From the book lists at Adware Report:

All information current as of 14:27:16 Pacific Time, Monday, 21 February 2005.

Learn How to Program Using Any Web Browser

   by Harold Davis

    29 September, 2003


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Editorial description(s):

Gary Cornell (from the foreword)
Learn to program ... with one of the best writers I know.

From the Author
If you want to learn to program, this book is for you. It';s that simple. I don';t assume any particular knowledge on your part, although to get the most out of this book you will have to think carefully about the text and follow the examples. I';ve tried to make this painless by keeping the examples fun and interesting. In fact, you may find that reading and working through this book is a very enjoyable experience indeed. Personally, I love programming, and think that programming (and learning new programming techniques) is the most fun thing in the whole world.

You don';t need any special hardware or software to learn to program with this. Anybody, with any computer, can follow the examples provided by this book.

Understanding computer programming is the great digital divide that faces our society. Some of those among us understand how computer programs work, but many of us do not. If you read this book and work through the examples it provides, you';ll gain practical skills that can be of great use. You may even be on your way to a career as a professional programmer. But most important of all, you';ll join the select few that truly understand how computers think.

This book teaches modern computer programming and explains concepts such as object-oriented programming so that everyone can understand them. Most of all, I';ve tried to share the knowledge and experience, and sheer joy in the process, that I';ve gained through a lifetime of programming.

From the Inside Flap
Foreword by Gary Cornell, Apress, Publisher/Author/Cofounder

Programs drive the world. Literally. Heck, there';s more software in the average car than was used to run an airline when I grew up in the ';60s. But it sure is a different world than when I grew up. And that';s nowhere more so than in the programming world. When I learned programming in the ';70s, it was all punch cards and big machines--no PCs and no Internet.

But, too many books that try to teach you programming haven';t gotten

the message that it';s a different world: It';s the world of the Internet! Why, they still use an archaic language called BASIC that';s 40 years old and was designed for Teletype machines to teach you programming. The book you have in your hand is unusual because it accepts that the programming world has changed. The browser is all-important: Controlling your browser isn';t only an exciting way to learn to program, it';s darn useful if you ever want to make your own home page interactive.

But that isn';t the only way this book is different from all the other beginning programming books out there that use BASIC. Feeding you BASIC as your first programming language is a terrible idea. Why? Because the BASIC programming language is old and tired and doesn';t use objectoriented programming (OOP) as its fundamental paradigm. OOP was developed in the ';80s and ';90s, and every programmer must be familiar with it. OOP is how programmers can hope to piece together the very large

programs they need to build in the 21st century.

(If you';re wondering what OOP is, well, you';ll just have to read this book--I won';t try to explain it here because then I';d have to do a better job than Harold Davis does in this book, and that';s not likely to happen.)

So sit back in front of any computer (heck, even some personal digital assistants) and learn to program by taking full control of your browser (fun!) and learning OOP (useful!) with one of the best writers I know.

About the Author
Harold Davis is a technology consultant, hands-on developer, and author of many books. Harold has consulted for Fortune 1000 technology companies, Internet startups, and web infrastructure players. He has been a VP of strategic development at YellowGiant Corporation, a technical director at Vignette Corporation, and a principal in the e-commerce practice at Informix Software. He’s worked in many languages and environments, and he’s been a lead programmer and/or architect in projects for corporations, including Chase Manhattan Bank, Nike, and Viacom. His books on programming and the web include Programming C# .NET, Programming Visual Basic .NET, The Wi-Fi Experience: Wireless Networking with 802.11b, Red Hat Linux 6: Visual QuickPro Guide, Web Developer’s Secrets, Delphi Power Toolkit, and more. He has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from New York University and a J.D. from Rutgers School of Law.

Book Description

Learn How to Program Using Any Web Browser is a book about general principles of good programming practice for complete novices. If you're a teen or someone who is just starting to get curious about what makes a computer work, or an office worker who has been using computer applications for years and would like to spend some time looking deeper into what makes them tick, then this book is for you.

Learn How to Program Using Any Web Browser teaches the basics of programming using JavaScript. JavaScript, a modern programming language, can be written using any text editor and displayed in almost any web browser, regardless of the operating system. In the process, author Harold Davis discusses modern computer programming principles and explains concepts such as object-oriented programming in an easy-to-understand manner.

