Review: Learning JavaScript

Learning JavaScript
Learning JavaScript by Shelley Powers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Okay, this book is terribly, terrible thorough. But it goes over-the top on the thorough. There’s only so much you can say on script-based form validation, but the author manages to say all of it about eight times. Likewise for the event model, where for some reason they opt to describe the old model at length, and then inform us that it’s now irrelevant, and describe the new model.

What I am looking for in a JavaScript book is:

  1. A quick run-down on the structure of the language, with particular reference to the curious features of JavaScript, i.e. that it is a template-based language rather than a class-based language, so one can add extra attributes to objects pretty much at will
  2. A description of how the language interfaces to the browser, so the DOM model, events, etc
  3. A description of client-server interactions within JavaScript, so basic AJAX
  4. A run-down of all the gotchas, ranging from peculiarities of individual browsers (e.g. the way that Internet Explorer has its very own event model) to the infuriating peculiarities of the language (such as the way that the overloading of + as addition and string concatenation, coupled with the complete absence of any type model, means that any attempt at arithmetic is fraught with excitement)
  5. All About Debugging

From this book I got (1) and bits of (2) and a tiny bit of (4). I might have got more, but I found the book so deathly dull that I gave up and switched to  JavaScript The Definitive Guide by David Flanagan instead.

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One response to “Review: Learning JavaScript

  1. Pingback: [Book] Object – Oriented JavaScript « Open …

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