KillerSites Blog

Book Review: Dom Scripting

February 23, 2005

As the title suggest, this books teaches modern DOM scripting techniques.

What is DOM scripting?

DOM scripting is using JavaScript, CSS and the DOM to manipulate what is displayed in a web page. The ‘DOM’ is the acronym for:

Document Object Model

This essentially is just a ‘map’ of a web page’s structure – roughly speaking.

You can do all kinds of cool things with the DOM (with the help of JavaScript,) … for example:

  • Create dynamic menu’s.
  • Show/hide parts of the page based on a mouse click or any other user action.
  • Connect to the server in the background and load new content into the page without having to refresh the page – commonly called AJAX these days.
  • Add new HTML or CSS to the page, on-the-fly.

What you need to know to read this book:

You need to be comfortable with HTML and CSS but you probably can get by without any programming experience. I say ‘probably’ because there are some points at the beginning where the basics MAY be a little unclear for some.

Should you get this book?

The book is very good and worth getting. The author has a clear and concise way of presenting the subject and I really enjoyed the read … not boring at all.

Unlike many JavaScript books out there, ‘Dom Scripting’ does a great job in presenting modern methods that include:

  • Keeping behaviour separate from structure – Java nerds would call these ‘listeners’.
  • How to use JavaScript in such a way that it degrades gracefully and is accessible.

Final comments:

While learning the concepts of DOM scripting, you will gain a much greater understanding of the ‘framework’ of a web page … you will begin to understand things about HTML/XHTML and CSS that you could not otherwise.

So even you are not too keen on actually doing any DOM scripting, I still highly recommend this book for these reasons.

Stefan Mischook