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About the Author
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Paperback : 254 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1491950293
- ISBN-13 : 978-1491950296
- Dimensions : 7 x 0.58 x 9.19 inches
- Publisher : O'Reilly Media; 1st edition (July 29, 2014)
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,171,177 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The first part describes quite a few advanced language techniques, including some I've never seen written up in any other book. The downside is the techniques are presented largely without evaluation (at least "comprehensible" evaluation) and without example uses. The second part briefly describes and then evaluates each of several new technologies, ranging from very commonly described ones (node.js, templates, JSON, fat clients, etc.) to ones you may have never heard of before (Siren, HATEOAS, new API Media mime-types, etc.). The downside is the descriptions are so brief it can be difficult to figure out which contexts each technology fits into.
Both book parts are substantial; don't be fooled by the moderate page count. There are no redundancies or segues; there aren't even hardly any comments in the example code snippets. I find most books too wordy and generally applaud a more concise style, but I see here that if carried too far conciseness turns into incomprehensibility. Too often I felt like I was slogging through a math textbook for an advanced class I wasn't even taking, and worse a book in which the copious equations hadn't been proofread very well. Too often I couldn't determine whether my puzzling how to fit together the comments in the text with the example code snippet was because I was insufficiently familiar with some concept, or a victim of another writing error.
There are lots and lots of snippets of example code; I'd say the majority of the pages include at least one code snippet. Despite their volume though I found they added little or nothing because they were so hard to parse for meaning. There are virtually no comments in the snippets. There's never even an alternate font or boldfaced line or lines. As a result I often couldn't even tell which part I should be looking at. Sometimes a snippet is complete and standalone; sometimes it assumes (without comment or pointer) the environment from a previous snippet; and sometimes it references variables and functions that as far as I could see were never defined anywhere. Once in a while each snippet reprised the previous one except with a few more lines; most of the time though each snippet is de-novo. Most of the time the whole snippet is relevant to the immediately surrounding text; but once in a while the snippet also includes an unusual construct illustrating a different concept that was covered several pages (or even chapters) earlier.
For the right people, this book will be great, and its extreme conciseness will be a plus; for everyone else though this book will be at least irrelevant and maybe even an active downer. The message I personally came away with was "you're not good enough, why are you trying?". I wish I could say that if folks who are just a little under-prepared reread enough times and worked hard enough they'd eventually "get it", but I suspect the book is so focussed on its target audience that others can't use it to "catch up" no matter what. Targeting such a tiny audience and making everyone else "feel stupid" seems to me an odd strategy for selling lots of books :-)
First, I don't even know why HTML5 is in the title. It barely touches on anything HTML5-related at all. It does use HTML, but none of the new HTML5 features.
Second, I've already read a beginners Node book, and thank God for that. This book goes thru a couple chapters where examples use Node-specific features and APIs, but it doesn't explain them in a useful way for anyone who doesn't know Node already. Once it does try to explain Node in some detail, it barely scratches the surface - just a high level overview of the very basics. That would be OK if it dove deep into pro-level features, but it doesn't do much of that either. It shows how he would write some things in Node, and it recommends certain Node libraries, etc., but it didn't teach me much about how to actually build my own web app from scratch with Node.
Third, the title mentions "Modern JS Libraries" - but again it barely scratches the surface. Elliott gives a quick high-level overview of Backbone and several other libraries, but it's just an intro. I can't say I learned anything meaningful about writing an app with Backbone, Angular, or the other libs he touches on. I know their names and have the ability to go do more research, but that's about it.
The author is clearly very technically strong and experienced, but he assumes his readers are too. I've been a web developer for 20 years, and I have a broad range of experience - and again, thank God. He talks about a lot of things that assume deep technical and industry experience. If you're a beginner you will be lost. If you're a pro, you'll be frustrated that he starts to get somewhat deep on certain things but then quickly moves on. This is not a technical resource I'll bookmark and keep on the shelf by my desk. It's just not that deep, at all.
To be fair, what this book does to well is discuss, at a high level, many of the general considerations a team would have when building a web app and some of the problems they might face. Again, though, it's a overview, not a meaningful technical road map.
Final word: This really isn't a _bad_ book, it's just not the book I expected. I'm a JS pro and an intermediate server-side guy, and I closed it asking myself, "What did I really learn from this?" I did learn some things - but I didn't learn how to build a JS App with Node, HTML5, or Modern JS Libraries. I'll need to read several more books for that. #sigh
Eric has a handful of strong opinions which I've variously held and abandoned (and grudgingly re-adopted) over time. Most useful to me, then, are examples demonstrating fundamental concepts, and Eric provides plenty of those.
Top reviews from other countries
That being said Eric really knows his stuff and this book is full of great insights that will make you a better developer.
Just get it!