Customer Reviews


54 Reviews
5 star:
 (30)
4 star:
 (12)
3 star:
 (9)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Panorama of Possibilities
Javascript is hot.

In the past few years, its popularity has risen quickly, driven by a spreading interest in rich web applications. Lately, the rise of the server side framework Node.js has boosted Javascript's appeal even more.[1] For these reasons, and in the interests of becoming a "full stack"[2] web developer, I investigated multiple resources for...
Published on March 23, 2011 by Anthony

versus
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to modern programming, not modern introduction to programming....
I have mixed feeling about this book. First, the good parts: the author is a very well prepared and talented programmer, and knows how to add a that little "fun factor" to keep the playfulness of programming (and teaching programming..) alive. He approaches javascript from a modern and refreshing functional approach instead of the "classic" object oriented one. And it...
Published 9 months ago by Riccardo Audano


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Panorama of Possibilities, March 23, 2011
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
Javascript is hot.

In the past few years, its popularity has risen quickly, driven by a spreading interest in rich web applications. Lately, the rise of the server side framework Node.js has boosted Javascript's appeal even more.[1] For these reasons, and in the interests of becoming a "full stack"[2] web developer, I investigated multiple resources for learning the language.

I happened upon the Eloquent Javascript[3] website about a year ago. Although it was not quite the quick Javascript tutorial for which I was initially searching, I found that it was something different and in some ways much better.

The book since published is not your typical Javascript book.

Others have a utilitarian approach. An excellent O'Reilly book that I am also using[4] delves into much more detail about the language itself. Language components are presented one by one. An explanation of the syntax is given, then examples are presented. After that, exercises are given to help test the reader's knowledge, then on to the the next topic. This method is pretty standard. It is also effective and thorough (as far as I can tell).

In stark contrast, "Eloquent Javascript" (EJ) does not merely provide you a checklist of things to learn but rather paints a panorama of the possibilities that programming provides. Javascript is merely the tool used to introduce these to the reader. The subtitle, "A Modern Introduction to Programming," clearly states its intentions. This sample, from the introduction, provides a taste:

> In the beginning, at the birth of computing, there were no programming languages. Programs looked something like this:
> 00110001 00000000 00000000
> 00110001 00000001 00000001
> 00110011 00000001 00000010
> etc.

Although EJ does not follow a stepwise evolution of programming from here, it makes sure to lay the foundation for everything taught along the way.

The pace is actually quite fast. From the binary code displayed in the introduction, the book progresses towards very modern, and possibly difficult, concepts. It is something more suited for weeks of study than for several afternoons' reading. In Chapter 1, the reader is introduced to the basics of data types, variables, and program control structures like loops and assignments. By Chapter 5, the reader is being asked to parse text files using map/reduce functions. It's quite a progression, but logical in its execution.

EJ doesn't so much teach you how to _program in Javascript_ as much as it teaches you _how to program_ using Javascript. While doing so, it makes the reader proficient in the use of Javascript itself.

In the latter chapters, the book finally diverts to the topic of programming for the web. The quality of information in those chapters makes it well worth the wait.

I've found that many other resources (meaning books and/or websites) take for granted the basics that comprise web development. I suspect it is because the authors of those works are unfamiliar with the basics themselves. It is far too easy to get an even moderately complex system up and running without a full understanding of how everything works underneath. However, I feel that many details that are taken for granted deserve a more thorough discussion.

In EJ, the author gives programming for the web the same treatment he did programming in the abstract. He lays a foundation covering the fundamentals and then builds upon it, layer by layer. Chapter 9 begins with a definition and example of one simple and very basic HTTP request. From there, he continues on through client side browser manipulation and DOM hacking and then finishes up with a discussion of other types of HTTP requests (e.g. Ajax, etc.) and the HTTP protocol in general.

For me, this is the meat of the book. These three short chapters that contain a concise summary I have been unable to find anywhere else.

Separate from its utility, this book is also a pleasure to read.

The prose is witty and informative without getting in the way. The projects are practical but also fun in their whimsical nature. From Chapter 3 (Data Structure):

> Consider the following situation: Your crazy Aunt Emily, who is rumored
> to have more than 50 cats living with her (you never managed to count
> them), regularly sends you emails to keep you up-to-date on her exploits.
> They usually look like this:

You then spend the rest of the chapter writing programs to decipher Aunt Emily's letters. A later chapter on object-oriented programming has you constructing a virtual terrarium. Both sets of assignments are to the point; both are also fun.

