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Programming in CoffeeScript (Developer's Library) 1st Edition

3.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0321820105
ISBN-10: 032182010X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover


Use CoffeeScript to Write Better JavaScript Code Than Ever Before!


If you can do it in JavaScript, you can do it better in CoffeeScript. And, since CoffeeScript “compiles down” to JavaScript, your code will fit neatly into virtually any web environment. In Programming in CoffeeScript, Mark Bates shows web developers why CoffeeScript is so useful and how it avoids the problems that often make JavaScript code buggy and unmanageable. He guides you through every feature and technique you need to write quality CoffeeScript code and shows how to take advantage of CoffeeScript’s increasingly robust toolset.


Bates begins with the absolute basics of running and compiling CoffeeScript and then introduces syntax, control structures, functions, collections, and classes. Through same page code comparisons, you’ll discover exactly how CoffeeScript improves on JavaScript. Next, you’ll put it to work in building applications that are powerful, flexible, maintainable, concise, reliable, and secure. Bates shares valuable tips for better development, illuminating CoffeeScript’s hidden gems and warning you about its remaining “rough edges.” The book concludes with a start-to-finish application case study showing how to code back-ends and front-ends and integrate powerful frameworks and libraries. Coverage includes

  • Understanding the right ways to compile and execute CoffeeScript
  • Using CoffeeScript’s clean syntax to focus on your code, not JavaScript’s distractions
  • Working with CoffeeScript’s control structures, functions, and arguments
  • Taking full advantage of CoffeeScript’s implementation of collections and iterators
  • Leveraging CoffeeScript’s full class support to create complex data models
  • Automating common application development tasks with Cake and Cakefiles
  • Configuring Jasmine with CoffeeScript support, and using it to systematically test your code
  • Writing Node.js server-side applications in CoffeeScript
  • Using CoffeeScript to write jQuery and Backbone.js applications
  • Integrating framework code to avoid “reinventing the wheel”

Want a better way to create the JavaScript code your web applications need? CoffeeScript is the solution–and this book will help you master it!

About the Author

Mark Bates is the founder and chief architect of the Boston-based consulting company Meta42 Labs. Mark spends his days focusing on new application development and consulting for his clients. At night he writes books, raises kids, and occasionally he forms a band and “tries to make it.”


Mark has been writing web applications, in one form or another, since 1996. His career started as a UI developer writing HTML and JavaScript applications before moving toward the middle(ware) with Java and Ruby. Nowadays, Mark spends his days cheating on Ruby with his new mistress, CoffeeScript.


Always wanting to share his wisdom, or more correctly just wanting to hear the sound of his own voice, Mark has spoken at several high-profile conferences, including RubyConf, RailsConf, and jQueryConf. Mark has also taught classes on Ruby and Ruby on Rails. In 2009 Mark’s first (surprisingly not his last!) book, Distributed Programming with Ruby, was published by Addison-Wesley.


Mark lives just outside of Boston with his wife, Rachel, and their two sons, Dylan and Leo. Mark can be found on the web at: http://www.markbates.com, http://twitter.com/markbates, and http://github.com/markbates.


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Product Details

  • Series: Developer's Library
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (June 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032182010X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321820105
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.7 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,257,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Programming in CoffeeScript" is solid and sets a new standard for CoffeeScript coverage, and that's why I give it 4 stars. It also has pleasant pacing, and practical insights.

( NEW 2012-11-13
However, I give Chapter 8, "Testing with Jasmine", a full 5 stars for solving the TDD problem in CoffeeScript. The one hiccup was that the matchers in the book were already outdated (!) since they'd been renamed. Once you know the discrepancy, the "fix" is trivial --- like a bunch of predictable typos, and coincidentally Bates provides the URL to Jasmine Matchers in note #11 at the end of chapter 8. For me, this chapter was worth the price of the book. Without hemming and hawing, Bates just points you in the right direction with a complete, convenient, and powerful TDD solution for CoffeeScript (& JS) --- including a headless test rig that works on the command line, optional colors for visibility, a TextMate bundle for convenient testing within editor (look Ma: No shell!), and enough pointers to suss out other details as needed (e.g., note #11 for Matchers reference). The calculator code example is quick, simple, and solid training --- and I now feel like I have the TDD toolchain licked for CoffeeScript thanks to Bates. In a 2nd edition, perhaps Bates could even add something on async testing with Jasmine. Nevertheless, the "Testing with Jasmine" chapter makes "Programming in CoffeeScript' my favorite CoffeeScript book by far.

The first half of the book (about 160 pages) describes CoffeeScript in detail and provided the lion's share of the value I get from this book (along with Chapter 8). Compared to
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Format: Paperback
I only knew a few things about CoffeeScript before reading this book. Now I feel more confident using this language even if I will need to use it in my projects to better understand it.

The book has two parts:
I) A detailed view of CoffeeScript commands and how CoffeeScript code is translated into JavaScript. This part I use as a reference.
II) Create a small online to-do list from scratch. This part could have been another interesting book. I am a beginner in CoffeeScript and I learned a lot of things by seing how to use CoffeeScript with other technologies.

You will learn a lot about CoffeeScript but that's not all there is in this book. You will also get a rapid tour of Node.js and Backbone.js.

I would have loved to have this great book in my hands when I started with CoffeeScript. I guess you will probably love CoffeeScript when you have finished this book.

Now it's time to use all this knowledge to build better online services or applications!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The quality of writing in this text is so poor that I literally cannot use it to learn CoffeeScript. To be specific, it reads like a four page essay written by a freshman who only had one page written and so filled the text with fluff to meet the four page requirement. I estimate that one out of five paragraphs could be deleted entirely without losing any information. The remaining four paragraphs could then be condensed to one sentence each. It's excruciating. Then there are the code listings, many of which are also superfluous, that break up the text making it even more difficult to read. Unless you are a 14 year old who just finished the javascript hello world tutorial, avoid this book.

I will be returning my copy as soon as possible.
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