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Programming JavaScript Applications: Robust Web Architecture With Node, HTML5, and Modern JS Libraries

3.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449320945
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449320942
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,376,553 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm on the fence about this one. It's not that this book is bad, just that the title is a little misleading and it's full of the authors own code and libraries.

That being said Eric really knows his stuff and this book is full of great insights that will make you a better developer.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Read this one straight after the rhinoceros one and preferred the previous one. Some good pointers, but too much "and here's a library I wrote myself". Ended up skimming quite a bit. However to some extent has improved my knowledge and I certainly wouldn't want to put anyone off buying it.
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By vpp2 on 17 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is more like blog post or pub conversation. Although I do not say it is not interesting or I did not enjoy it. Be sure that you a are pretty familiar with JS before reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars 14 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Less About Large-Scale Architecture Than Promised 3 Nov. 2014
By frankp93 - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
A good half of the book is less about what I would consider architecture concerns - tier-design, MVC, scaling/performance, redundancy, security, deployment, etc. - and more about relatively advanced features of JavaScript: Functions (polymorphism, functional programming, asynchronous callbacks), Objects, Modules.

Don't get me wrong, this is worthwhile material, presented clearly with realistic code. But the title implies something more and, once that language feature groundwork was established, I felt the book focused too narrowly on individual technologies such as Node.js and designing Restful APIs rather than illustrating large scale design principles as a problem-solving resource.

If you've studied JavaScript in depth you've likely covered a lot of this already. My personal favorite title 'JavaScript for Web Developers' by Nicholas Zackas certainly covers many of the same advanced language features, beginning from the ground up.

If you're moving from a lower-level developer role to a tech lead/architect role it's certainly worth your time to know what's presented here. But don't expect it to be definitive or all-encompassing - there's much more to learn.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars only if you're in the tiny "target audience" 14 July 2015
By C. Kollars - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book extremely frustrating, and cannot recommend it outside its tiny target audience.

This is really two books inside just one cover. One of the books is about the Javascript language, particularly some very advanced techniques, and some "mom and apple pie" about putting together large applications (loose coupling, modules, etc.). The other book is an overview of new technologies useful in constructing large applications. The two book parts largely separate by chapter (although there's no suggestion of it in the Table of Contents). There is just enough blending together of the two parts though to justify publishing both parts inside one cover.

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.

The target audience seems to be only web application system architects who already work full time in the field. Few others will be able to even puzzle through the majority of the content. Just one example of the many topics I found maddeningly over-abbreviated: In the discussion of "modules" a comment about it sometimes making the most sense to "precompile" the client-side Javascript really caught my attention. (It's possible to "pre-compile" Javascript? For another machine? And send it over the network? - In general HOW? What browser/client support is required? Is it possible with an Apache server? ) topic

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 :-)
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars You'll learn a lot and get a lot done by reading this book 15 Oct. 2014
By David F. Kaye - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This a cook's tour--but with more stops along the way--of building applications entirely with JavaScript, with clear examples for both server-side (really Node.js) and client-side environments.

It is not a book for a beginner who is new to the language of JavaScript. But if you're already comfortable using and discussing constructors, prototypes, callbacks, closures, type coercion, and/or have an opinion about "functional" vs. "object-oriented" programming, then you're ready for this book.

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.

The appendix on JavaScript style is also a great resource, for in it Eric condenses so much of the "best practice" tips you've probably seen scattered throughout the JavaScript universe of discourse.

The only caveat is the one common to all programming books. Some software dates faster than others. In the JavaScript world, this is especially the case. It shows up in the different versions of Express, for example, or the battle between emerging build tools (Grunt vs. Gulp vs. ...) and testing libraries (QUnit vs. Mocha vs...). Eric shows how to care for and feed your application using Grunt with JSHint, QUnit and browserify. This works well enough that you should be able to swap out what you don't need for newer/faster/better modules and tools in the future, by which time the second edition should be ready (right, Eric? :).
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Broad survey of expert Javascript trickery 17 Nov. 2014
By Ludix - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book serves as a breezy overview of recent advances in Javascript technology, both client- and server-side. It assumes significant familiarity with the language as well as some of the more popular libraries, like JQuery and NodeJS.

Many of the latest tools, code practices and accompanying jargon are succinctly explained, with short code snippets to demonstrate the basics.

Definitely not for beginners. Also not for anyone looking for a deep dive into a particular tool or technique. But if you need a 10,000 foot view of what hardcore Javascripters are up to lately, worth a look.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tons of state-of-the-art information for Javascript developers 29 Oct. 2014
By Thomas B. Gross - Published on
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This is a terrific book - I have been reading it mostly online, which in this particular case I find to be a big improvement in readability vs. the printed book (not always the case for me). Like many O'Reilly publications nowadays the entire text is available online for free.

Tons of useful information for anyone who is looking for an intermediate guide to Javascript. My particular interest is in learning more about server-side Javascript and specifically the possibility of using node.js in an embedded environment. The book only mentions embedded application development in passing but I can live with that. The introduction to node.js in this book is excellent.

I'm a very experienced programmer (I'm 62-years-old) who has only really noticed the importance of Javascript in the past couple of years. I appreciate this book's "historical" information about Javascript, things like the fact that Microsoft introduced Ajax technology in 2000, because I missed it at the time. In fact, I would like to see more of this kind of background information.

I've only worked with client-side Javascript so far, which is why I am intrigued by node.js (as an alternative to Flask actually, which I like for its simplicity) and the whole idea of RESTful JSON Web Services as described in this book. I'm familiar with unit testing frameworks like JUNIT but had not heard of QUNIT until reading this book, and I'm looking forward to using it. Also lots of good helpful hints about coding styles and conventions, and advice on such confusing Javascript questions such as do I need to use semicolons, or not?
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