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CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development 1st Edition

9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1934356784
ISBN-10: 1934356786
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Editorial Reviews

From the Author

I had a blast when I started playing with CoffeeScript. Everything I'd been trying to do with JavaScript was suddenly so much simpler, the code so much cleaner. Within a week, I was able to do anything I could do in JavaScript in less time and with fewer bugs.

Apparently I wasn't the only one who found CoffeeScript to be a joy. The Ruby world was so enamored with it that they decided to make CoffeeScript a full-fledged part of Rails 3.1. The Mozilla team is working on adding CoffeeScript support to Firefox. Suddenly everyone's talking about this language touted by its creator as "JavaScript's less ostentatious little brother." As David Heinemeier Hansson put it: "Go, go, coffee!"

With this book, I hope to share the joy I felt when first exploring CoffeeScript, while helping readers to avoid many of the pitfalls--and to better understand the underlying JavaScript runtime. JavaScript may well be the most important language in the world, blessed with the unique privilege of running in all major web browsers (and, thanks to Node.js, in a first-class server environment). CoffeeScript provides all the power of JavaScript, with an elegant syntax.

CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development is now in print. It can also be purchased as a Kindle- and iPad-friendly eBook directly from PragProg, where you'll also find code from the book and a discussion forum.

About the Author

Trevor Burnham is a full-stack web developer with a passion for new technologies. He is the founder of DataBraid, a startup developing scientific computing tools that support remote collaboration. When on Twitter, he goes by @TrevorBurnham and @CoffeeScript. When offline, he's usually in Cambridge, MA.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 138 pages
  • Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf; 1 edition (August 3, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934356786
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934356784
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,905,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Trevor Burnham is a developer at HubSpot in Cambridge, MA. His specialty is building rich JavaScript applications and writing about the latest web technologies.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Tomás Kramár on August 14, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've bought this book with the hope that it will be more than just a simple language reference, that it would familiarize me with CoffeeScript's concepts and ideas; teach me how to write elegant code in CoffeeScript, especially when paired with jQuery. However, for developers with some experience this book fails to be anything beyond a wordy language reference. In fact, the official language reference [1] does equal job in teaching you CoffeeScript, plus it will always be up to date with the current progress in the language, while this book will grow old very fast (already at the time of this writing, the online language reference describes features that are not present in the book).

The book contains several chapters, each describing a small set of related features of the language. At the end of each chapter these features are then used to improve a simple game that is being built throughout the book. The code however is very messy; although it is continually improved as new features are brought up, even the final version of the game is not what I would call a beautiful code. Even the object oriented design of the game is not clean and many decisions make no sense.

Overall, the book seems to be targeted towards beginners in the area of web development. There are parts where author explains basic concepts of HTML and CSS. A large part (about one third) of the book is dedicated to jQuery and Node.js, basic concepts and API of both are explained, but why was this included in the book is a mystery. This was supposed to be a CoffeeScript book, wasn't it? Nevertheless, the coverage of jQuery and Node is very shallow and there are certainly better books to get familiar with both technologies. I was especially disappointed with the jQuery chapter.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ilya Grigorik on October 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
CoffeeScript went from an interesting experiment to the talk of every JS conference, all in the span of two short years. I picked up this book with high expectations, but unfortunately was left somewhat disappointed. The book provides a whirlwind tour of CoffeeScript, but even at that, it does not seem to be well thought out our laid out for the reader: the examples are unnecessarily complicated and verbose, whereas they could have been much shorter (which in itself is somewhat ironic), and the book would have benefitted by spending some extra time on motivating the underlying Javascript patterns. In short, it feels rushed and incomplete.

All of this is not to discourage you from learning about CoffeeScript - it's a great language. To start, I would recommend checking out the CoffeeScript site itself, as it provides a great walkthrough.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Lloyd on November 5, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book is an interesting little book which I found on my local bookshop. It's quite a whirlwind tour of CofeeScript (even though CoffeeScript is a 'smallish' language) and it's enough to whet one's appetite for the language or script.


* The author is obviously very familiar with CoffeeScript
* Style is easy-to-read and light hearted
* Able to read the book within about 3-4 hours
* Running example is useful; contrary to other reviewers I prefer a running example that does something rather than snippets that leave one wondering how it all integrates together


* Sometimes the author seems too familiar with CoffeeScript and JavaScript - you'll need to know JavaScript at least medium well to get the most of the book
* Sometimes the author is a little terse and for someone not familiar with JavaScript's model of events (and other models), one can wonder why a feature (such as the => operator) has been included
* Book could be expanded a little
* It wouldn't hurt to have another example

As this is the first print book made about this language, it is an interesting book to have. Personally I would have expanded the 'How to Install CoffeeScript' to the back of the book or even made it available online as a download (this sounds 'odd' but to get CoffeeScript the reader will most likely have to have access to the 'net anyway). This would enable an expanded and more helpful section that could more easily be kept up-to-date.

That said, it does whet one's appetite and if one wishes to have a real bound book, at the moment this is one's only choice (other than printing and binding one of the online but not professionally bound and published tomes).

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on January 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
I bought this book as a way to understand what CoffeeScript was all about and I think it does a good introductory job, for someone who is not versed in JS or coffeescript. I enjoyed the writing style and some of the exercises which were challenging enough to make me go explore on my own concepts that are not fully developed in the book, but which are a logical continuation to the book material.

Unfortunately the last examples for creating a node.js server with a coffeescript app fail because the code uses an old version of the connect library. The author even created an alternative to the missing method connect.compiler named connect-assets whose code is here [...]. Still the examples were not updated to use this library. I bailed out at this point because I am moving on to study a node specific book, which will cover more in depth this.

Oh, and did I say that I love short books?
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