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About the Author
Trevor Burnham is a full-stack web developer with a passion for new technologies. He is the founder of DataBraid, a startup developing scientific computing tools that support remote collaboration. When on Twitter, he goes by @TrevorBurnham and @CoffeeScript. When offline, he's usually in Cambridge, MA.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The book contains several chapters, each describing a small set of related features of the language. At the end of each chapter these features are then used to improve a simple game that is being built throughout the book. The code however is very messy; although it is continually improved as new features are brought up, even the final version of the game is not what I would call a beautiful code. Even the object oriented design of the game is not clean and many decisions make no sense.
Overall, the book seems to be targeted towards beginners in the area of web development. There are parts where author explains basic concepts of HTML and CSS. A large part (about one third) of the book is dedicated to jQuery and Node.js, basic concepts and API of both are explained, but why was this included in the book is a mystery. This was supposed to be a CoffeeScript book, wasn't it? Nevertheless, the coverage of jQuery and Node is very shallow and there are certainly better books to get familiar with both technologies. I was especially disappointed with the jQuery chapter. I was hoping to see some examples of writing nice, object oriented CoffeeScript code encapsulating the jQuery manipulations, but instead, the examples were just a mess of jQuery-ish code.
All of this is not to discourage you from learning about CoffeeScript - it's a great language. To start, I would recommend checking out the CoffeeScript site itself, as it provides a great walkthrough.
* The author is obviously very familiar with CoffeeScript
* Style is easy-to-read and light hearted
* Able to read the book within about 3-4 hours
* Running example is useful; contrary to other reviewers I prefer a running example that does something rather than snippets that leave one wondering how it all integrates together
* Book could be expanded a little
* It wouldn't hurt to have another example
As this is the first print book made about this language, it is an interesting book to have. Personally I would have expanded the 'How to Install CoffeeScript' to the back of the book or even made it available online as a download (this sounds 'odd' but to get CoffeeScript the reader will most likely have to have access to the 'net anyway). This would enable an expanded and more helpful section that could more easily be kept up-to-date.
That said, it does whet one's appetite and if one wishes to have a real bound book, at the moment this is one's only choice (other than printing and binding one of the online but not professionally bound and published tomes).
Unfortunately the last examples for creating a node.js server with a coffeescript app fail because the code uses an old version of the connect library. The author even created an alternative to the missing method connect.compiler named connect-assets whose code is here [...]. Still the examples were not updated to use this library. I bailed out at this point because I am moving on to study a node specific book, which will cover more in depth this.
Oh, and did I say that I love short books?