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This book provides you with everything you need to know to get started with using CoffeeScript. Once you learn what the book presents you should be able to write code that produces well written JavaScript in a fraction of the time.

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Overall this book does an excellent job of introducing the reader to CoffeeScript and clearly demonstrates both its power and how much shorter code you need to write in order to generate well written JavaScript. The book really should be able to live up to the claim of helping people to develop JavaSAcript faster because once people learn the new CoffeeScript language properly they should be able to create their JavaScript with far less typing, far less chance of errors, and no change of using antiquated obtrusive code.

The flaws that do exist are more in the CoffeeScript language itself than in the book since the CoffeeScript language has apparently copyied a lot of its features from Ruby and if you are unfamiliar with that language then you are effectively learning a new language from scratch when you start to learn CoffeeScript. The book does tell you how to incorporate JavaScript statements inside CoffeeScript and then rightly tells you not to do it. Learning CoffeeScript should provide the benefits that the book suggests even though many people will have a significant amount of learning to do as they work their way through the book.

The book actually assumes a much greater knowledge of JavaScript that it tries to suggest is needed. If you don't understand what sorts of things that JavaScript allows you to do with functions and objects in JavaScript then many of the explanations within the book regarding the JavaScript that the CoffeeScript produces will not make sense. That doesn't mean that someone with less knowledge of JavaScript will be unable to use the CoffeeScript code that is presented, it just means that they lack the knowledge of Javascript to be able to understand how the JavaScript they are generating works. Until such time as it can be arranged so that errors will point back to the line in the original CoffeeScript code that the error relates to, an understanding of all the JavaScript constructs that the coffeeScript can generate will be necessary in order to debug the code.

Reading through this book has convinced me that CoffeeScript is worth a closer look. I don't think I'll try to follow the convoluted instructions on how to set it up on Windows though as installing it on the copy of Linux that I have set up as a virtual machine on my Windows computer sounds like a far easier way to go.

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This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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