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JavaScript: The Good Parts
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Product Description

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: Syntax Objects Functions Inheritance Arrays Regular expressions Methods Style 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 highlyexpressive 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.

Customer Reviews:

  • A must-have for professional-willing JavaScript programmers
    Absolutely necessary for anyone who wants to understand the very core of the language and its advanced features; Tremendously useful for anyone who wants to start thinking about JS from a OOP view, understanding the alternative paths the language has taken rather than classical inheritance and other traditional concepts....more info
  • Not what I expected
    I read the reviews of this book and others about JavaScript before I purchased this one. I'm late getting around to learning JS, but I figured that my knowledge of other programming languages would sustain me while I learned JS from one of the masters.

    I found the book to be terribly frustrating. I got as far as Chapter 5, Inheritance, before I gave up on it. The book was too full of jargon, and even though it was written for experienced programmers just getting started in JS (like me), it seemed to assume a set of prior knowledge that I didn't have.

    The author obviously knows his stuff. The language flows well and is logically organized. The syntax diagrams are clear and easy to follow if you're an experienced programmer. The book is well organized, and well edited. O'Reilly did their usual excellent job with it. It's simply not a good resource for learning JS from scratch.

    I will return to this book after I learn JS from some other source. It may make more sense the second time around....more info
  • Pompous
    If you are looking for real-world examples of how to put JavaScript to work, this is not your book. Some of the information is useful, but to little to justify the price of the book. After this read, I did realize one thing for sure: JavaScript is a pretty lame language and needs to go away....more info
  • Small, but dense
    When it comes to JavaScript, Douglas Crockford is "The Man". When it comes to browsers, JavaScript is "The Language". "JavaScript: The Good Parts" should be read - and comprehended - by every web developer, regardless of their programming proficiency.

    This slim volume contains the essence of the JavaScript language. It is not concerned with the inner workings of JavaScript, nor is it a "Learn JavaScript in a Fortnight" type of book. It is more a meta-JavaScript guide of style, pointing out features and usage not available elsewhere, except perhaps at his website, "Douglas Crockford's Wrrrld Wide Web" (

    Those new to the language may find this book to be like James Joyce's "Ulysses" - that is, incomprehensible. The use of closures, self-reference and passing functions as parameters to other functions takes some time to grasp fully. The end result is worth the time invested: you will be a better programmer for having digested the information provided by Mr. Crockford. Heck, you will be a better programmer even if you don't grok everything put forth in the book.

    As the inventor and promoter of JSON, short for "JavaScript Object Notation", Mr. Crockford deserves much praise. JSON is a data interchange format made up of a JavaScript object. There are implementations of JSON for many other languages (visit the aforementioned web site for details). While not strictly a replacement for XML, JSON is as readable, requires no external parser to implement and can be operated on directly in any browser that supports JavaScript, and the major ones do.

    I must admit, I am an addicted JavaScript programmer. I found Douglas Crockford many years ago, and while he does not know me, he has mentored me and brought forth a deeper understanding of JavaScript that also applies to programming in general. Comments, the use of whitespace, blank lines; these are things not often found in a web application.

    I strive to always be a Good Programmer, and when I find myself slipping into old, bad habits, now I have a book to lift my spirits and show me the way.

    Yes, "JavaScript: The Good Parts" is that good....more info
  • Learning JavaScript
    A must read for any web-developer. Having worked with JavaScript for a number of years in an ad-hoc fashion (AJAX, Firefox extensions, etc), this book has finally brought me the closure and understanding of the quirks and tricks of the language. Do not let the size of the book deceive you as Douglas Crockford manages to pack a lot of hard-earned wisdom into very few pages. In fact, this is not a book for beginners.

    Best of all, "JavaScript: The Good Parts" will make you a better programmer. Just reading the book I've managed to spot at least half a dozen patterns and improvements to my own JavaScript code. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • Good compilation
    This is a good compilation of javascript yes you can probably find all this information on the internet but it is always nice to know where the information is when you need it....more info
  • Using the good parts will increase quality and save a lot of time and grief
    I read JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford and learned a lot from it.
    I feel that he makes very good points on his commentaries on the awful and bad parts of JavaScript and his suggestions to use a "good parts" subset of the language does seem to hold ground and increase quality and development time. At least, that is the case on the project that I'm working on that involves JavaScript. I seem to have fallen to just about all the pitfalls that he points out. Reading his book was a great comfort (I'm not the only one thinking that this or that aspect of the language stinks and for a good reason...) to me and his work-around suggestions do seem to be useful and practical. Along with other two very useful books on JavaScript: Bulletproof Ajax by Jeremy Keith (I have reviewed this book too on Amazon) and AJAX Security by Billy Hoffman and Bryan Sullyvan (see my Amazon review for this book too) I think that any developer that usews JavaScript can get a clear picture on the good sides and bad sides of JavaScript and clear understanding of the "do"s and the "don't"s and the implication of doing things one way or the other.

    There are some mild typos in the book, that I'm sure will be corrected in future editions (e.g., pp.60: "... 'shi' has its key changed from '4' to '3'..." should be "... 'shi' has its key changed from '3' to '3'...", I believe).

    Considering the fact that the author states several times that the book will avoid the bad parts and concentrate on the good parts, it is quite stressed in the book when bad parts are discussed, and some bad parts are repeatedly being mentioned and the implications of using them along with their proposed work around is also re-iterated (e.g., arguments list which is not really an Array object, or the fact that null is being identified as an object, and there are many more examples).

    I liked a lot the "functional" approach, which I enjoy and like to use in many of my Perl scripts and programs, and I also use a lot in my JavaScript scripts and programs. I do find the "functional" way of doing things to be lighter and more straightforward than the classical object oriented approach that many advocate (which I don't really find very useful most of the time). For those that want a non lisp/scheme/haskell introduction to functional programming see a very nice Perl book that introduces functional programming: Higher Order Perl by Mark Jason Dominus (see my Amazon review on the book).

    I really really enjoyed reading the book. I found the advise there very useful and I learnd quite a lot of things about JavaScript....more info