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Eloquent JavaScript: A Modern Introduction to Programming 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 70 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593272821
ISBN-10: 1593272820
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Marijn Haverbeke is a programming language enthusiast and polyglot. He's worked his way from trivial BASIC games on the Commodore, through a C++ phase, to the present where he mostly hacks on database systems and web APIs in dynamic languages. He created and maintains several popular open source projects.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: No Starch Press; 1 edition (February 6, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593272820
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593272821
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #323,204 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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
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Format: 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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: 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..
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was required to purchase this book for a JavaScript class. This book is not for absolute beginners or those with minimal programming experience. This book is more tailored to those with programming experience who want to learn JavaScript. If this is you the book is better suited for you.

If you are learning JavaScript primarily or solely for web design purposes skip this book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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