JavaScript Enlightenment
From Library User to JavaScript Developer
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Final Release Date: December 2012
Pages: 166

If you’re an advanced beginner or intermediate JavaScript developer, JavaScript Enlightenment will solidify your understanding of the language—especially if you use a JavaScript library. In this concise book, JavaScript expert Cody Lindley (jQuery Cookbook) provides an accurate view of the language by examining its objects and supporting nuances.

Libraries and frameworks help you build web applications quickly and efficiently, but when things go wrong or performance becomes an issue, knowing how and why they work is critical. If you’re ready to go under the hood and get your hands dirty with JavaScript internals, this is your book.

  • Get a short and digestible summary of ECMA-262, Edition 3, backed by real code you can run instantly
  • Examine the creation of JavaScript objects
  • Learn complex values, primitive values, scope, and inheritance
  • Understand the importance of the head object
  • Work with string, number, and Boolean objects and values
  • Discover how to use the null value and the built-in math object
  • Get into the details—beyond Mozilla’s reference guide for JavaScript 1.5
Table of Contents
Product Details
About the Author
Colophon
Recommended for You
Customer Reviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
oreillyJavaScript Enlightenment
 
3.9

(based on 14 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (8)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

79%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Helpful examples (11)
  • Easy to understand (10)
  • Concise (8)
  • Accurate (7)
  • Well-written (6)

Cons

  • Not comprehensive enough (4)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (9)
  • Student (9)
  • Novice (5)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (13), Designer (3), Educator (3)

Reviewed by 14 customers

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4.0

Gets to the point

By Adil

from London, UK

About Me Developer, Educator

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Easy to understand
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

    I went through this little book in less than a day and really enjoyed it. It's well written and is of the form, "here's stuff that I found that may be useful to you". After familiarising myself with the contents I can see that it will be a useful reference book. It will be of value if you know some javascript (so not good for a novice, but someone that has some familiarity with the language will find it useful).

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    A deeper understanding

    By Cole

    from Grand Rapids

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate
    • Easy to understand

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate
      • Student

      Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

      This book is well worth the money. It's not perfect, but if you're a JavaScript user who wants to go under the hood and understand the language more deeply, I definitely recommend this book. It's less "here's how to do this" and more "here's how JavaScript does this," which solidifies the reader's grasp of the language.

      The code examples are mostly super short and to the point, which is great for many reasons, including the fact that they don't necessarily have to be run to be understood. It's helpful to experiment, of course, but if you have some solid experience and are able to focus on the code, this is the kind of book you can read away from a computer, which, as a programmer, can be a fun little break (how many coding books can you read in bed?).

      The book is repetitive--that's one of its stated goals. The concepts introduced are dense and they bear repeating. The repetition is really helpful and not boring--it would maybe be boring if the information wasn't so profoundly helpful. I actually felt it wasn't repetitive enough, and reread most passages at least twice, but I'm like that.

      Some of the wording is a little goofy (the author seems to love using the word "grok"), and some of the code is a little less clear than it could be (so, so many "foos" and "bars") and there are some small errors. The goofy wording doesn't affect readability, though; the code is plenty decipherable if you just pay attention; and the errors are pretty easy to figure out, and most seem to be addressed on the errata page. I only docked one star for these little less-than-eloquent fumbles.

      It's a good book, especially for the price. It's like a jam-packed lesson from a slightly obsessive teacher who is clearly in love with his subject.

      (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      A poorly written, flawed book

      By MAQ

      from Cambridge, UK

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Helpful examples

      Cons

      • Difficult to understand
      • Not comprehensive enough
      • Too many errors

      Best Uses

        Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

        In the introduction to the book the author describes the book as a reference written in his own words to jog his memory, unfortunately this is goal probably all the book succeeds in achieving.

        The writing style is awful, it's very repetitive with everything being "leveraged" and facts needing to be "groked". The overall structure of the book is confused with some chapters taking up just 1 page whilst others are over 30.

        I strongly recommend avoiding this and reading "Javascript: The good parts" by Douglas Crockford and "Testable Javascript" by Mark Trostler, both of which provide better intermediate overviews of how to write good javascript.

        (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        1.0

        Fails to meet it's stated target

        By Matt2000

        from Santa Monica, CA

        About Me Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Concise

        Cons

        • Not comprehensive enough
        • Too basic
        • Too many errors

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Novice

        Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

        The subtitle and the introduction to this book indicate that it is intended for those with experience with Javascript Libraries who want to understand their inner workings better. I thought I was this target audience, since I learned Javascript several years ago primarily by learning one particular framework. Since then I've read the exceptional "Javascript: The Good Parts" and other books on Javascript. I had hoped this book would discuss how various Javascript libraries address "the bad parts" and help me to think like a framework designer when writing my own code. In fact I was disappointed, because after the introduction, there is not a single direct reference to any technique used by any particular Javascript Library. This is really just yet another intermediate Javascript book. I suspect it got it's "angle" from someone in Marketing, rather than the author. Otherwise the author failed spectacularly to accomplish the books supposed goal.

        More flaws:

        - Example variables that contain their name as a string (e.g., $name = 'name';) , and lack of clarity between when a string is being logged or the object itself.
        - Every example wrapped in HTML tags. We get it. This isn't really necessary.
        - Tantalizing notes that hint at important distinctions without explanation. E.g., page 69, "The scope chain, if you think about it, is not that different from the prototype chain." Not THAT different, or not different? How are they different?
        - When it does reference it's own material in the text, there are mistakes. E.g., on page 72 Theres a reference to Chapter 1 for a topic that is actually contained in Chapter 2. It'd be better still if these references identified the specific section heading, but you'll have to guess, because the best you'll get is a Chapter reference. However, there ARE direct section references in the Digital Index.
        - Use of technical terms without definition. ("Lexical scope")
        - Highly repetitious use of favorite filler phrases ('if you think about it...', 'to grok this,...' 'What you should takeaway here is...')
        - Links to noisy Stackoverflow discussions and mutable wikipedia articles for further details on complex topics. I feel like the author's approach to research for references was to just use the top Google result for the topic.