Reader review(s):

Doesn't quite hit the spot, August 16, 2004
Harold Davis has started with a marvelous idea, teaching programming using a language available on all platforms, JavaScript, and an interface familiar to everyone, the web browser. Learn How to Program Using Any Web Browser is written for absolute beginners to learn the basic principles of programming -- or at least that's what the cover would have you believe.

The language is suitably light and simple, the book well-structured and broken down into easily digested chunks. The order in which concepts are introduced is fairly traditional for a language tutorial: first we get types, variables and statements, before moving on to conditionals, loops, and functions, followed by arrays and objects before finishing with event-driven programming. Davis' decision to leave string handling till last seems a little perverse and personally I would have introduced functions earlier.

My real complaints about this book centre on the abstract nature of the discussion. There are very few real world examples that could be useful to anyone. The best you get is a version of "Rock, Paper, Scissors" in Chapter 3, and an 'auction' application. The book would have been improved dramatically if the end result of your study was a few things you could actually point to.

I also have a complaint about the target audience for this book. The web page for the book at the publishers states that "The target reader is likely a twelve- or thirteen-year-old, who is just starting to get curious about what makes a computer work -- or an office worker who has been using computer applications for years, and would like to spend some time delving deeper into what makes them tick." Most adults and even teenagers don't want to 'learn how to program' as much as they want to learn how to use a tool to perform a task. If your tool is JavaScript, then it's almost certain your task is related to building web pages, but this gets little real attention from Davis. For even younger students, this book totally lacks anything to hold their attention -- the lack of real-world examples hurts here.

I also take issue with the title: this book doesn't really teach 'programming' much at all. It certainly teaches you to write JavaScript, but where are the sections about the real lessons of programming, such as top-down vs. bottom-up design, or breaking a task up into chunks? Even debugging has little coverage -- a single thirty-page chapter, half of which is specific to JavaScript or the throwing and handling of exceptions. Since the work of Papert and others at MIT twenty-five years ago, we've learned a great deal about how to teach programming concepts in a simple manner, but Davis appears to have ignored all this and given us a language tutorial. The publisher's web page for the book says "very emphatically, this is not a book about programming JavaScript." If that's so then I'd argue that it isn't a book about learning the principles of programming either.

It is obvious from this book that Davis is an excellent writer; if he had tried to write a book to teach JavaScript and had focused on the tasks for which it is often used this, volume may have been superb. As it is, he has shot for a higher goal and fallen far too short.

If you would like to check it out for yourself, you can go to the web page for the book where there is sample chapter, the Table of Contents (though they call it a "Detailed TOC" as distinct from the 'Table of Contents,' which is just a list of 11 chapter titles) and index, all in PDF format.

I went looking for a book that I could give to my 11-year-old daughter now that she has become interested in "what Daddy does." I'm still looking, I'm certain that this one isn't it.

This book delivers what it claims, July 21, 2004
If you have no programming experience then this book gets your started right away using simple tools right on your computer. Easy-to-follow examples, quick and easy to read. I'd highly recommend to anyone, especially those who are new to programming. Not condescending like the for dummies books. Each lesson builds on itself and author introduces new topics gradually and gracefully. All code available on publishers website so you don't have to type if you don't want to. EXCELLENT!

Have Fun Learning to Write Your Own Computer Programs, November 6, 2003
Have you wondered how computers can do so many different things? The answer is that the software, the programs, can be written (by those who know how) to carry out any explicit procedure. Even if you are an utter novice, this book can help you to become one of those who do know how. If you have a computer and surf the internet, you have all the equipment that you need. Harold Davis writes in his usual clear and engaging style starting with easy and enjoyable projects. The book tells you everything you need to write programs with flashy visual effects that accomplish any number of worthwhile tasks. Highly recommended.

I recommend to anyone to learn to program!, November 5, 2003
Programming guru Harold Davis does it again! This is the book I would recommend it to any friend who wants to learn to program. Or just wants to understand computer codes.

This book it is fun and friendly. But teach it does sound theory of computer programming. Best of all, you don't need anything new to use it, just any computer and any web browser.

Cannot it recommend enough.

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