do not tell you anything about how come you need to do certain things in certain places, of how the syntax functions and so on. And when the book does get into basics, they aren't basic. The first examples are difficult to follow along unless you already know Java Script, which of course, if you did already know Java Script, you wouldn't be reading a dummies book about Java Script, now would you..!? Far to much ink is used wining about the differences between IE and Navigator than is needed, and only serves to put the reader off, scaring them at the prospective nightmare which looms ahead in the tangled world of a Java Script war which will only lay waste to those foolish enough to try. I only read half the book before sending it back. If they give me a refund, wonderful. If not, who cares. At least it isn't on my bookshelf wasting space. Go to the movie, toss your money to a stranger on the bus, do anything you like, but please don't buy this book!

Good Question and Answer Book , Bad If your just starting, January 1, 2000
I got JavaScript for Dummies and I didn't learn a thing. If you need a ref. book for JavaScript it might be a good idea to get , but if your just starting to learn try something else.

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