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Closure: The Definitive Guide 1st Edition

16 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449381875
ISBN-10: 1449381871
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Book Description

Tools for adding power to your JavaScript

About the Author

Michael Bolin is a former Google engineer who spent his four years there working on Google Calendar, Google Tasks, and the Closure Compiler. As a frontend developer, he used the Closure Tools suite on a daily basis and made a number of contributions to it. His last project at Google was to open-source the Closure Compiler. He is a blogger, often writing about web development, and graduated with both Computer Science and Mathematics degrees from MIT.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449381871
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449381875
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #326,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Andrew Mattie on October 2, 2010
Format: Paperback
I read Closure: The Definitive Guide as part of O'Reilly's rough cuts program, and I can honestly say that the book is one of the best technical books I've read in quite some time. It's clear that the author sought to leave no stone unturned in writing this book; he succeeded brilliantly. His writing style is concise but not at all confusing, leading to a great book that lends itself just as well to sit-down reading as it does a reference guide.

This book is definitely targeted towards developers, not managers. You should have at least some experience with JavaScript and the DOM before reading this. The author thankfully doesn't rehash the basics of such material before digging into Closure, but he also doesn't make the assumption that you need to have written a book on JavaScript in order to understand how to use everything. After you read the introduction chapter, you can safely skip some parts and come back to them later as you begin to understand Closure's design patterns. I thoroughly read most chapters and just skimmed others, which was great because it let me get familiar with the material without getting bogged down in all the details present in such an immense SDK.

Closure is most likely overkill if you're just building one-off websites, but if you want to build something more, do yourself a favor and buy this book and read it. Don't sell yourself short. Otherwise you'll be doomed to blindly throwing jQuery, MooTools, Prototype, or the like onto your canvas and hoping it'll work just as well for your large app -- it won't. Soon after you begin developing with Closure and reading this book, you'll experience the joy and relief that only a proper JavaScript TOOLKIT can provide.

Overall, this is a really great book that I wouldn't hesitate to recommend to any front-end developer who is tasked with building a web application that they want to be fast, browser-agnostic, and bug free.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jason on July 4, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is a good reference and description of what the closure library is about. I think it fails as a guide to putting it all together into an application though. I was dissapointed that the chapter on user interface components really only partially covered buttons and a combobox in 16 pages while there's a whole 49 page chapter on the editor which I don't really care about. It is a good book though and explains a lot about how the compiler works and how to avoid pitfalls. The plovr tool the author created is awesome and makes using Closure much, much easier, especially on Windows. I would have given this book 5 stars if it either included a longer chapter on ui components or had an example that showed how to bring it all together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ilya Grigorik on November 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great introduction to Closure: explains the core concepts behind the why and the how of Closure without getting bogged down in the API details. Unlike many other technical books of the kind, this one can actually be read from start to finish and every chapter is well worth it. You'll learn the design principles and motivations behind the Closure compiler, the many ways you can lean on the compiler to help you manage your Javascript codebase, and also take a look under the hood to learn how to extend it and customize it for your own project.

Of course, Closure is more than just the compiler, so you'll learn how to use Soy / Closure Templates, as well as many other supporting tools. At this time, the only large omission is Closure Stylesheets - likely released after the publication. If you're curious about Closure, or joining a project, which is using it currently, then this is your shortest path from zero to mastery.
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Format: Paperback
"Closure: The Definitive Guide" by Michael Bolin does a nice job on explaining a battle-tested, very complex tool that helps maintaining very complex JavaScript codebases manageable and understandable. Appendix B itself is worth the book, as it explains many of the JavaScript quirks to newbies and made me learn I was not as good as I thought I was. The world would be a better place if all JavaScript programmers read the appendix.
The rest of the book is what I expected - it teaches the reader how to build an application using Closure to your advantage, making your code more future-proof, browser-proof, more expressive, verifiable and testable. It covers the Closure Library, the Closure Compiler (a tool able to compile your JavaScript code into very compact JavaScript and Java that runs on your server - and, maybe, your mobile too), templates, widgets, AJAX, automated building and debugging. While we learn all that, the author also teaches us about the process of making a Google-sized web application. If you are at all familiar with JavaScript, the idea of doing a huge application is terrifying. After reading the book, while still scary, at least if feels possible to mere mortals.
If you are feeling the pressure of maintaining a big JavaScript project and is considering selling management the idea of migrating it to a JavaScript framework that encourages good practices (JavaScript makes it very easy to shoot yourself in the foot), this may be the book for you.
Closure: The Definitive Guide
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Closure consists of the Closure compiler and a significant JavaScript library that includes containers and UI components, including a browser based editor.

I have used this book only tangentially for the Closure library. The book has been a critical reference for customizing the Closure JavaScript to JavaScript compiler. The Closure Compiler is an extremely powerful platform for processing JavaScript. Using this book I was able to learn how to add passes to the compiler to produce customized JavaScript transformations.

This book goes far beyond what I have found on the Web, so if you're going to work with the Closure compiler, this is an essential reference.
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