The book is well edited. There are no typos that I have noticed so far, though I seem to find them quite easily in other books I read. The typefaces used are attractive and easy to read. Physically, the book is bound well and is sturdy. The paper is of relatively heavy weight, making it a pleasure to leaf through and useful for note-taking, if the reader is so inclined.

This book is highly functional, just like the material it contains.

Prior to this writing, I had already recommended this author's work to several friends as an excellent introduction to programming. (Full disclosure: This review was written against a free copy of the physical book sent by the publisher. At the time, I had already used and read the online versions, favorably mentioning them online.)

I also highly recommend the book to any programmer looking for a fun and insightful introduction to Javascript and web programming.

[1][...]
[2] By "Full Stack," I mean the ability to program everything from the server side scripting to the client side user interface (and everything in between). As of this writing, Javascript is a necessary portion of this stack.
[3] [...]
[4]"Learning Javascript" by Shelley Powers
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


113 of 118 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Endorsement from JS creator, April 2, 2011
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
A concise and balanced mix of principles and pragmatics. I loved the tutorial-style game-like program development. This book rekindled my earliest joys of programming. Plus, JavaScript!

/be
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm really enjoying this book, February 7, 2011
By 
e40 (Piedmont, CA) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
The writing style of this book is just excellent. The language is fluid and, I can't believe I'm saying this about a programming language book, enjoyable. There is something about the writing that is a pleasure to read--I wish I could write like this! The examples are quirky and interesting, enough to get you interested in actually solving them and understanding the solutions presented in the book. I've had a very limited understanding of JavaScript in my previous copy and paste uses of it. I felt like I really started to understand it after just a few chapters.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Learn Javascript Without This Book!, July 13, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
I'm posting this review because I could not find an answer to "difference between book and html version of Eloquent JavaScript" or "why should I buy the book version of 'Eloquent Javascript'". I started with the html version. I loved it. However, I found that some sections didn't explain what was going on in such a way that I could visualize why things worked. So I checked the table of contents for the book and noticed they were different from the html version. So I bought the book. Yes, it is more thorough AND introduces topics with greater explanation. I bought the book for the Kindle (on my iPad) and it works great to have my iPad in the keyboard dock with the book open, while doing the exercises on [...]. I recommend, to all newbies, that you type in all of the examples, not just click on them and review what is going on. I got through chapter 6 of Head First Javascript and realized that I wasn't getting it. Now I'm getting it.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good intro to core JS, February 3, 2011
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
"Eloquent Javascript" is an awesome introduction to an often misunderstood and abused language. It really tries to live up to its name and tackles issues like functional programming, object orientation, modularity and reusability and more. The author's style is easy-going and to the point and the examples are excellent, e.g. writing a bunch of nice higher-order functions in the chapter on FP or implementing a small Sokoban game.

I'd say this in combination with Crockford's book is a great combination for anyone who really wants to learn and understand JavaScript the language, not just plug together random frameworks.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to modern programming, not modern introduction to programming...., June 25, 2013
By 
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
I have mixed feeling about this book. First, the good parts: the author is a very well prepared and talented programmer, and knows how to add a that little "fun factor" to keep the playfulness of programming (and teaching programming..) alive. He approaches javascript from a modern and refreshing functional approach instead of the "classic" object oriented one. And it tries to teach programming concept with JavaScript without being tied to its "browser enhancement mission", just like you would expect with a general purpose language..in fact the first thing that come to your mind when you want to experiment with its code is to forego the browser altogether and use node instead. For all these reasons this book is a pleasure to read.
Now, the bad parts: this book is a pleasure to read only if you already have some experience with programming and with javascript. Yes, I mean it.. this book is indeed modern, but as "an introduction to programming" .. it' s an epic fail... its style is way too concise and terse, the author jumps from the very basics to elegant and cool functional tricks in no time.. way less time than a real novice would need. Also the code is basically all over the place, and in no condition to be run "as is".. Abundant and easy to download, copy, modify and run code is a must for a good intro to programming..and the code in this book meets none of these criteria..The code examples are interspersed in the online edition of the book (which you can read for free.. yeah! at eloquentjavascript.net).. good luck on trying to execute the non trivial ones..and even more luck if you want to play with them on your own..
And last but not least, the "dom and browser" part of the book is ridiculously skimpy...again.. could be useful to someone already familiar with the subject to consolidate his ideas, but hopelessly inadequate for someone trying to figure out how , when and why to use JavaScript for web programming and design..
In conclusion: try this one if you already know a little about a programming, and want an introduction to modern programming, not a modern introduction to programming...
If instead you are just trying to learn javascript..this one Professional JavaScript for Web Developers is a nicely paced guide, notwithstanding the "professional" title..and don' t miss Head First JavaScript Programming when it comes out..
If you' re looking for an intro to the "HTML5 capabilities" of JavaScript, Head First HTML5 Programming: Building Web Apps with JavaScript is a very good choice... can you tell I love Eric Freeman's books?
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Book About Javascript AND Programming, March 22, 2011
By 
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
As the title of the book indicates, Eloquent Javascript by Marijn Haverbeke is not so much about Javascript as it is about computer programming in the context of Javascript. And furthermore, the Javascript used in the book is completely outside the browser and the DOM (Document Object Model); aside from two short chapters at the end, the book focuses primarily on programming technique, syntax, and algorithms and almost not at all on DOM manipulation or client-server communication. This approach, perhaps suspect to those in the web-development world, ends up creating a very informative, very insightful exploration of the Javascript language and of programming theory.

