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37 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and understandable.
Not only does the author know what he's talking about, he knows how to communicate it. As a long time Java programmer, many of the aspects of JavaScript were mysterious and obtuse, or at least the way they were explained made them seem that way. Scope and Closure are two of those aspects and now they seem simple obvious artifacts of the functional nature of the...
Published 6 months ago by Randal Kamradt

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6 of 35 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This book is pointless
So apparently there is a whole series of these "You Don't Know JS" books. Considering that this one is only 83 pages long, why are they all not part of one book? The answer is that it's better to make money from five flimsy books of 80+ pages than a single small book of 350 pages. The Amazon description states that this book is actually 98 pages long. They...
Published 5 months ago by Stan


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well written and understandable., April 4, 2014
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Not only does the author know what he's talking about, he knows how to communicate it. As a long time Java programmer, many of the aspects of JavaScript were mysterious and obtuse, or at least the way they were explained made them seem that way. Scope and Closure are two of those aspects and now they seem simple obvious artifacts of the functional nature of the JavaScript language. Now all the patterns that the other books demonstrate but don't bother to explain seem much more clear. I can look at the language with new eyes and new understanding. Highly recommended for anyone that needs an under-the-hood understanding of JavaScript and anyone that wants to side-swipe smug job interviewers that want to trip you up with manufactured mis-understandable code.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for sorting the finer parts of JS, May 5, 2014
This review is from: You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures (Paperback)
Let me first start off by saying that I think this book is great! It is written very well and it seems as though Kyle is right beside you talking you through the book. The book is a short read and really attempts to focus on just a few parts of Javascript and explains them from multiple angles using code samples and just plain old explanation. What is great is that Kyle does not just rewrite what he read in another Javascript book/resource/documentation, trust me I read alot of books on programming including javascript and authors do paraphase(copy) other peoples explanations on topics and place it in their book. However Kyle, really put thought into explaining these topics from his own perspective that he thought would give his points the furthest reach.

Now with all the great things I have said about this book I have to give a word of caution. In my opinion I do not think this book is for someone absolutely new to Javascript. This book will more benefit you if you have read another introductory Javascript book(though they are much longer), tried out some Javascript code and scratch your head asking what the heck is going on with this Javascript code.

So in my opinion I would say if you are fresh to Javascript buy this book along with an introductory Javascript book. Make sure you keep this book on hand when you feel yourself with some question about scope and closures because trust me there is no one that has tried Javascript and not have questions regarding scope and closures and this book is top notch in the clarification of those topics.

I look foward to reading the other books in this series when they are released.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An intermediate-level book covering two essential topics that are not always well-understood by developers, July 8, 2014
This review is from: You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures (Paperback)
Note: I have the eBook version.

This book is like a UNIX command: it does one thing, and it does it well. The shortness of this book is one of its redeeming qualities, as it can be read rather quickly. Some people might like having a handy tome, but most of those tomes seem to be optimized for reference rather than straight reading. And if you have a physical book, those kind of tomes are heavy.

The book covers scope and closures, topics that are not always understood by JavaScript developers with working experience or developers coming from other languages. It's good that the book starts at an intermediate level and assumes you have basic JavaScript knowledge, so it does not have to cover syntax, loops, conditionals, objects, etc. If you are a beginner, stay away.

I didn't think the coverage of left-hand side and right-hand side in chapter 1 was relevant for the book, but that seems to be the only "extraneous" part of the book. The author created four appendix chapters to cover "extra" material.

The coverage of closures was particularly fascinating, because as the author pointed out, we've all seen closures, but we didn't know they were there in the code. The book has the BEST explanation of closures I have read yet. I think Kyle's explanation of closures even trumps John Resig's explanation of closures from his book, "Secrets of the Javascript Ninja."

Overall, I found the book easy to read, and it helped better my understand of these two topics of JavaScript.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Explanations Minus Other Useful Good Explanations, August 10, 2014
This review is from: You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures (Paperback)
While this book attempts to demystify javascript scope and closures for javascript developers, it makes the topic mildly less mysterious. After reading this book, I think the explanation of both topics feels unfinished. I may go and re-read this book again. Its like The Good Parts without the immediately good even if controversial ideas in it.

The author rather than try to fit in a full discussion on scope and closures elects to put additional information into an appendix which takes the reader away from very relevant and related questions that would likely further the readers understanding of the subject matter without having to skip all over the place. Usually, I tend to think of an appendix as off topic, related and useful information rather than a way to artificially keep the chapters short.

LHS/RHS scope explanation feels out of place being located in the first few chapters of this book. (Note: On some level I understand the logic of it being here.) Somehow I feel like its a complex theoretical topic being thrown at you right away before you have a solid context. The author probably could be more successful with explaining LHS/RHS scope by starting with day to day scoping problems developers have with their code now. Instead it comes off as too theoretical too fast and if you are not already well versed on compiler theory you can get lost right at the beginning of the book.

The question becomes are we trying to explain scope to developers who do not understand scope or are we trying to sound smart to developers who probably already understand scope.

The other thing I think is lacking with this book's explanation of scope is this and passing scope around and executing functions in a scope outside of their own. Giving a full and in depth explanation if this is immediately useful in solving problems developers have everyday.

Lastly, the information on closures really only lasts for a chapter and then its really just a definition and showing off some common javascript patterns that closures rather than a full explanation of closures.

