Dom Scripting by Jeremy Keith

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).


I finally now understand what AddLoadEvent() is for. No more struggling trying to get multiple JavaScripts functions to run onload. Prior to reading Dom Scripting, I had heard of AddLoadEvent() and I was also aware of the limitation of being able to run only one event onload but I just didn’t put 2 and 2 together.

Dom Scripting website

Update – 20/11/2009

A few years after reading Dom Scripting, and it is still my favourite book about programming. Nowadays jQuery and other JavaScript frameworks have taken over the world but I still think old-school JavaScript has it’s place and I’m glad I read this book and learnt it the old fashioned way before getting into jQuery.

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