If not familiar with Javascript, some of the examples can get rather complex. But, if you go through them slowly, I believe you'll get a tremendous amount of value out of this book. Definitely a recommended read.

See my full review: [...]
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Right book for the beginning programmer, April 14, 2011
By 
jzukowski (Boston, MA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
I've been toying with JavaScript on and off since its days of being known as LiveScript (1995). I never did anything serious with the language but, given its importance of late with Web applications, it seems time for me to give the language a more serious look. With that said, this book is not for me. I have a few university degrees in computer science. This book starts where I was over twenty years ago. As the subtitle of the book says, it is "A Modern Introduction to Programming." And, an introduction to programming is not something I need. Does that make the book bad? Absolutely not. I'm just not the target audience. If you're a true beginner to programming, and want to learn programming with JavaScript as the language, Eloquent JavaScript offers that introduction.

Broken into twelve chapters, the Eloquent JavaScript book takes the beginning developer from the very basics of programming all the way to understanding the Document Object Model (DOM). You'll learn what variables are, how to control your program's flow with conditional execution and loops, and how to work with data structures. All the basics are covered in a way that isn't too simplistic, but in a language that someone new to programming can understand. All the chapters aren't that simplistic, but you have to start somewhere in order to build your programs up to something meaningful in the world of web apps. Overall a good book for the beginning programmer. You'll just need something more than the 200 pages here if you want to do anything serious with the language.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ask Felgall - Book Review, November 19, 2011
By 
Stephen Chapman (Sydney, NSW, Australia) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
One advantage to knowing more than one programming language is being able to apply what you know about one language and apply it to another language in order to achieve something that someone who only knows that language is unlikely to think of. In this book the author has done that in their approach to teaching JavaScript in a very different way to that taken by other introductory books on JavaScript. This approach means that this book can teach far more JavaScript in a much shorter space and even cover relatively advanced concepts.

The biggest way in which the book differs from the more conventional approach is that it doesn't start with the assumption that the script will run in a web browser. All the basics that don't depend on a web browser are taught first using a generic print() function that is assumed to output the results. This allows the author to avoid the document.write statement that ought to never be used any more in JavaScript without having to explain how the DOM works in order to do it the right way.

Another way in which this book differs from other JavaScript books is that it doesn't try to teach every single JavaScript command. Instead it teaches the concepts. There is sufficient explanation in each chapter for the reader to learn how to apply that particular concept. To use all the other commands that use that same concept the reader just needs a JavaScript reference to look up the alternatives. By covering just the concepts rather than all the alternatives the book can cover far more concepts and so is able to introduce even the more advanced concepts that many introductory JavaScript books avoid. As the author knows other programming languages the book also explains how JavaScript differs from other languages when the way JavaScript implements a concept differs from the way other languages do it. This makes the book not just useful for beginners with no programming background but also makes it very useful for those learning JavaScript who already know other languages. That the book covers some of the more advanced concepts means that even those who already know some JavaScript can use the book to improve their knowledge of JavaScript.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chapter six alone is worth the price., October 12, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming (Paperback)
I read the HTML version online and decided to buy the book.
It is well written, clear and concise.
Nevertheless, the code examples are complete
and leave nothing for the reader "as an exercise" or to guess.

This is the kind of programming book I like
because it is short (a little over 200 pages),
and while covering the JavaScript language,
it does so without overly complicated examples.

Chapter six alone is worth the price of the print edition.
It has the clearest explanation of object oriented programming concepts
that I have read anywhere.
It has cleared many questions that I had about how to achieve object orientation in JavaScript.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 26 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First
ARRAY(0xa7d95600)

This product

Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming
Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming by Marijn Haverbeke (Paperback - February 3, 2011)
$29.95 $19.98
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.