16 Mar

JavaScript: The Good Parts

I just finished reading JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford.  I must say that this is a remarkably short book (or remarkably long depending on your view of JavaScript these days).  I started the book yesterday, finished today.  If you exclude the appendixes, the entire book is about 100 pages.  With the appendixes: 150 pages. 

This isn’t a bad thing.  I’m actually finding more value in shorter books these days than “Official” tombs (700 page epics that cover nothing well).  Plus, if you are trying to get your head around JavaScript, expect to read this book multiple time.  But even 100 pages can be a lot to read in most technical books.  Not as much with this book.  With an appropriate usage of language diagrams you can easily finish this book.

Couple things that should become immediately aware: the author has spent a lot of time with JavaScript, and he not a stranger to many other languages as well.  Mr. Crockford has become the authority on JavaScript these days and is an excellent guide through the language.  But why do you need a guide?

A common quote of Mr Crockford is that JavaScript is one of the few languages that people assume they can use without really learning (I did that).  Also bundle that with the fact that JavaScript seemed to have been created without a spec.  So several language errors are now permanent fixtures in the language.  But because of that, we developers often fall into using the language badly.  Then when things go wrong they are very hard to sort out.

This books guides you through how Mr. Crockford thinks the language should be used, and warns of the pitfalls associated with not following the guide.  In doing so he covers some very beautiful features you probably did not even notice before.  And book does not shy away from the ugly parts of JavaScript — of which there are many.  Quite a few of which I did not know about (quick, what is the difference between == and ===).  But they are all on display in this book, right along side of the beautiful parts — which also exists.

So should you consider buying this book: absolutely.  I have many books on JavaScript at my disposal, this will now sit at the top of the list.

JavaScript: The Good Parts

ISBN: 0596517742
ISBN-13: 9780596517748

2 thoughts on “JavaScript: The Good Parts

  1. I read this book after reading Dave Ward’s post/recommendation and couldn’t agree more with both of your reviews. This is a great book for intermediate to advanced users.

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