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on 15 July 2014
This book concentrates heavily on how to do Javascript *right* (or at least *right* in the opinion of the author).

If, like me, you're not an experienced web + Javascript developer, then this rather obscures the teaching of how to do it *at all*; unless you've actually encountered the unexpected-interaction and maintainability issues that the author's framework is intended to solve, there's little motivation to work through the heavy boilerplate code that this book advocates, little understanding of why this is necessary, and no basis to judge whether or not it's totally overdone.

On the plus side, it's very very nice to see the author present Javascript as it is (a prototype-based language with more in common with Lisp than Java, despite the Java-esque syntax), rather than how he thinks it should be -- all too many Javascript books inform us that Javascript is a prototype based language, without classes, then launch into descriptions of how to emulate a class-based paradigm, then blithely refer to 'classes' throughout the rest of the book; an approach which makes as much sense as preparing someone to live in France by teaching them to speak German and giving them a French/German dictionary.
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on 30 June 2014
I really liked this book.

The authors guide the reader through the steps required to build a fully functioning real-time chat application, with all code in JavaScript (apart from HTML and CSS of course). The shell, modules, utilities, data approach works well and is clearly outlined. In fact, I think the book gets the balance of overviews and details just about right - you always know at what stage you are in the process, how the current step fits in and why they have approached it in a certain way. The code examples are well annotated, match with the downloadable sample code and run as expected. The writing is direct, simple and clear, without too many ‘jokes’, unnecessary metaphors or asides in the main text.

MongoDB, Node, Express, socket.io, jQuery and plain JavaScript are all present and correct and there is also discussion of JSON schemas and validation, TaffyDB, global events, fake data, url state and testing with nodeunit. Clearly, with so much to cover, the book can’t go into huge detail for every topic covered. However, the examples are very well chosen and do manage to provide useful insights and pathways for further investigation. One common facet of spa development that is missing is templating. It is mentioned in a sidebar but the authors opt to go with string concatenation instead.

There is a lot of printed code in the book, with some duplication. However, the annotations are mostly valuable and all the code does mean the book can be read away from a computer. There are very few typos and only occasional variable name switches - in fact, as these books go, this one has remarkably few errors.

I think the book is a very good introduction to single page web applications, taking a well thought out, structured approach to its example application that provides a solid overview for beginners to these apps and some profitable insights for more experienced developers.
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on 27 June 2014
I read the first few chapters of this book and it amazed me - because it teaches horrible practices. Just pick up a book on a modern client-side framework (like Angular or Backbone.js) kids, because the mess you'll create with this book will consist of boilerplate code, spaghetti and I-wouldn't-want-to-maintain-this code.
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on 10 February 2015
On the plus side, the second chapter "Reintroducing JavaScript" is fantastic. If you've spent time hacking around with the basics of the language it's a terse, crystal clear way to increase your understanding. I would say it was worth buying the book for alone, but if you click "look inside" near the top of Amazon's product page you can read the whole chapter there.

The rest of the book is more problematic, and shows how quickly web development books can go out of date. Mikowski shows you how you create a SPA *from scratch*, which, realistically, you will probably never need to do. If you're looking for a book that covers Angular, Ember or similar, forget it. They aren't mentioned.

So if your curious about diving into the guts of how SPA's work, you will probably find this intermittently interesting. But in 2015 it's of not much practical use. I'd suggest AngularJS: Up and Running by O'Reilly instead. It's the most up to date Angular book I've seen.
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"Single Page Web Applications" is an interesting book that teaches reader how to build different types of web sites.

As author is saying: "...in the time it takes to read this page, 35 million person minutes will be spent waiting for traditional website pages to load..." and due to that he will introduce reader to development of fast, single page web applications (SPAs) that communicates with the server only for data synchronization, providing different user experience than the traditional one.

He is saying that this book is intended for web developers, architects and managers that know at least a bit of JavaScript, HTML and CSS.
There are no other prerequisites although the author is clearly saying that this isn't a good book for complete beginners in web design profession.

Generally speaking, SPA is an application that is delivered to browser and during its use there is no need for its reloading.
Therefore SPAs can be seen as a client that is loaded from a web server.

In "Single Page Web Applications", the reader will find information about development of engaging, robust, scalable and maintainable SPAs using JavaScript.
For SPAs building author also presented some new techniques like structured JavaScript and responsive design with the main goals to exploit more powerful client platforms and bandwidth (that can be treated as a constant due to its predictability) to the maximum.

Although I just read the book I still didn't have chance and time to try personally but as a new web design approach it sounds completely reasonable and usable.
I will try to update this review after some time will pass and I'll hopefully have more practical experience with the SPAs that I could share.

In the meantime, if you recognize yourself in any of the above mentioned groups, I can fully recommend reading this interesting web design book.
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on 28 April 2014
It's an interesting topic in its own right, explaining a contemporary style of programming using one of today's simplest and most effective new technologies. But also I very much appreciated the authors' rare ability to handle the big ideas at a high level whilst, at the same time, not letting any of the small details escape unexplained and, together with all this, it will be a very enjoyable read for anyone who's ever been deeply immersed in developing software and trying to keep control of its complexity by paying attention to programming (so-called "coding") standards. It would be an ideal read for any apprentice programmer wishing to learn from others with real experience that has been well analysed and represented here.
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on 8 October 2014
very well written book
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