George V. Reilly

Review: JavaScript: The Good Parts

JavaScript: The Good Parts
Title: JavaScript: The Good Parts
Author: Douglas Crockford
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★
Publisher: O’Reilly
Copyright: 2008
Pages: 153
Keywords: pro­gram­ming, javascript
Reading period: 27 May–15 June, 2008

Crockford is one of the world’s leading JavaScript experts. In this slim volume, he explores the features of the core language, both the good parts and the warts.

JavaScript has been redeemed since 2005 with the explosive pro­lif­er­a­tion of Ajax websites. Long regarded as a toy language, suitable for little more than generating popups, we have come to learn that in the hands of experts like John Resig (of jQuery fame), JavaScript can be a powerful, expressive language. Anonymous functions, duck typing, and dynamic objects are all good stuff.

Crockford gives a par­tic­u­lar­ly good ex­pla­na­tion of the confusing topic of pro­to­typ­i­cal in­her­i­tance and how objects and functions are in­ter­twined in the language. He also discusses the parts that should be avoided in the language, which are mostly due to JavaScript’s premature birth, when Netscape rushed it to market. He avoids discussion of the barely stan­dard­ized mess that is the DOM.

I would have liked some longer examples, tying his themes together.

Rec­om­mend­ed.

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