JavaScript influences

Back in ’99 I wrote my first lines of JavaScript, having instantly fallen in love with it and what can be done. One of my first projects when I was studying in the spring back then was a small campaign web site for a flavored childrens milk called MUUmjölk (Moo-milk). Please note that, for apparent reasons, the web site only works in Internet Explorer and Netscape 4 (the year after I was writing AJAX-like applications :-)).

What I wanted to talk about are the books that really helped my JavaScript skills to evolve. The three most important ones were:

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan
This book really gave me a thorough understanding of JavaScript and the mechanisms behind it. A book I’d recommend to anyone starting with JavaScript today.
JavaScript Objects by Tom Myers and Alexander Nakhimovsky
It’s about an object-oriented approach to JavaScript and it really has got some interesting parts. Not for beginners.
Dynamic HTML: The Definitive Reference by Danny Goodman
Probably the first book about web developing I read. Introduced some cool features and inspired me to think outside the box.

At least the first two would probably still be applicable today, although they might need some updating to scripting with the DOM. I also remember reading Stefan Koch’s Vodoo’s Introduction To JavaScript.

Back in 2002 I was asked by WROX to write a FAQ about JavaScript that was published in their P2P forums. Unfortunately, after their bankruptcy and redesign, all the FAQs on their web site were removed.

And remember, folks: It’s not hard nowadays to get your script to work in different web browsers. Just use the methods and properties supplied by the DOM. The only substantial difference between Internet Explorer and all other web browsers, though, is that Internet Explorer doesn’t support the standardized event model (see link below).

Where to go from here

The first three are links with introduction to how to approach the DOM. The second two are more in-depth articles and writings about JavaScript. Happy scripting!


Updated! Links to references:


  • Hi there. I'm a newbie and found your site c/o 9rules. I'd just like to ask what is meant by DOM? Where could I find a definition on the site (if there is one that is)? Oh, and a quick note to say – fab design, and exhilirating picture above! 🙂

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Thank you, I'm glad you like it!

    DOM stands for Document Object Model, and is well explained in a couple of the above links. For instance, in: Introduction to the Document Object Model.

  • Aah right. Thank-you. I'm a complete newbie to Javascript really – the only parts I have touched are the advertisements on my website – I made them show up by trial and error! Javascript and other languages (internet + German real life!) are definitely some avenues I'd like to go down in life. I would love to have a bit of knowledge in these areas, so thanks again 🙂

  • Robert Nyman says:


    No problem. Good luck! 🙂

  • Thanks for posting this.

    I can't say I've enjoyed dabbling with JS so far, all those *seemingly.unecessarily.long.variables* 😉

    Hopefully the book links you've provided will help me temper the JS beast and get on with it a little better, thanks again.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    I hope they help! 🙂

  • Gunnar Franklin says:

    JavaScript Objects by Tom Myers and Alexander Nakhimovsky is still my absolute favourite among these recommendations.

    The book is standing next to my computer screen so I can have a look at my idols every day I go to work.

    Now, over to something completely different: Why isnt every available DOM-function/method documented in MSDN?

    There is a method called scrollTop for instance. It works. There is nothing to be found about it in the entire msdn library. You can initialize an array by writing myArr = []; Not documented.

    So what am I coming to? Of course: What else is in there that we dont now about? Have a feeling that there are some blokes over in Redmond who sits on some useful code just to maintain a leading position over us hard working MS-slaves.

  • Robert Nyman says:


    Yes, JavaScript Objects is truly a great book!

    I guess you’re talking about the scrollTop property? In that case, it can be found here: scrollTop Property.

    Regarding the array thing: that’s not something that should be in a documentation about the Document Object Model reference, it’s should be in one about scripting. You can check the JScript reference, but I’m not sure it’ll be in there.

    But in the end, I’m sure you’re right that there are things that aren’t documented but still available in Internet Explorer.

    Also, the post is updated with links to different references.

  • […] advanced book about JavaScript. Pick it up, if you dare!   Related reading JavaScript influences Posted in Developing, JavaScript Add to […]

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