Wrox Press Ltd.
About the Author
Cliff Wootton lives in the south of England and works on multimedia systems and content management software for large data driven web sites. Currently he is developing interactive TV systems for BBC News Online in London ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news ) and previously worked for other commercial broadcasters on their web sites. Before that he spent several years developing geophysical software and drawing maps with computers for oil companies.
Cliff is married with three daughters and a growing collection of bass guitars.
It's hard to believe I've actually reached the stage of writing the introductory pages to this book. It's been a long process and I don't think I would have reached this point without the help of Tim Briggs at Wrox, who very gently urged me onwards and gave me encouragement when I needed it.
Tim's contribution to this project was vital to its success because he developed the process which converted my DOCBOOK output into something the Wrox editors could turn into a book. Tim also prepared the CD-ROM content from the same XML files; truly amazing!
Thanks also to all the other folks at Wrox who have helped, organised, checked and collated my material to present it in the form you now see it. Grateful thanks to my reviewers, who in a very short time provided me with some useful guidance and support; in particular Jon Stephens and Martin Honnen, who also provided some amazingly clever example code fragments for use as examples.
Most importantly I dedicate this book to my family. To my wife, Julie and my daughters Hannah, Lydia and Ruth who kept me going with cups of coffee, hugs and the occasional giggle when they saw the photograph of me for the front cover.
In this book, we have attempted to snapshot the browsers that exist currently, which need to be supported by web sites, and collate that information together in a form that has broad scope and is deep enough to be useful on a day-to-day basis. As the language is growing all the time, this is likely to be an ongoing task.
The Structure of the Book
To make it easy to navigate through the topics, titles describe the topic content and the topic type and are organized alphabetically. Where a topic might be referred to using several headings, a brief entry in the cross-reference at the end of the book shows the main topic for that subject.
Where we discuss an object all the important properties, methods, events, and any supporting material are broken out into their own topics, and these detailed entries are included on the CD. Where objects inherit properties and methods, they are listed in the object coverage, but to avoid duplication the information about the inherited properties is described as a member of the super-class. This slightly detracts from the lexical referencing but it saves space. In some cases these inherited properties/methods are deemed important enough to merit a cross-referencing entry of their own.
This allows us to indicate availability of features at a very fine level of detail. Within each topic we can also discuss bugs, gotchas, and areas of difficulty in a focused way.
Language syntax is illustrated by way of example code fragments that show how to access an object, method, or property. More extensive examples are given where necessary.
Because of the scoping rules, properties are available without the need for the window object to be specified as a prefix. Thus navigator as a topic is available under the window.navigator topic as well. Once you have found an entry topic, you can then use the cross-referencing listings to locate other related material.
The book content was developed inside a database system, which provided tools to relate topics. The benefit is a rich source of cross-referencing links between topics. The cross-reference in the printed book is complete; that is, it also includes entries found only on the CD. The italicized crossreferences in the printed book can also be found in the printed book.