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Instant Backbone.js Application Development Paperback – July 25, 2013
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About the Author
Thomas Hunter II
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Top customer reviews
I should have trusted my instincts and just put the book down in the very first exercise where he proceeded to describe the standard use of "underscore" and "jquery" as support libraries, and then gave examples using other frameworks, without any explanation that these other frameworks are compatible. I had to constantly dig around to get a perspective on what was going on...sorry, but I can get them by digging around on the Internet. I pay money for books so I don't have to do that crap. This is an example of how my trust in Amazon is waning, the books at the top of the list are often crap.
The book's approach of creating an application has, on the positive side, the fact that the author does not spend time (or lines of code) trying to prettify the looks of the application. This is good because the focus stays on the Backbone.js code itself and one is not distracted by CSS or similar things just to make the page look nicer.
On the other hand, the code is a bit confusing due to the repetitive use of the same word to to refer to different things. Notably, the word "contact" is used for the collection, the model, variables, parameters, and what not. If the intent was to make the reader understand that "contact" has different meanings in the code, well, for me it just made things harder to grasp. Also, the author has a very minimalist approach to show the code. For example, instead of publishing the new modified version of a file in its entirety, the book's text just says something like "add function xyz after the line that deletes the contact". OK, this is nice for a school homework assignment but this method made me spend quite some time debugging things like a missing comma. Did I learn by doing that? Yes, but it was too much frustrating at the same time.
Last but not least, the book spends too little time (or pages, if you will) explaining the use of Backbone.js on the server side (with node.js). This is the last chapter of the book and a very short one.
I felt like all the mental work to understand most of the things were left for myself, and my expectation what that the book would guide me through that process in a smoother way.
Bottom line is, the book is not bad and today I know more about Backbone.js before reading it. But if you are a complete novice (like me) you may feel the book is not enough for you to learn Backbone.js; and if you are a bit more of an intermediary programmer the book may contain too little to be useful for you.
I am still pursuing a good source to learn Backbone.js.
My only complaint is that a chapter on require.js could have been added in. Apart from that I highly recommend it for Backbone beginners.