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Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja 1st Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 860-1401513506
ISBN-10: 193398869X
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John Resig is the Dean of Open Source and head of JavaScript development at Khan Academy and the author of the book Pro JavaScript Techniques. He's also the creator and lead developer of the jQuery JavaScript library.

Bear Bibeault has been working in the area of web applications since the mid-nineties, getting started with beta versions of JSP and Servlets. He is a senior moderator at the popular JavaRanch site, and has contributed articles to the JavaRanch Journal as well as Dr Dobb's Journal online. He is a co-author of several Manning books including Ajax in Practice, Prototype and Scriptaculous in Action, jQuery in Action, and jQuery in Action, Second Edition. He works and resides in Austin, Texas.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: Manning Publications; 1 edition (January 17, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193398869X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933988696
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,824 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is a must-have for any serious js coder. It's almost guaranteed that you'll learn new tricks from this book. But more importantly your knowledge of the language will dramatically expand.

Bringing in a 'traditional' c/c++ background, js has been a 'pain' for me to deal with. I've been reading a few js books, tons of blogs and tuts, but very few expose the true nature of the language in a simple and pragmatic manner (way too many contrived examples out there, leading to greater confusion.) The kind of knowledge that keeps you from aiming at your foot... This book is it! I've been reading some of the chapters over and over to gain a deeper understanding of js. I then reviewed some of my previous code and realized that... shoot! I was gonna be limping soon.

Packed with information with an easy-read style, this book is already becoming a 'classic' for me. While not for beginners, if you're a programmer and learning js, I'd recommend you go through this book as you go. Most other js books focus on the syntax and usage but not so much on the language intricacies. For one, I tend to learn a language better if I also understand how it works.
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Format: Paperback
I know I'm mixing my ethnic metaphors, but this book will help you get to ninjahood, guruhood, or whatever other hood you desire to attain. I am not an inexperienced coder: I have 30 years of experience in coding, including 17 years of java and probably 5 doing semi-serious JavaScript. Still, this book opened my eyes to so many things about JavaScript. For example: I knew about functions and I knew about closures, but the exact relationship between functions, objects, and closures had always eluded me. Knowing what you are doing when you say "new Function()". So many other things.

Face it: most of us look at JavaScript as a toy language. But that is only because most of the scripts we've seen have been toy scripts. We've never really seen the guts of a serious JavaScript library like jQuery, require.js, or impactJS. Once you do, you start seeing constructs you can hardly fathom coming from a background in conventional programming languages like java. JavaScript is a serious programming language, and one that is deceptively similar in syntax to java, even though it could hardly be further in semantics.

Another issue is JavaScript's style of object orientation. JavaScript is object-oriented - perhaps more so than java - but when most of us think "object orientation" we think classes. JavaScript has not class-based, but rather prototype-based object orientation. Unfortunately, there are libraries that make JavaScript look sort-of class-based, but often don't quite get you there. You can (and I have) transport your class-based lines of thought into your JavaScript programming to ill effect. This book helps by really emphasizing the prototypal nature of JavaScript (which is native to the language) rather than classes (which are not).
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Format: Paperback
Resig's earlier effort "Pro JavaScript Techniques" was a good read for its time but got spread thin by getting engrossed in the details of normalizing the DOM API which is something I already had quirksmode.org for as my go-to and that subject is now increasingly less complicated the closer you get to ditching IE8 support.

This is in my experience, the first book to really properly focus on all of the stuff that comes together to really make JavaScript unique and powerful as a language, which has in the past been an understanding you could really only come to by tinkering with JS and reading/borrowing from generous web contributions from Resig, (maybe) Crockford, and IMO, JS-superstar whose name is not sung enough (not for a lack of trying by Resig among others) Dean Edwards whose background in Scheme helped him help the rest of us understand JS for the true complexity-reducing and normalizing beast that it is.

JS didn't come out on top as the only client-side browser option worth pursuing by accident and the view-point that we're "stuck" with it is one that should hopefully be hastily remedied by reading about and understanding what a marvel JS really is when you stop blaming it for Microsoft's tomfoolery and get over the fact that Eich wrote the original version in ten days. That was 17 years ago. JS has evolved constantly since then and hasn't spread to the server, OS, and become the ultimate pan-mobile solution by accident either.

My general sense of the writing is that Resig as always is good at distilling the seemingly complex into bite sized pieces while Bear makes them go down much more easily.
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Format: Paperback
Let me put it as mildly as possible: I don't like Javascript. I think
it's an ugly language with all the wrong choices, and too few
facilities to do decent development. I find it a pity that we're stuck
with it. Despite being a web developer, I have been concentrating on
the backend, and neglected Javascript until now. I picked this book to
remedy this neglect, and to see how the features of the libraries I
used everyday were implemented. Both expectations got satisfied, the
second one in a manner other than I expected.

Secrets of the Javascript Ninja does an extremely good job of teaching
the fundamentals of Javascript the language. It omits the stuff you
would just google, like how to split a string or get a random number,
instead focusing on the fundamental aspects that are different from
other imperative languages. The role of functions and closures are
explained in three detailed chapters. These chapters discuss the many
intricate details of how functions are created and used, and the many
roles they have to take on since Javascript has functions and not much
else. There are also some very interesting coding examples that could
be useful in other languages too, such as a very simple way to
overload a class method in five lines of code.

After the chapters on functions, the object-oriented facilities of
Javascript are discussed. Thanks to this chapter, I at last understand
the role of prototypes in Javascript.
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