Ive read other reviews claiming the length is a plus but I feel like I would have liked those 20 pages they shaved off this book back. My review comes off as negative despite my 3.75 star review because I strongly feel like it could have been a 5 star book. There is great explanations in this book minus other great explanations that were left out of this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intermediate level book for experienced or highly motivated JavaScript developers, June 28, 2014
By 
Jim Fathman (Plano, TX United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures (Paperback)
If you come to JavaScript from C, C++, or Java, the language will seem familiar and you will be able to accomplish much intuitively. But there is more to JavaScript that is non-obvious. This book will help you understand scope and closures, two of the concepts that trip up new JavaScript developers. This should not be your first JavaScript book, but when you are ready for something intermediate to expand your understanding of how JavaScript works, this book is a fine selection. I am looking forward to the other announced titles in this series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To the point ..., June 7, 2014
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It might be basic for advance programmers but was really helpful for me who debugs a lot :).
Understanding is the key, why and which piece of code is giving a particular value or error with proper syntax is a trivial question I end up asking many times.Now at least I am not going to google the generic error that I see in console :)

Looking forward to gain more knowledge from other books in the series....

Thanks
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, June 2, 2014
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Well worth it, even just for the deep dive on the Module pattern. Plenty of useful info and great value too
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wealth of Information, April 3, 2014
By 
Rob Simpson (Amissville, VA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures (Paperback)
This book was awesome to read. Not only does it make it clear as day to understand scope and closure, but it does it in an easy to read way where I sat down and read in 3 hours. That is what makes it so great because now I can go back and read again to make sure I did not overlook anything. Great short book to wrap your head around parts of JS that you would think you know, but you might find you don't.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Advanced JS topics broken into bite-sized pieces, October 1, 2014
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This review is from: You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a web developer for a major cosmetics firm, and in this role, I use JavaScript every day (mostly JQuery, but sometimes pure unadulterated JavaScript) and also review the code of others. Even though I've been coding in JS for 15 years, everything I know is self-taught and there are some huge gaps in my understanding of the finer points of the language. I do know JS: Scope & Closures.. but they're more of an acquaitance than an old friend. I'll say hi and be nice to them, but I don't know them deep down. This little book covers some of the tricky parts of JS that I've avoid for years, namely: this, closures vs anonymous vs named functions, with, scope chains, etc. It doesn't go into when or why to use some of these, however, but I guess that's why programming is an art. I don't know if you can train a bone-head developer to be a good one, but you can make a good developer even better by arming him or her with additional tools. Undoubtedly, this book will help me be a better developer and engineer.

Mercifully, this book is thin. It's only 80 pages and cuts right to the point in discretely divided chapters. It doesn't waste paper on background fluff like other computer books. Its yellow and grey cover is probably intentionally designed to look somewhat like the famous Cliff's Notes books.

It could've benefitted from an index. I find this a glaring omission. Also, this book is part of a series, but I think individually, they are somewhat overpriced. If you buy all of them, it comes out to over $100, way more than an individual book on the topic.

I also recommend High Performance JavaScript (Build Faster Web Application Interfaces) and Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja. The latter is co-authored by John Resig, the father of JQuery.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book, Could Use Some Squirrels, Highly Recommended, September 7, 2014
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This review is from: You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures (Paperback)
This is an excellent book overall. I can use it to improve my understanding of JavaScript and thereby also improve own JavaScript code. I think what won me over to the book was reading some of the bits of how Javascript code compilation occurs, starting with tokenizing, and the "conversations" between Engine, Compiler and Scope. I realized I needed to read the book cover to cover. A few months after purchasing the book, I'm getting near the end of it, and thoroughly enjoying it. The book explains scope and closures in great detail, with example code that is repeatable (although if you want to use the 'let' verb within a script that will be executed by the Node.js v0.10.31 engine, you will need to do that in strict mode and use the --harmony flag.)

I will need to re-read this book a few times over for the examples and discussion to really strike home, but I have had several moments already where the author helps me understand why my own application code is having trouble. For example, I'm having variable collisions and I'm not using function expressions and/or immediately invoked function expressions when I really should. This book is teaching me these things and showing me a better way to code. It is helping me to think like Compiler, Scope and Engine when I see my code.

This must be the first technical book I've actually read that makes fleeting reference to Luke Skywalker. Maybe JavaScript really does need someone with a "warrior aiming for excellence" viewpoint in order to convince developers to master it? Resig and Bibeault, after all, recall the ways of the ninja. Well, if I were to compare myself to a warrior, it would have to be as a recruit in the most basic training camp. Even in this setting I can accomplish more with a close study of this book. I might even become a pretty good coder. For others, I'm sure they can rise to the ninja or even the Skywalker planes.

In fact this book is so good that I ordered the other print book and pre-ordered all the titles which will be released in November for this series.

Let us look at the ways this book could be improved:

The author uses parenthetical (writing too much). For example:

"We take an inner function (named timer)..."

could just as easily be written without the parentheses:

"We take an inner function named timer...". I personally find parenthetized text distracts me from the real point the author is trying to make.

There are loads of "crow" icons in the book (meaning general notes), but no "squirrel" (to signify a tip or suggestion) or "lobster" (warning) icons. I'd love to see some squirrels! The reader has to decide when the author must be passing on a coding tip. Or perhaps he doesn't want to mess with that?

There is no book index.

There is no history of how the book was funded over Kickstarter, and I would love to know more about that.

With that said, this book is worth every penny of my money and I expect the entire series will be, too. If you are a beginner at JavaScript, buy this book!
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You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures
You Don't Know JS: Scope & Closures by Kyle Simpson (Paperback - March 24, 2014)
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