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Marc Johnson


CONTENTS

Introduction

Chapter 1   What Is JavaScript?

Chapter 2   What Can You Do with JavaScript?

Chapter 3   Style

Chapter 4   URL Patch

Chapter 5   An Outlined Document

Chapter 6   Color Chooser

Chapter 7   Form Validation

Chapter 8   Form Modification

Chapter 9   Games

AppendixA   ISO Latin-1 Character Set

Appendix B   JavaScript Reserved Words

Appendix C   A Review of HTML

Appendix D   JavaScript Operators

Appendix E   Built-in Objects and Functions

Appendix F   Online Resources

Credits


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Acquisitions EditorSuzanne Anthony
Coordinating EditorKelly Green
EditorDeborah Craig
Technical ReviewerLuke Cassady-Dorion
Project CoordinatorBarbara Dahl
Cover IllustrationRegan Honda
Cover DesignRegan Honda and Megan Gandt
Book DesignGary Suen
Word ProcessingHoward Blechman
Page LayoutJanet Piercy
IndexerValerie Robbins


Copyright © 1996 by Macmillan Computer Publishing USA. All rights reserved.

PART OF A CONTINUING SERIES

All other product names and services identified throughout this book are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. They are used throughout this book in editorial fashion only and for the benefit of such companies. No such uses, or the use of any trade name, is intended to convey endorsement or other affiliation with the book.

No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, or stored in a database or retrieval system, or transmitted or distributed in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Macmillan Computer Publishing USA, except as permitted by the Copyright Act of 1976, and except that program listings may be entered, stored, and executed in a computer system.

THE INFORMATION AND MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS BOOK ARE PROVIDED "AS IS," WITHOUT WARRANTY OF ANY KIND, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION ANY WARRANTY CONCERNING THE ACCURACY, ADEQUACY, OR COMPLETENESS OF SUCH INFORMATION OR MATERIAL OR THE RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED FROM USING SUCH INFORMATION OR MATERIAL. NEITHER MACMILLAN COMPUTER PUBLISHING USA NOR THE AUTHOR SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CLAIMS ATTRIBUTABLE TO ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR OTHER INACCURACIES IN THE INFORMATION OR MATERIAL CONTAINED IN THIS BOOK, AND IN NO EVENT SHALL MACMILLAN COMPUTER PUBLISHING USA OR THE AUTHOR BE LIABLE FOR DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF THE USE OF SUCH INFORMATION OR MATERIAL.

ISBN 1-56276-423-3


Acknowledgments

I thank the superb people I worked with at Ziff-Davis-Stacy Hiquet, Suzanne Anthony, Kelly Green, and Barbara Dahl. I thank my incredible editors, Deborah Craig and Luke Cassady-Dorion, without whom this book never would have made it into your hands. I thank my colleagues at Fujitsu Network Switching, who put up with my demented ramblings about the wonders of JavaScript. I thank Chelsea and Trevor for once more putting up with a daddy who never seems to get enough sleep and who is constantly working on the book-again. I thank Joan for putting up with my schedule, and for getting the ball rolling on yet another book, even though she knew what that entailed and the sacrifices she'd have to make-been there, done that, and did it again anyway. Finally, I thank the Lord for this experience, and I thank the woman who taught me to thank Him, even when I don't understand why-Martha Ilene Larson Whitaker. I dedicate this book to her memory.


Introduction

This is a book about writing exciting Web pages with JavaScript. Before JavaScript or its ancestor, LiveScript, Web pages were written in HTML. The pages could be very sophisticated in their layout, but they just sat there. JavaScript can make your Web pages come alive. Your Web pages can now be dynamic, changing before the user's eyes. JavaScript can make your Web pages both more interesting and more fun.

JavaScript isn't very difficult to learn. I myself picked up the basics in a matter of hours. You can, too.

You don't need to read this book cover to cover, and you don't have to read the chapters in any particular order. Skip around, read what seems interesting, and write some code. It's the best way to learn. You will need a copy of Netscape Navigator, preferably version 2.01 or later, but that's all. I use WebMania! to write some of my code, because it takes care of a lot of the details that I might forget, but all you really need is a simple ASCII text editor-vi, emacs, Notepad, whatever.

This book is divided into three parts. The first part includes three chapters. Chapter 1is a quick introduction to JavaScript that describes what it is and where it came from. Chapter 2explains what JavaScript is good for, outlining what you can do with it. Chapter 3lets me get up on my soapbox and do a little preaching about what makes a good Web page, what makes a bad Web page, and what you can do to keep your pages on the good list.

The second section consists of six chapters, all of which contain a complete JavaScript Web page. Each chapter introduces a problem, demonstrates how you might solve it without JavaScript, and then shows how you can craft a much better solution with JavaScript. These chapters all conclude with some thoughts on how you can enhance the solution and how you can adapt the techniques to creating your own Web pages with JavaScript. In every chapter, the JavaScript code is discussed in depth, function by function. No mysteries; there's no one behind the curtain. If you don't understand something about the code, write me at marcj@nando.net. I'll be glad to answer your questions!

Finally, the third section contains six appendices, chock full of useful reference material: the character set, reserved words, a review of HTML, the JavaScript operators, JavaScript's built-in objects and functions, and online resources. Again, if there's something I missed, write me. I want to help.

This book was written on a nameless 486-based desktop system lovingly assembled by Computer Options of Raleigh, North Carolina, and on a Pentium-based Samsung notebook, using Microsoft Word for Windows 6.0 under Windows 3.1 (the desktop) and Windows 95 (the notebook). The Web pages created were tested on both platforms, as well as on a Sun Microsystems Sparc-10 running Solaris 2.4 and on the desktop system under Linux 1.2.1. Luke Cassady-Dorion, my excellent technical editor, also ran them on his Macintosh. The Web pages were written with WebMania! 1.5. Screen shots were taken with Collage Complete 1.0, and enhanced with Paint Shop Pro 3.12. My Web space provider is Hurricane Electric (he.net; my home page is http://www.he.net/~marcj/index.html), and the Web pages were loaded onto their server for live testing. All of this was accomplished through my Internet service provider, nando.net.

I had a lot of fun writing this book, and I hope it proves to be a useful addition to your library.