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Video Training Review: Practical and Effective JavaScript with Joe Marini from

In the world of Web programming JavaScript is essential if you want to create truly powerful Web sites. In Practical and Effective JavaScript, you will learn what you need to take that next step to gain the experience to streamline your workflow and introduce dynamic new functions to your Web-based projects.

Over the years JavaScript has grown from a simple language for adding interactivity to Web pages to a full-featured programming language. If you are building Web applications, you need to have knowledge of this language under your belt more than ever before. This video is over 5.5 hours in length and is divided into eight lessons.

This training begins with an introduction that gives a brief overview of what this course is about and what it will cover. It will also go over the exercise files that are available if you have either the monthly premium or annual premium subscription, as well as covering the tools that you will need for working with JavaScript.

Lesson 1, "Writing Better JavaScript Code," shows that because JavaScript has become a more complex language, the types of scripts that you write have also become more complex as well. This means that you need to have more effective JavaScript writing abilities. In this lesson you will learn to use the built-in language features, improve JavaScript performance, and create more reusable models.

Lesson 2, "Understanding JavaScript Exception Handling," will save you a lot of headaches since, as with any programming language, when you code, something inevitably goes wrong. Exceptions are a way of dealing with errors in your scripts and conditions within a script that would, for whatever reason, interrupt the normal execution of that script. Exceptions can happen when one of two things occur. First, somewhere in the browser a runtime error happens within a script. This in turn causes the browser itself to raise what is called an exception. In this lesson you will learn how to deal with these exceptions.

Lesson 3, "The Modern Event Model," will show you how to handle events in a much more object oriented and less intrusive way into your markup code. Modern browsers have provided a newer way of handling events that allows for making code more readable and reusable and also making it a lot easier to debug your code. In this lesson you begin with simple event handling, learn how to deal with dynamic events, and then move on to more complex event handling.

Lesson 4, "Using Progressive Enhancement in Web Pages," examines how to separate your markup form behavior. This is sometimes called Unobtrusive JavaScript. In this section you will see how your code can essentially detect the presence of a certain capability whether it's DOM, AJAX, or some other capability, and then enable that feature that needs it.

Lesson 5, "Object-Oriented JavaScript," is a very powerful feature of modern versions of JavaScript. It is also something that you really need to learn how to do in order to become more effective as a JavaScript programmer. Here you will learn to understand objects, define common object methods, use inheritance, extend built-in types, and use wrapper objects.

Lesson 6, "Using Regular Expressions," is one of the most powerful text processing features of JavaScript. Essentially, a regular expression is an object that describes a pattern of text characters. Using regular expressions, you can perform all kinds of searching and manipulation operations on text that would otherwise require very complex pieces of script. This lesson describes everything you need to know to work with Regular Expressions within JavaScript.

Lesson 7, "Practical JavaScript Examples," now examines some practical uses of JavaScript. This lesson takes what you have learned thus far and puts it in to real-world use. Here you will look at improving forms, using information that is already in the page, improve tables, sort data, use in-place editing, and more.

Lesson 8, "Tools and Tips for Developing and Debugging," takes you down the road of finding tools that will help you with your programming of JavaScript. This section talks about some of the better tools that are available and passes on some tips to save you time. These tools include the YSlow plug-in, Firefox Developer bar, and working with Firebug.

Joe Marini is the director for Microsoft's Visual Studio Industry Partner program, and has been active in the Web and graphics industries for more than 15 years and so he really knows his stuff. He presents this material in a logical, easy to understand method that will get you up to speed quickly in your understanding of JavaScript.

This training is only available online at Practical and Effective JavaScript and comes in the following packages. For $25/month or $250/year you get all of the videos that are available online (approximately 44,599 videos on 711 topics at this time). Premium is available for $37.50/month or $375/year and gives you the videos as well as the exercise files. Take note that the exercise files are only included with the Premium monthly or annual subscriptions.

You can use Practical and Effective JavaScript as a training program for the individual student, as well as the college or vocational teacher looking to supplement their educational materials. It is of benefit to anyone who needs help understanding the basics of Illustrator. You can also try out some sample lessons for free at

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.