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ng-book - The Complete Book on AngularJS Paperback – December 29, 2013
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
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About the Author
Hey! I'm Ari Lerner, author, a full-stack developer with more than 20 years of experience ranging from hardware to software, and co-founder of Fullstack.io. I have a passion for teaching and can't wait to help you learn Angular. I co-run ng-newsletter, consistently produce content all about AngularJS, recently released Riding Rails with AngularJS, and teach in-person classes at Hack Reactor and online with airpair.
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The book is certainly large, but I think users would be better served by a slimmer volume with more attention to detail.
As a noob with Angular, I really struggled with the examples in this book. Frequently, the author refers to concepts that he hasn't covered yet or presents examples that were more complex than needed to cover the concepts at hand. I found myself bouncing between the book and the angularjs online reference material, just to understand the example code. Other reviewers seem to be more experienced with AngularJS and perhaps that's a better target audience.
On the plus side, there are frequent links to running code on jsbin, which helped a lot. The code did have differences from the kindle text, but the differences I noticed seemed to be minor for the most part.
One really important note -- unlike other tech books, the authors charge for access to the sample code. You can buy a "package" including the book and the code for $79 from a separate site. You can of course type in the code from the book, but that is a bit tedious and leads to typos (at least for me) that interfere with the learning process. I could not find anyway on that site to gain access to the sample code after I had already shelled out $39 for the kindle edition on Amazon. I dropped a star in the rating for not including code access in the rather heavy $39 book price.
I usually don't mind an error here or there once in awhile, but the mistakes got past a point where I thought it was too much and reading it became difficult. It's hard to learn something when you're trying to decipher the strangely formed sentences.
The other thing that bothered me is when the author references ideas that are introduced much later in the book. For example, the author repeatedly references the idea of a 'promise' but doesn't formally address the idea until almost halfway through the book. Similarly, this also applies to other ideas such as 'directives' and 'services.' The use of Angular methods/functions without introduction is quite common.
There is value to be found in the book because it does give you information about Angular if you know nothing about it. There is a lot of explanation on how Angular does some things behind the scenes, but I honestly didn't care for it. I am more interested in what I can do now and what can I build with it. I would rather have those extra details abstracted away.
I do like the mentioning of the different tools that can be used with Angular. I had no idea a thing like FireBase existed or the different things that can be done on the CLI after installing something.
You can start from the beginning and go through it like a tutorial, yet all the code example are independent, AND there are Live examples at jsbin.com to see in action. Therefore, it can also be used as a reference.
Mr. Lerner's writing style is clear and precise. At 8.5 x 11 and over 600 pages, I can't imagine there is anything you would need he hasn't covered. I am fortunate that someone has offered me a job after I learn AngularJS... with this book I'll be getting a paycheck sooner than I expected.
Great job Ari!