In my time, I’ve read quite a few computing text books but this is undoubtedly my favourite.
On my degree course, I read lots of awful books on boring subject matters like 3D computer graphics and IT management strategies, and in my spare time I’ve read a lot of interesting books based around web design/development and all that entails. This book is my favourite so far.
Why I Liked it
The reason for enjoying this book so much was the way it spoke to me; I wish that back in 2001 when I started my degree there had been a text book or a lecturer who could have explained basic programming to me in the way Jeremy Keith does in this book.
Here comes a tangent> I went to university in 2001, at the tender age of 18, thinking I’d make a good programmer; I was good in Excel, Access, FrontPage and got a B for IT A-Level. However, it wasn’t to be the case, I never got my head around programming. I struggled through the Java module and barely even passed the web development module (in JSP) in my 2nd year. It took me 2 1/2 years to find a language I could understand (hello PHP) and even longer to understand seemingly obvious things like Arrays, functions, etc.
Back to the review
The examples are slowly built up over chapters, as with a lot of books, and were set down in such a way that applying them to my real-world problems was made easy.
Personally, As soon as I start to engage with a text-book I usually go off-target and start messing around with my own variations of the examples and try to modify the examples to suit my problems – usually it doesn’t work for me (you’d think I’d learn) but with Dom Scripting I was easily able to do this.
Good practice included as standard
Another reason for liking the book, was that the examples didn’t include bloated old-school HTML. So many times I’ve picked up a book and tried to learn its subject matter, whether that’s PHP or XML or both or none and the code examples often include horrific table-laden HTML that I just can’t bring myself to actually use. (I am a web standards snob pure and simple).
Update – 20/11/2009