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3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 5 April 2011
Eloquent JavaScript: A modern Introduction to Programming.

When you first pick up Eloquent JavaScript you may think that you're going to be in for a tough read. The book has the look of an old fashioned text book - lots of type and snippets of code with a bare minimum of diagrams or tables. Actually nothing could be further from the truth - this is a beautifully written and constructed book. The JavaScript isn't the only eloquent thing about it, the prose flows so well it is an absolute joy to read. In terms of construction, it works from the ground up from variables, values and functions through functional and object oriented programming styles until you hit what is probably the bit everyone is after, browser programming. I must admit that I was half expecting a chapter on one of more of the better known JavaScript libraries like jQuery or Prototype and I still can't decide if their omission is good or bad thing, though I'm leaning towards good as it's better to not try and cover a complex subject rather than cover it badly. However I was slightly left wanting more at the end of the book. I'm actually finding it quite hard to find any real fault with Eloquent JavaScript; maybe the odd table to clarify some of the text would be nice. Personally I find it easier to read a table of operator precedences than a block of text but that really is my preference and blocks of text may be more your thing. Admittedly, if you're a whizz-bang JavaScript programmer then Eloquent JavaScript will probably not teach you an awful lot but if you're like me and have been kicking around computers for a while and always considered JavaScript to be a bit of a toy in the past and satisfied yourself with cut and paste code snippets when you want a nice roll over or the like then you will find the book immensely useful and rewarding. Since the rise of DHTML, AJAX and all the other acronyms that have helped make the internet the colourful and interactive place it is now a reasonable grounding in the language has become more and more useful to web developers, programmers and designers and Eloquent JavaScript is an excellent way of getting that grounding. All in all Eloquent JavaScript is clean, concise, informative, readable, well written and even has the odd amusing example in it; what more could anyone possibly want from a programming book?
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on 12 April 2015
Firstly, I'd like to point out that this book is actually free online here:

Maybe its just me being fairly new to this language and a total n00b but I found it really hard to follow after about page 50/60. I found the first exercises nearly impossible and had to look at the solution. Did anyone complete the exercises first time? I have completed the JS courses on Treehouse and also Code Academy and found that much easier. This book is also kinda boring I'm sorry to say. Maybe if I could follow along better id probably like it more, so thats probably my fault.
Other than that, I think if you already know Javascript this will really improve your knowledge.
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on 11 May 2014
This book really does a great job of covering programming concepts and techniques that every programmer should know and understand but in relation to JavaScript, it's certainly a must read for a JavaScript developer.

I have to admit though there's some stuff in here which I haven't fully understood on my first read (only read it once so far) but I think that's because I learnt so much reading it that there's only so much I can take in. Even if I don't end up understanding those parts on the next read through I understand enough of it already to know there importance and that I'll need to look them up else where, I find not understanding explanations a common problem for me where others don't though so I wouldn't say it's a reflection on the book, I still think it's brilliant.
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on 11 March 2013
This is the book you should read if:
* you already have a basic grounding in JavaScript (the free tutorials at Code Academy are great)
* you want to learn how to become a *programmer* you are going to be working with JavaScript.

There are lots of places to learn how to hack together code to make things happen in the browser, or places where you can learn the basic vocabulary of programming. Here, you will learn the very grammar of the best practices of programming, including how to make your code object-orientated. Even how to start writing your own libraries, or, at least, not to be freaked out at the idea of writing your own libraries.

It is well written and concise. The trade-off here is that it is rich. Very rich. I've re-read it twice and I'm still finding things I need to commit to memory - not a lot of space is spent revising/reinforcing. The author warns you about this in the introduction though!

Only after a thorough grounding in the better aspects of the language does it move on to tell you about techniques you can use in the browser - about 2/3 of the way through. I didn't have a problem with that but I can understand how it might aggravate some readers.
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on 16 September 2013
There are lots of books about Javascript but few that actually teach people to write beautiful code. As the title of the book suggests, this certainly has a good go at this.

A good book for beginners to learn programming, but equally inspirational to more seasoned programmers who would like to rethink some of their bad habits. For the later this is quite an easy read.
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I was first introduced to JavaScript while building one of my websites. Knowing absolutely nothing, I essentially learned through trial by fire. I did a lot of copying and pasting of bits of code that I found on the Internet. Then, when something didn't work properly I would just experiment until I solved the problem. Still, there always seemed to be some sort of unexpected results, mostly because I didn't understand the complexities of the code.

I really could have used a good basic introduction to JavaScript like Eloquent JavaScript. This book starts at the very start- What is JavaScript? Then, gradually teaches code through a wide variety of entertaining "real" life situations: from explanations about strings and values through objects and nodes to html and forms.

My favourite example is sorting through Aunt Emily the cat lover's emails so that you sound interested in her life. Laziness leads to figuring out an easier way. I found these little humorous tidbits took the edge off what could have been pretty mind numbingly bland learning.
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on 11 August 2013
Written in a practical voice with a deep love of programming. Great stuff both for beginners and experienced programmers! Lots of good angles with something new to learn for everyone. Hat off to Marjin :-)
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on 18 January 2013
This is a good book for anyone which is starting to develop. It is also a good introduction to the modern guidelines that are intrinsic to JavaScript, even thought I feel that some concepts of the language are not really easy for anyone that is starting to develop.
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on 14 June 2013
It's been a great introduction to javascript. I highly recommend it. However, there are several errata, hence the four stars.
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on 4 March 2013
5 stars. A must read for those needing to learn JavaScript the right way with an object orientated approach .
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