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About the Author
Bear Bibeault has been working in the area of web applications since the mid-nineties, getting started with beta versions of JSP and Servlets. He is a senior moderator at the popular JavaRanch site, and has contributed articles to the JavaRanch Journal as well as Dr Dobb's Journal online. He is a co-author of several Manning books including Ajax in Practice, Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action, jQuery in Action, and jQuery in Action, Second Edition. He works and resides in Austin, Texas.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Bringing in a 'traditional' c/c++ background, js has been a 'pain' for me to deal with. I've been reading a few js books, tons of blogs and tuts, but very few expose the true nature of the language in a simple and pragmatic manner (way too many contrived examples out there, leading to greater confusion.) The kind of knowledge that keeps you from aiming at your foot... This book is it! I've been reading some of the chapters over and over to gain a deeper understanding of js. I then reviewed some of my previous code and realized that... shoot! I was gonna be limping soon.
Packed with information with an easy-read style, this book is already becoming a 'classic' for me. While not for beginners, if you're a programmer and learning js, I'd recommend you go through this book as you go. Most other js books focus on the syntax and usage but not so much on the language intricacies. For one, I tend to learn a language better if I also understand how it works.
I highly recommend this book.
JS didn't come out on top as the only client-side browser option worth pursuing by accident and the view-point that we're "stuck" with it is one that should hopefully be hastily remedied by reading about and understanding what a marvel JS really is when you stop blaming it for Microsoft's tomfoolery and get over the fact that Eich wrote the original version in ten days. That was 17 years ago. JS has evolved constantly since then and hasn't spread to the server, OS, and become the ultimate pan-mobile solution by accident either.
My general sense of the writing is that Resig as always is good at distilling the seemingly complex into bite sized pieces while Bear makes them go down much more easily.
On the "how to use this book" front I'd say keep browsing skimming David Flanagan's "Definitive Guide" to see what all your ingredients are but read this if you're interested in becoming a master chef. If you're intermediate level at JS or heavily experienced in another language to the point where you can compare its mechanics to other languages, this book's probably a good fit.
My only real gripe is (I assume) Resig's with-whiches, from-whiches and in-whiches, which I find semi-painful to read but this is a very minor thing.
Oh and it also took 'em long enough.
This book nails it with an explanation that is actually straightforward and uses a simple code example (i.e. an outer function, an inner function, and some local and global variables; no arrays, no objects, etc.). The code example uses "hand-drawn" numbered callouts to explain important aspects of the code. I actually find these callouts superior to code comments, since the callout can "point" or "group" lines of code with an explanation and not be restricted by the format of a code comment.
it's an ugly language with all the wrong choices, and too few
facilities to do decent development. I find it a pity that we're stuck
with it. Despite being a web developer, I have been concentrating on
remedy this neglect, and to see how the features of the libraries I
used everyday were implemented. Both expectations got satisfied, the
second one in a manner other than I expected.
would just google, like how to split a string or get a random number,
instead focusing on the fundamental aspects that are different from
other imperative languages. The role of functions and closures are
explained in three detailed chapters. These chapters discuss the many
intricate details of how functions are created and used, and the many
else. There are also some very interesting coding examples that could
be useful in other languages too, such as a very simple way to
overload a class method in five lines of code.
After the chapters on functions, the object-oriented facilities of
of the book that starts in the object orientation chapter, though:
languages (and environments, for that matter) have (such as proper
inheritance), the authors dive into implementing these in
which are sometimes really difficult to parse, and sometimes contain,
to put it nicely, surprising snippets of code, such as parsing the
code of a function with regular expressions to see whether it contains
certain references. The following two chapters, one on regular
expressions and the other on timers, contain a lot of very useful
background information, and practical tips and tricks.
The rest of the book, though, is a bit on the difficult-to-read
side. The topics are either not really practical because they concern
deprecated features (the 'with' statement has its own chapter), or
explain in detail how to build a parallel implementation of browser
features. These parallel implementations have one single reason:
IE. Every other section in the second half of Secrets of the
how to build a custom event-handler, CSS selector, or DOM
manipulator. Other browsers also have bugs and errors, but IE appears
to be a prick out of principle, not implementing central APIs, naming
attributes and methods differently, and simply being buggy as
hell. The sections on these parallel implementaions and
bug-circumventions made me happy that I can just drop in jQuery, and
ignore the ugly details.
Despite solid content on the language itself, I think Secrets of the
out the platform were a bit more limited on detail, and the
programming techniques themselves were given more weight.
Nevertheless, this is a great book for getting to grips with the
language that is, unfortunately, the most widely used of all
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