- BKSTYJVS.RVW 20000521
1999, 0-672-31407-X, U$19.99/C$28.95/UK#17.95
%A Michael Moncur tyjs@...
%C 201 W. 103rd Street, Indianapolis, IN 46290
%I Macmillan Computer Publishing (MCP)
%O U$19.99/C$28.95/UK#17.95 800-858-7674 317-581-3743 info@...
%P 364 p.
The "24 Hours" conceit of the title must put severe constraints on an
author. You have an absolute bound on the number of chapters, and
each has to be simple enough to be absorbed in an hour. Hemmed in by
those limitations, this book cannot be exhaustive, in terms of a
reference to the language, but Moncur does an excellent job within
those restrictions, and has produced a very serviceable and useful
Part one addresses getting started. Chapter one gets off to a bit of
a rocky start with several errors. The first HTML (HyperText Markup
Language) specification did make provision for graphics, it was the
LiveScript to reflect its relationship to Java, and then points out
that there is no such relationship. A note refers to a title that it
doesn't have, pointing out some careless editing. Moncur also says
that scripts in headers are not executed immediately, which is wrong.
The chapter does end with a simple beginner script that will print out
a message. This is expanded, in chapter two, to a simple script with
some calculations. The book starts to hit its stride with a decent
chapter three. Chapter four jumps the gun a bit by introducing the
major concepts of functions, objects, and events, but not in any
introduction to variables. There is good material on strings in
chapter six, but it doesn't do as well on arrays, insisting first that
an array has to be declared before it can be used, and then following
up with a script that uses an undeclared array. Logical operators and
the if/else construction are described in chapter seven. Various
loops are examined in chapter eight.
Part three starts to move into advanced features. Chapter nine starts
to point out the weakness of the "hour" model as it can't say much
about string and array objects, mostly concentrating on Math methods.
The discussion of browser objects skims over most and only really uses
windows history in chapter ten. Creating custom objects is a very
complex topic, and chapter eleven leaves a great many questions
unanswered. Chapter twelve reviews a number of events, but focuses on
a message in the status bar (again). The scope of events is not
Part four turns to Web pages. Chapter thirteen deals with windows and
frames, and presents a couple of buttons, but also fails to make a
mixup happens in the otherwise good introduction to forms, in chapter
fourteen. There is good, basic graphical stuff in chapter fifteen,
with simple image maps, rollover, and even an easy animation. Chapter
sixteen looks at different browsers, and has some cute tricks for
Part five gets into advanced Web features. Chapter seventeen has a
decent introduction to style sheets, although, ironically, it is not
of layers, in chapter eighteen, does not address all attributes, but
terse, tips about cross-browser compatibility. There is a quick run
over multimedia plugins, and a little piano program, in chapter
Part six puts it all together. Chapter twenty one has good debugging
tips, and a very useful tip for bringing up error messages in
Netscape. A number of the topics are included in a sample Web page
done up in chapter twenty two, although it isn't necessarily very
functional. Chapter twenty three puts together a shopping cart
script. The book finishes off with a card game in chapter twenty
Despite the rough start, and a disappointing ending with a rather
resourceless set of appendices, the book is a good introduction for
book does make a number of errors, but these are not the type that
will stop someone willing to do a little experimentation. Once into
the language you will definitely need another reference, but this work
will allow you to get in quickly, and start to see the possibilities.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2000 BKSTYJVS.RVW 20000521
====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@... rslade@... slade@... p1@...
On the other hand, you have different fingers.
http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade