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December 21, 2009

Javascript: The Good Parts

Finished reading, Javascript: The Good Parts. This was one of the most enjoyable programming books I've read in quite a while, and I think that's because it gave me a new perspective on a language I've been under-appreciating for quite a while.

I've been using Javascript (aka ECMAscript) to manage and manipulate web pages since probably 1996, and I've studied and worked with its application within websites. You can use Javascript for simple things like image rollovers and for much more complex things - for instance, mature Javascript is the basis for modern AJAX applications.

The genius of this book (by Douglas Crockford) is it refrains from viewing Javascript as a mere scripting tool for tweaking websites, and instead treats it as a standalone programming language in its own right. The author then contrasts/compares programming in Javascript to using more classical programming languages. It was really an eye-opener.

The other thing that I really appreciated in the book is the description of DDT's - "don't do this". Crockford identifies the weak and "evil" parts of Javascript that can lead to unintended consequences, and that's something that I also found valuable.

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