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Learning JavaScript by Shelley Powers

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Chapter 14. Good News: Juicy Libraries! Amazing Web Services! Fun APIs!

It’s the lime effect.

Much of the new interest in JavaScript seems to run parallel with specific styles and page designs. Page elements have rounded corners; content is page-centered; and, for some reason, the color lime seems to predominate (followed by orange, yellow, and variations of sky or aqua blue). It’s an oddly modern/retro feel.

Regardless of colors and corners, this new interest in JavaScript has generated a wealth of new scripting tools and toys—many of which are far more sophisticated than earlier efforts because the browsers themselves can support more sophisticated effects. And because the Web is an amazingly generous place, chances are if you need some functionality for your site, someone else has already created it or something similar, and put it on the Web for general use.

In this chapter, we’ll look at several of these freely available libraries and frameworks. I’ll explain how to access and install the library, as well as provide an overview and demonstration of some of the capabilities of the library or framework. Additionally, I’ll cover the ramifications of using each library. As these become larger and more complex, there’s an increasing likelihood of conflicts between your code, and even conflicts between using the library and using the built-in JavaScript objects and Document Object Model.

By the end of the chapter, you should have a good idea of what you can find on the Internet, when ...

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