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on 21 February 2011
I had this as a pre order since July last year (2010). The book finally got released in November and I received my copy shortly thereafter.

I followed the author's blog and site since 2009 and early 2010. If I recall correctly the original release date was to be Spring 2010, but for one reason or another it got delayed until the end of the year. At the time of writing this review, release of Ext JS v4 is imminent (a developer preview has already been released).

This book covers Ext JS v3, and is excellent in that regard. Very detailed examples, well explained and illustrated. Screenshots and source code all well annotated. This is by far the best book to date published on Ext JS.

However there's a but, and it's a BIG BUT. There is major changes in Ext JS v4 which makes this book obsolete! The whole component model, data model, charting, server interaction and not to mention components (eg Tree & Accordion) have all been totally reworked in the latest version of Ext JS leaving this book out dated. The descriptions in this book WILL NOT work with Ext JS v4.

I expect the author will address these issues in a 2nd edition, and I hope in that case the publisher does not delay release again for the subject platform to once again become outdated.
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on 25 March 2014
ExtJS In Action is a reasonably good introduction to the widgets, classes, utilities and approaches provided by the ExtJS JavaScript application framework. It has a light, enthusiastic tone throughout - I was actually excited to get started after the overview of the first chapter - and the progression, chapter by chapter, is sensible and accessible. Most of the code listings are short and to the point and are good, usable examples of the concepts being discussed in the main text. If your own applications are similar to the examples then they provide a good base from which to work. The book takes you through from basic windows, dialogs, panels and widgets, via layouts, data and drag and drop to the class system and application design, build and deployment. It does a good job of giving you a feel for the framework and points you in the direction of further help.

While the tone is positive and enthusiastic, the actual writing is sometimes a bit clunky and unclear. The choice of words and phrases can be just slightly off what you would expect, forcing you to re-read sentences and sections. The book is like a good translation into English, but one where you can still tell it is a translation. Fortunately, the concise code examples and general context of each chapter help to resolve most issues. Occasionally, the code and commentary don’t match up, code appears that isn’t explained or the text says how important a particular property is but the property doesn’t appear in the code. There are also a few mistakes in the code, with some objects from previous versions still appearing when not usable in version 4.

The code is available on GitHub and there is also a companion website. Both are useful. However, the online code doesn’t always match the book and the website is a mix of book editions with links in new sections often dropping you into pages for the previous edition.

Overall, I would recommend the book as an introduction to ExtJS. Personally, I would have liked some more in-depth examples and a longer section on putting it all together with MVC. I’ll have to find further reading to fully understand how all the pieces fit together. If you’re a seasoned framework user with a solid grasp of JavaScript applications then you can add an extra star as the mistakes won’t phase you. If you’re more of a beginner you’ll need to take longer to decode some of the murkier paragraphs and make the code work consistently for you.
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on 29 July 2011
One other reviewer wrote: "There is major changes in Ext JS v4 which makes this book obsolete!". So he bought wrong book and just because of that downrated it.

It so happens that I have worked with Ext JS v3 for months now and found this book not obsolete but invaluable. When I bought it my knowledge about JavaScript was minimal (this is, however, something this book will not teach you) and I knew nothing at all about ExtJS (this is what the book is about and excels at explaining to you).

I have read the whole book by now and it paid for itself many times over. I was learning from scratch starting with simple widgets and following clear examples and explanations of these examples. Every line of code (available online for download) that represents something new was explained. I really liked a clear explanation of event flow within the DOM in a chapter that was more about how stuff works under the hood rather than just how to build things. As I was covering chapters within the book I was able to create more complex structures. Finally the book gave explanation of concepts like drag'n'drop, plugins, or how to make your code reusable. Many of the features I haven't put into use yet but when the time comes I will know where to find them.

As for extras, you get electronic versions of this book in pdf, epub and mobi formats. There is also a forum where you can meet the author and discuss problems you may encounter. Actually it is quite full of knowledge so the answers to most of your questions are probably already there, it was like that in my case anyway. One necessary extras is the errata, get it (it is on the forum) before you read the book, will save you time and hair.

This is one of the best books I have read (and read in full, a rarity) and I'm looking forward to buying ExtJS v4 edition of it. I hope there will be one...
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