DOM Scripting

Published: December 20, 2021
Book cover: DOM Scripting by Jeremy Keith

DOM Scripting, by Jeremy Keith is another one of those impactful reads that significantly influenced and definitely improved the way I leverage and implement JavaScript in my work. The fundamental concepts presented in this book, unobtrusive JavaScript and progressive enhancement, have withstood the test of time.

To set the tone, Jeremy starts at the beginning by which I mean he rewinds the clock way back and starts with a brief history of JavaScript before he moves on to explain concepts like variables (strings, booleans and arrays for example), objects, operations, conditional statements, comparison operators, loops and functions. While review for many, I can imagine how this content might serve as a terrific primer on JavaScript for any reader that isn’t familiar or perhaps has only a modicum of experience with JavaScript.

Jeremy does a nice job articulating how, as the title suggests, we can use JavaScript to manipulate the DOM. He accomplishes this by way of leading the reader through building an image gallery project which allows him to weave in not only HTML document manipulation but also CSS manipulation to complete the HTML + CCS + JavaScript picture (pun intended, while terrible I know).

Other impactful topics Jeremy covers in the book are graceful degradation, unobtrusive JavaScript, backward compatibility and script performance. He answers questions like how do we roll JavaScript into our projects in such a way that our webpages will render well and be usable in the event the end–user has JavaScript disabled? How do we best separate semantic markup from behavior? How do we make sure legacy browsers can interpret our JavaScript? What can we do to be sure our scripts are maximally performant?

This book got me thinking differently about authoring JavaScript. It changed the way I approach front–end Web development in a positive way. Not only is this a worthwhile read, I would suggest it as mandatory reading for any aspiring front–end developer.

Filed in — Recommended Reads, Web Development

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