Pragmatic Guide to JavaScript

A collection of very useful code examples for anyone with some prior knowledge of JavaScript. Not really suitable for those wanting to learn JavaScript.

My Rating: yesyesyesyesno





This book is an excellent choice for someone who has some knowledge of JavaScript who wants to take their code to the next level. Although many of the code examples use the Prototype library there are some that include alternative libraries as well. Even where you use a different library or want to develop all the code yourself you can still benefit from this book though because it doesn't only provide the code to carry out a task but also provides a discussion of the issues associated with the task.

Given the author's involvement in the development of Prototype it makes perfect sense for the examples to use that library for most of the examples. Given the greater popularity of one or two of the other libraries the book isn't quite as useful as it might have been had it also provided equivalent examples using those libraries. Had those additional library examples also been provided then the book would be far more useful while not being significantly larger in size.

I also disagree with the author that anyone not using one of the libraries is "Doing it Wrong" since the libraries themselves are all written in JavaScript and not all web pages necessarily need more than a small fraction of the library. In those instances writing your own equivalent code might be far easier than the alternative of extracting the relevant portion of the code from the library and result in a much faster loading page than would be required if the entire library needs to be loaded. I'd be more inclined to say that those who always use the library without considering whether an alternative that doesn't use the library might be both shorter and faster are the people who are "Doing it Wrong" and not those who have effectively developed their own library where they can just include the code that is actually needed by the page.

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