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Professional JavaScript for Web Developers, 3rd Edition

There is a line from Lion King where little Simba comments on his Uncle Scar's weirdness. Scar replies "You have no idea."

The main point of this review is that Javascript is a really weird contraption, and that this book points this out in a way that is very helpful for programmers coming from more traditional compiled programming languages.

I have programmed in C, C++, Java, C# for many years. I have read other books on Javascript which tried to teach by examples. With normal programming languages, this works fine. However, within a few hours with this book I realized that to understand Javascript, you must give up on some basic expectations you may have as a code developer. This was a surprise to me, but crucial to be able to learn Javascript well enough to work on non-trivial projects with existing code.

Javascript is simply bizarre. There are many different ways to implement object-oriented patterns which all use different-looking code, and have subtle differences, making it so easy to get bitten by unintended consequences. From this book I learned that there is no one solid way to implement the basic pattern of your code, you must make a choice.

If you try to read a Javascript book which teaches by examples, you will be in trouble when you actually start to modify someone else's Javascript code which used a different pattern. This book doesn't just show trivial examples, it methodically goes through how it works in enough detail so you can understand how it is working under the hood.

Also, the text has plenty of warnings about buggy implementations and common pitfalls. After you get about 1/4 of the way through it you will be wondering how any Javascript code runs on Internet Explorer at all, since about every other page is another 'this-is-broken-in-IE' warning boxes.

The text is written in a very clear style, never glossing over anything. It isn't at all cute or made to be entertaining, just kind of down to business.

There is no question I will be using this book nearly every time I have to work on Javascript code.

If you are just looking to make a little mouse button handler in a web page, this is probably not the book for you. It does not jump right into little useful examples.

If you are coming from a programming background in traditional compiled languages, and you want to know more about Javascript than little tiny scripts, IMHO this book is absolutely necessary. You will never regret purchasing it.

Source: www.amazon.de
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