Chris Mills by Chris Mills in Blog

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Opera Web Standards Curriculum: JavaScript in Town!


We've sure got a treat for you this week! You'll be pleased to hear that the final batch of the Opera web standards curriculum core articles is now published. This includes the last of the CSS - an impressively deep study of site planning, templates, layouts and headers, columns and footers - and the entirety of the JavaScript articles.

Please dive in, read through the articles, spread the word and send me your feedback so I can improve the course as much as possible.


The new articles

Advanced CSS study

  1. Headers, footers, columns, and templates, by Ben Henick

JavaScript core skills

  1. Programming - the real basics!, by Christian Heilmann
  2. What can you do with JavaScript?, by Christian Heilmann
  3. Your first look at JavaScript, by Christian Heilmann
  4. JavaScript best practices (full article coming soon)
  5. The principles of unobtrusive JavaScript, by PPK
  6. JavaScript functions, by Mike West
  7. Objects in JavaScript, by Mike West
  8. Traversing the DOM, by Mike West
  9. Creating and modifying HTML, by Stuart Langridge
  10. Dynamic style - manipulating CSS with JavaScript, by Greg Schechter
  11. Handling events with JavaScript, by Robert Nyman
  12. JavaScript animation, by Stuart Langridge
  13. Graceful degredation versus progressive enhancement, by Christian Heilmann

How much JavaScript?

Some of you may be thinking that the course appears to be a little light on JavaScript. Well, you are arguably right, but I have taken this approach for a reason. When I was originally specing out this course, I looked carefully at what articles I should publish, and quickly worked out that to cover JavaScript in its entirety would take a huge number of articles, probably more than the number I have already published.

JavaScript is such a huge subject area that I decided to deal with it in small chunks, therefore I decided to include just basic core skills in the core web standards curriculum. The JavaScript articles you will read within do not come close to being a complete treatment of the topic; rather, they are intended to provide enough information to give readers a gentle ride towards getting comfortable enough with JavaScript to work with it in confidence, write simple scripts, debug code, and build a stable base from which to work towards more complicated techniques and specialisations.

So what next? Well, give me an idea of where you'd like the course to go after this! I'm intending to develop follow on JavaScript courses to cover such advanced/specialised topics.

Next steps

At this point, there is still a lot of work to be done; the next steps I envisage for the web standards curriculum (in no particular order) are as follows:

  • Follow-on courses: as mentioned above, I am aiming to create follow-on courses to build on the core knowledge already published, and allow readers to follow on to advanced/specialist learning paths when they are ready. This doesn't just go for JavaScript - there is CSS and markup ground still to be covered.
  • Translations: This has started already, but now I have the core course out the way, I will be continuing this effort in earnest. Get in touch if you want to help with translations!
  • Accessible PDFs: I will be creating accessible PDFs of all the articles, to allow them to be printed out more easily.
  • Adoption in education: Again, I have already started this effort, but I will be trying to push the curriculum at universities and schools as much as possible, to manimise the benefit it can bring. Get in touch with me if you want to help bring the curriculum to your school or university.