Books. How many of us have them? I for one have several but just because I own a collection doesn’t mean I’ve read them all. I’m trying to improve on that habit and in doing so, I recently discovered a purchase which I had not touched at all.
What adds to the problem is that this is a tech book and for those of you who’ve touched on this type of literature, you know that it can be a very dry read.
Ironically, I could very well say that all chapters are important but that defeats the purpose. However, when tying in the lessons to modern day problems, three specific parts are very much everlasting:
Chapter 5: The Document Object Model
Chapter 6: Events
Go head first into the crucial aspects of event bubbling, capturing and canceling. This deep dive will teach you how to tie user-driven behavior to an HTML element of your choice (e.g. clicking a button tag) and how that event is managed should more HTML be encapsulating that element. You’ll also learn ways on overwriting default web browser behavior (e.g. clicking an anchor tag – you may not want it heading into another page).
But the drag and drop section referenced some older technologies like
moo.fx. I’d say it’s worth the read if you want to simply review on how code was organized. On the basis of that alone, it’s pretty clean (see Module Pattern by Addy Osmani).
Chapter 8: Improving Forms
In my opinion, this section alone is the BIGGEST win. Learn form validation in an exceptionally straightforward way. The markup alone is crystal clear and when you add John’s opinion on layering in validations for required fields, pattern matching and displaying error messages, it creates for a fairly strong HTML form for everyday use. I’d recommend you visit the codebase for more details.
✅ PART 4 Ajax
Chapter 10: Introduction to Ajax
While deceptively simple, the concept of Ajax web applications is a powerful one.Chapter 10: Introduction to Ajax (p. 232)
John provides a rundown of the full Ajax process and what’s involved with the HTTP request and response. He also provides insight on error handling and the types of data that gets passed back and forth between client and server. If you’re a server-side developer that makes APIs for a living, you would appreciate this chapter.
If you believe hindsight is 20/20 then give this chapter a go. Let expectations meet reality and observe what really did take place like Array Extras (p. 289-90) and Let Scoping (p. 290). Gloss over on what could have been by way of Comet (p. 301-03).
So, why did I bother with such an old book? A lot of us have John Resig to thank for not pulling our hair out when dealing with Internet Explorer. For those of you entering the field now, this comment holds zero weight but for those of us who developed sites and apps which pre-date the original iPhone and Google Chrome, know how much of a pain it was to equalize the playing field in what was then an IE6 marketplace. This book offered options on how to address the browser ecosystems of that time.
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