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References for Chapter 7


Jeremy Keith, DOM Scripting (Friends of Ed: 2005)

There are lots of books about JavaScript, but this one has the virtue of using the standards. It advocates an unobtrusive approach to scripting, similar to our approach in Web Design. If you find our treatment too dense, you may find this helps. The same author has written a new book called Bulletproof AJAX, which claims to show how to make AJAX usable in all browsers. We have not had a chance to read this yet, but on the basis of DOM Scripting it should be worth a look.

Online Resources

Standard ECMA-262

The standard defining the core scripting language that is the basis of JavaScript. This version corresponds to the core of JavaScript 1.5, which is what most modern browsers implement. (The standard itself is a PDF that you can download from this page.)

S5: A Simple Standards-Based Slide Show System

An example of a complex application using only Web standards.


Bookmarklets are little JavaScript programs that can be executed from the browser to perform tasks, usually to help with testing and debugging pages. This page contains many useful examples and some general information about bookmarklets.

Show love to the object literal

For more advanced JavaScript programming than we show in the book, the use of object literals to structure code is common. This is a short introduction to their syntax and use.

curvyCorners - JavaScript Rounded Corners and more.

CSS3 provides a simple and clean implementation of rounded corners, for those who like them, but not all browsers yet implement them. In the meantime, if you really want to have rounded corners on your page, using JavaScript is probably the best way to go. This site offers a free implementation, which is compatible with all the main browsers.

Round-up of 30 AJAX Tutorials

Links to Web tutorials on the various technologies that are commonly referred to as AJAX. This includes interface elements like drag and drop as well as the use of XMLHttpRequest.

DOM Scripting: Hijax

Jeremy Keith's description of an approach to adding AJAX features to Web applications while ensuring that they still work for people who have disabled JavaScript or whose browsers don't support it.

Unobtrusive Javascript

This is a little Web-based course on using JavaScript in a way that does not interfere with accessibility.

script.aculo.us - web 2.0 javascript

script.aculo.us is a widely used JavaScript library, which provides all sorts of nice interface elements for use in Web applications.

Homepage of Ajaxian

A blog and portal dedicated to AJAX.

W3C Web APIs Working Group

A relatively new W3C Working Group that will create standards relating to client-side computation (i.e., in practical terms, JavaScript). It intends to standardize XMLHttpRequest, drag and drop, clipboard operations, the window object, and other interfaces commonly provided by browsers in addition to the DOM, and used in creating interactive interfaces to Web applications.

Ajax Mistakes

A useful summary of the way AJAX can be misused. Perhaps most of the mistakes cited here are no longer common, but it is worth reading in order to avoid being responsible for their return.

XML Events for HTML Authors

A useful description of the new event model for XML-based languages, including XHTML, aimed at people already familiar with HTML events. (Whether XML events will ever be widely supported remains to be seen.)


Mozilla's introduction to AJAX, mostly consisting of links to other resources on the Web.

Object detection

A clear explanation of how to determine how well a browser supports DOM scripting by checking which objects it provides, and why this is more reliable than looking at the browser's identification string.


The first part of a useful two-part introduction to DOM scripting. Although it is an Apple document, the content is not specific to Safari.


The second part of a tutorial on DOM scripting. As with Part I, although it is an Apple document, the content is not specific to Safari.


A clear account of how to use XMLHttpRequest.

The DOM in Mozilla

The reference for the object model implemented by Mozilla-based browsers, including Firefox.

adaptive path » ajax: a new approach to web applications

This is the article which first popularized the term AJAX.