        How to know if you might want this book:

        Skip to Appendix A, "Review," and see if you understand each bullet point. If not, consider this book. If so, determine if you feel the need for a reference book of trivial code examples to prove or demonstrate each point from the Review. If so, consider this book. If not, get another book.

        (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Repetitive and long winded

        By Steve Lee

        from Exeter, UK

        About Me Consultant, Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Easy to understand
        • Helpful examples
        • Jsfiddle
        • Thorough

        Cons

        • Repetition

        Best Uses

        • Intermediate
        • Student

        Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

        This is a strange book, at least as far as style goes. It is very repetitive and for me has a much to low 'signal to noise ratio' and a slow pace. The content is good, thorough and well written, but the constant repetition feels like filler. To be fair the author explains this is his approach and it might work for you.

        Having lots of code with live links to JSFiddle is a fantastic idea and allows rapid experimentation with the concepts being made. This allows better understanding or trying out edge cases or unexplained details. I'd like to see more books coding doing this. The examples cover just about every aspect of the point being made.

        For me the final summary chapter along with the code links would almost have been enough. To be fair, I knew most of the topics and soon realised I really wanted a quick, deep refresher on the details.

        There are quite a few minor errors, but nothing that can't be figured out. In a couple of places I found the explanation a little clumsy, but again it can be figured out.

        (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Absolutely essential reading

        By Piers Hollott

        from Victoria, BC

        About Me Developer

        Pros

        • Helpful examples
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate

          Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

          If you work with JavaScript, maybe you love it, maybe you hate it. Cody's book is a constant reminder for me why I love working with JavaScript. It's a unique language, and this is a unique book. As soon as I finished, I went back to the beginning and started again.

          (3 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Was left more confused.

          By Paul

          from Connecticut

          About Me Developer, Educator, Manager

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Quick read

          Cons

          • Difficult to understand
          • Not An Architect's Voice
          • Not comprehensive enough

          Best Uses

          • Dabbler
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

          Certain topics were not explained well. I wish this was written by a person that knows JavaScript very well, with proof of some real-world applications to give them more creditbility.

          (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Certainly enlightened me

          By Eddie

          from Dover, NH

          About Me Developer

          Pros

          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

          • Not comprehensive enough
          • Repetitive

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Student

          Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

          Although some examples are quite repetitious, and contain "ah-ha!s" not yet explained, overall the book does a great job of walking through the concepts of JS that I have seen in frameworks and used myself without fully understanding why it works. Would have liked a deeper dive in some areas (there are some pieces with implicit knowledge, and it would be nice to get a confirmation) Well worth the full the money, especially on discount!

          (9 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          A must read for JS fundamental concepts

          By Justin, a .NET developer

          from Raleigh, NC

          About Me Developer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Advanced-beginner

            Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

            JavaScript Enlightenment is billed as being targeted toward developers who are familiar with JavaScript at an advanced-beginner level or someone who's only exposure to JavaScript is through a wrapper framework like jQuery. Its goal is to provide the reader with the core fundamentals of JavaScript in order to allow you to later advance your JavaScript proficiency. Considering myself to be at that level of understanding, I found this book to be appealing.

            The book starts out by thoroughly exhausting the topic of JavaScript objects. In fact, this topic alone takes up almost half the book, and it becomes apparent that it does so deservingly. The book's unique style of presentation is to introduce a tightly-scoped concept with a brief discussion and then show a related working sample. After exhausting the topic of objects, the next topic it tackles is functions. Again, the author leaves no stone unturned while demonstrating how functions behave in JavaScript. Everything from scope, to nesting, to recursion, to inheritance, and beyond is covered in this short book.

            The book's title could have easily been named, "JavaScript Fundamentals That You Absolutely Need to Know in Order to Become Better at JavaScript". JavaScript Enlightenment provides necessary core details and presents them in a way that feels like it is hammering them in to your brain. I believe it does that because the concepts are broken down in to such minutely detailed segments with accompanying samples, that your mind never gets a chance to 'drift' from the lesson being taught.

            Overall, once you get past the unique presentation style of the book and realize that you truly are learning the fundamental concepts necessary to advance in JavaScript, the book becomes easier to read. Anyone who falls in to the intended audience (advanced-beginner level) should feel comfortable moving on to more advanced JavaScript topics like designs, patterns, and best practices after reading this book. The end of the path for someone seeking enlightenment takes the seeker to a (hopefully) better state of mind and understanding, and that's exactly what I feel JavaScript Enlightenment accomplishes. Disclaimer Note: As a user group leader I requested a complimentary e-book copy from the publisher for this review; my review is true and I stand to make no monetary gain whatsoever from the sales of this book.

            (3 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            I loved this book

            By mundodacana

            from Brazil

            About Me Designer, Developer, Educator, Maker

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about oreilly JavaScript Enlightenment:

              Is an enlightening book, regarding object-oriented programming helped me a lot, clarified concepts such as what an object really is, how it relates to other objects as properties and basic principles, methods and variables, constructor functions are explained in a manner simple and concise, I think is a great book for beginners and intermediate programming who want to clear the concepts of constructor functions.

              Displaying reviews 1-10

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