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Programming in CoffeeScript (Developer's Library) [Paperback]

Mark Bates
2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 25.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

24 May 2012 032182010X 978-0321820105 1

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!


 


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Programming in CoffeeScript (Developer's Library) + The Little Book on CoffeeScript
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Addison Wesley; 1 edition (24 May 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 032182010X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0321820105
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 18 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,129,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

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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2.0 out of 5 stars Bitty, incoherent, far too smug 27 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are two classes of computer programming books out there. There are those which set out to describe a tool or language or library to you in such a way that by the end you have a pretty good idea of how to use it, and of where to look to learn more. Their aim is to be comprehensive and factual, and assume that the material's utility will become as it is described. And then there are those which attempt to convince you that you should use this tool not so much because of its inherent properties, but because it is cool, exciting or just, y'know, new. And so they don't bother all that much about explaining what it can do for you, but are big on making it seem as if if only you start programming in, it may be Ruby or Coffeescript, then all those gorgeous women who usually fawn over the lives of David Beckham will go for you instead.

This is definitely one of that latter class. So the author doesn't devote much time to explaining how Coffeescript wins when compared with JavaScript, or even to giving a coherent picture of how one might actually use the language, or what exactly it brings to the table that wasn't there before. Instead he is keen to make it clear that this is cool (he invites us to grab a cool one before proceeding to the next paragraph, at one point) and that he is our friend, and that this is clearly better than JavaScript, because it, y'know, takes slightly fewer key-presses to type it in (at the expense of a syntax so obscure that the code is by and large incomprehensible). Yet in the process, he totally fails to mention that JavaScript's power comes from the fact is inherently a dynamically typed template-based dynamic language, or even that CoffeeScript's claimed object orientation is nothing of the sort.
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Amazon.com: 3.2 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive CoffeeScript + Jasmine + some Node.js, MongoDB, & Backbone.js 5 Sep 2012
By Joe Rama - Published on Amazon.com
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 The Little Book on CoffeeScript (a good CoffeeScript quickstart) at "62 pages", this book spends about 2-3x as many pages on CoffeeScript, and the treatment feels much more thorough. So if you're looking for the best coverage of CoffeeScript, you have found the book (as of September, 2012).

One interesting feature of the book is that the first half includes both CoffeeScript and consequent JavaScript for each example. Mark Bates really drives home how he learned CoffeeScript. Feature by feature, you get plenty of code snippets to read, compare, and study. The book never seemed to go too fast, nor too slow, even though the pace is not blazing.

Mark Bates covers CoffeeScript well --- for the first half of the book. Then he detours onto using CoffeeScript and finally a big three chapter ToDo example. The second half of the book had a few chapters which interested me (testing with Jasmine, and node.js), but the ToDo example did not seem so keen unless one is fascinated by MongoDB (several chapters) and Backbone.js (last chapter).

One mixed signal from the second half is how the author added some third-party code (backbone_sync.js from backbone-rails) to an example, and then punted the explanation, e.g., "I don't really expect you to understand what it is doing, especially because we haven't gotten to talking about [Backbone.js] models yet, but believe me, it'll make our lives a little easier and nicer. So just accept that it is helping us and thank it for being there." As you can read, the tone is a little casual, and while the advice may be practical, the lack of explanation leaves something to be desired. Personally, I found Mark Bates' tone pleasantly conversational, but in any new edition, I'd hope Mark Bates could connect the dots fully for complete satisfaction and enlightenment of his readers.

Overall, this book is a good addition to CoffeeScript coverage. I am very glad I read the first half, and will refer back to it to expand my understanding and usage of CoffeeScript. The second half had some useful tips, including the tip to use the coffeescript compiler as a node runner (to avoid having jump from JavaScript into CoffeeScript) since CoffeeScript compiler is implemented in Node.js. That's an intriguing (if problematic) tip to eliminate JavaScript startup. I also believe the Jasmine testing chapter will be valuable. And the ToDo example seems valuable for those interested in MongoDB and/or Backbone.js.

Bottom line: Mark Bates covers CoffeeScript well in the first 160 pages. The length is not as long as it sounds due to the copious CoffeeScript + JavaScript examples, and the pacing is steady, so it's a surprisingly easy read. While not the final word on CoffeeScript, Mark Bates' book covers CoffeeScript well with plenty of examples and a superb kickstart on "Testing with Jasmine".
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book to discover CoffeeScript...and more 24 July 2012
By Pierre Nouaille-Degorce - Published on Amazon.com
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!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars So poorly written that it is useless. 7 Feb 2014
By David Lurie - Published on Amazon.com
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.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Too much damn javascript source 13 May 2013
By trick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Ok, Ok, i get the point in showing the generated javascript for a given chunk of coffeescript code ------- but by God, ALWAYS showing the generated javascript, no matter how big or ugly it is, is not only an eyesore, it's actually unhelpful, distracting and unnecessary. Every time i flick to a random page i just find a lump of ugly generated javascript glaring back at me. Isn't this meant to be a frikkin book about coffeescript? *some* of the time the generated code can be enlightening, but there's just too much of it and most of the time it's totally unhelpful.

I've tried multiple times to read this book, but have just become annoyed with it. I highly recommended 'the little book of coffeescript' over this frustrating thing any day.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete review of CS infrastructure 25 Nov 2012
By Nikolay - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Covers all aspects of modern web development, recommend for all who wants to dig in it. Can be handy even if you are not going to write Coffee, but only vanilla JS -- library knowledge is universal.
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