Top Tech Book

JavaScript: The Good Parts

By Douglas Crockford

~400 reviews

Most programming languages contain good and bad parts, but JavaScript has more than its share of the bad, having been developed and released in a hurry before it could be refined. This authoritative book scrapes away these bad features to reveal a subset of JavaScript that's more reliable, readable, and maintainable than the language as a whole—a subset you can use to create truly extensible and efficient code.

Considered the JavaScript expert by many people in the development community, author Douglas Crockford identifies the abundance of good ideas that make JavaScript an outstanding object-oriented programming language-ideas such as functions, loose typing, dynamic objects, and an expressive object literal notation. Unfortunately, these good ideas are mixed in with bad and downright awful ideas, like a programming model based on global variables.

When Java applets failed, JavaScript became the language of the Web by default, making its popularity almost completely independent of its qualities as a programming language. In JavaScript: The Good Parts, Crockford finally digs through the steaming pile of good intentions and blunders to give you a detailed look at all the genuinely elegant parts of JavaScript, including:

  1. Syntax
  2. Objects
  3. Functions
  4. Inheritance
  5. Arrays
  6. Regular expressions
  7. Methods
  8. Style
  9. Beautiful features

The real beauty? As you move ahead with the subset of JavaScript that this book presents, you'll also sidestep the need to unlearn all the bad parts. Of course, if you want to find out more about the bad parts and how to use them badly, simply consult any other JavaScript book.

With JavaScript: The Good Parts, you'll discover a beautiful, elegant, lightweight and highly expressive language that lets you create effective code, whether you're managing object libraries or just trying to get Ajax to run fast. If you develop sites or applications for the Web, this book is an absolute must.

Pros

  • Author is opinionated on how certain concepts (could be a good thing)
  • Not a huge book (~176 pages) but content is concise and to the point
  • Excellent reference material for intermediate/advanced developers

Cons

  • Author is opinionated on how certain concepts (could be a bad thing)
  • Not for beginners
  • May require multiple reading to understand certain concepts

Top Tech Book Review

If you are a beginner, this book is not for you. However, this book is perfect for intermediate/advanced developers. The author is opinionated on certain concepts and has a certain style of coding his examples. This can be a good and bad thing depending on your preference. Users have mentioned there are some issues with the Kindle edition, hopefully this has been resolved after the release of this review.

If you are someone who is interested in the intricacies of JavaScript, the writer goes in-depth in explaining how it works in the background.

All in all, this book is not for someone who has no coding experience. For the intermediate/advanced coders, this book may be an invaluable reference for you.