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JavaScript Web Applications 1st Edition

25 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449303518
ISBN-10: 144930351X
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

jQuery Developers' Guide to Moving State to the Client

About the Author

Alex MacCaw is a Ruby/JavaScript developer & entrepreneur. He has written a JavaScript framework, Spine and developed major applications including Taskforce and Socialmod, as well as a host of open source work. He speaks at Ruby/Rails conferences in NYC, SF and Berlin. In addition to programming he is currently traveling round the world with a Nikon D90 and surfboard.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: O'Reilly Media; 1 edition (September 2, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 144930351X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449303518
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #609,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By S. Shanbhag on September 11, 2011
Format: Paperback
Being a Java Swing developer for many years, I was never a fan of JavaScript. There were no mature tools and frameworks a few years ago. Straight DOM programming was just error-prone and difficult to debug. Over the last few years, JavaScript has come back with a big bang, thanks to a lot of companies, among them, Google. This book is for people, like me, who gave up on JavaScript years ago because of a poor model but need to know new frameworks that help in writing concise, readable code, and also help design scalable and robust architecture, not to mention, using JavaScript with a large team that could be geographically spread out.

Frankly, this book won't teach you the basics of JavaScript. There are plenty of other books for that and the author mentions this up front. However, in my opinionion, the author does a great job of teaching how to use the simplified and concise form of JavaScript, sticking to OO way of doing it. He starts with MVC (and who doesn't love MVC!), events, models, data, controller, state, view, and templating. The examples are mostly in JQuery which is also my framework of choice for JavaScript development.

No real-time discussion of JavaScript is complete without the mention of WebSockets, Node.js, and Socket.IO. The author does a great job of explaining this in chapter 8. He also provides an example of how to make your applications look faster (perceived speed) as compared to actual speed. The later chapters focus on testing and debugging, deploying, and an overview of the Spine, Backbone, and JavaScriptMVC libraries. Appendix at the end of the book provide a JQuery primer and a reference to CSS extensions and CSS3.

I cannot say that after reading this book, I have fallen in love with JavaScript since I am a big fan of Adobe Flex.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I think this can be an incredibly helpful book if you hit it at the right stage in your JavaScript (JS) learning process, even if you don't need to implement full-blown MVC for your immediate needs. I can honestly say that I've learned as much, and probably more, from working through the core of this book (Chapters 1-5) than I have from any other single JS book.

But, you need to be at the right stage... which is basically, when you can follow the book, although it may take a bit of effort. If you're already a ninja, you probably don't need to read the book at all, unless you simply want to be exposed to another POV. And, for a lot of non-ninja, the book will be too advanced. Luckily, O'Reilly put the entire first chapter on-line so you can judge for yourself.

Chapter 1 is no namby pampy intro. In the chapter McCaw defines a constructor function used to create constructor functions that emulate classes in languages which support classes natively. He also includes a useful discussion of how the 'this' context switches in JS and how to control it with bind or by defining a jQ-like proxy method. Later design patterns have some similarity to what he does in chapter 1 (using Object.create instead of constructors), so if you can follow this chapter, you're probably ready to take on the book.

I'd describe the audience for the book as developers who've already built an app, or at least added fairly complex functionality to web pages and are comfortable with prototypal inheritance, closures on inner functions, call/apply and who know basic DOM scripting. Additionally, you may well have a sneaking suspicion that although your apps work, they're not designed as cleanly as they could be.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By C. Jack on October 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Great idea for a book and much of the content is first class. Make sure you've read JavaScript the Good Parts and/or JavaScript Patterns and have learned the basics of JQuery before even attempting to read this book though, otherwise your going to have trouble following along with some of the content.

Unfortunately it does have some falws. In particular I found some of the descriptions of code samples were lacking, additionally many of the code samples seemed un-necessarily terse/confusing. Normally I wouldn't massively care about this sort of thing in code samples, however when coupled with the use of some of JavaScripts odder features they make the code a bit painful to read. Thats not to say you can't understand whats going on, you just have to put in more effort than you might expect and you probably won't find it as enjoyable as you'd like.

These issues are the main reason I've given the book just three stars. I'm hoping the issues will be addressed in any future second edition, at which time this will definitely be a five star book.

One other thing, chapter 11 is on Spine.js. This chapter is now a little out-of-date, for example Spine now uses CoffeeScripts classes, so you may want to use the excellent online documentation for spine.js instead.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By kevin s. templer on November 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is interesting and well written. Also, I really liked the simple examples. But like most things in the tech world, it can get outdated.

While all the examples and everything work if you use his libraries and versions of backbone.js, his version of backbone.js is 0.3.0 while the current version is 1.1.0!

I wasted a lot of time trying to work through the examples but using my own project's needs. For example the "bind" call in Chapter 12 is actually now "listenTo". And the "refresh" event doesn't work, I had to use the "sync" event.

Also the author's "spine" library no longer looks supported.

When you're learning something new, it's always a challenge. This is particularly difficult if you have a library that is outdated, and the text refers to that outdated library.

Unfortunately, I didn't find out in time before I could return the book.

I would look for something that is more modern and uses some latest version of backbone.js.
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