JavaScript: The Good Parts
Unearthing the Excellence in JavaScript
Publisher: O'Reilly Media / Yahoo Press
Final Release Date: May 2008
Pages: 172

Most programming languages contain good and bad parts, but JavaScript has more than its share of the bad, having been developed and released in a hurry before it could be refined. This authoritative book scrapes away these bad features to reveal a subset of JavaScript that's more reliable, readable, and maintainable than the language as a whole—a subset you can use to create truly extensible and efficient code.

Considered the JavaScript expert by many people in the development community, author Douglas Crockford identifies the abundance of good ideas that make JavaScript an outstanding object-oriented programming language-ideas such as functions, loose typing, dynamic objects, and an expressive object literal notation. Unfortunately, these good ideas are mixed in with bad and downright awful ideas, like a programming model based on global variables.

When Java applets failed, JavaScript became the language of the Web by default, making its popularity almost completely independent of its qualities as a programming language. In JavaScript: The Good Parts, Crockford finally digs through the steaming pile of good intentions and blunders to give you a detailed look at all the genuinely elegant parts of JavaScript, including:

  • Syntax
  • Objects
  • Functions
  • Inheritance
  • Arrays
  • Regular expressions
  • Methods
  • Style
  • Beautiful features

The real beauty? As you move ahead with the subset of JavaScript that this book presents, you'll also sidestep the need to unlearn all the bad parts. Of course, if you want to find out more about the bad parts and how to use them badly, simply consult any other JavaScript book.

With JavaScript: The Good Parts, you'll discover a beautiful, elegant, lightweight and highly expressive language that lets you create effective code, whether you're managing object libraries or just trying to get Ajax to run fast. If you develop sites or applications for the Web, this book is an absolute must.

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oreillyJavaScript: The Good Parts
 
4.2

(based on 41 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (22)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Concise (27)
  • Accurate (25)
  • Well-written (22)
  • Helpful examples (19)
  • Easy to understand (17)

Cons

  • Difficult to understand (6)
  • Not comprehensive enough (4)

Best Uses

  • Intermediate (29)
  • Expert (20)
  • Novice (15)
  • Student (10)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Developer (31), Designer (6), Educator (3)

Reviewed by 41 customers

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5.0

Excelent JS Book

By João Nabais

from Lisbon

About Me Developer

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Accurate
  • Concise
  • Helpful examples
  • Well-written

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Expert
    • Intermediate
    • Student

    Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

    The book focus on how to do things "the right way" highlighting the good subset of javascript. The examples are explained in a good and simplistic fashion. Good Job!

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    As expected

    By Chris R.

    from Mississauga, ON, Canada

    About Me Developer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Concise
    • Helpful examples
    • Well-written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Intermediate

      Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

      I have been looking for months through lots of web sites, magazines and books, to be able to wrap my head around the way JavaScript deals with certain OOP aspects. As I went along I got more and more confused rather than enlightened, because of contradictory advice. This book is one of the books I consulted after having seen it referred to positively in some articles. It did not clear up the question about which approach to use, but everything is presented in a way that made it certainly a lot easier than through many other books to condense a lot of the issues to the essentials, without detail overload leading to confusion. All in all one of the better books I consulted over the last few months.

       
      5.0

      Must read

      By Bernard_J

      from Brussels, Belgium

      About Me Developer

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

        Cons

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            Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

            You cannot say you know JS until you have read this book. You need to know the basics of JS first.

             
            5.0

            Very enlightening JS book

            By João Nabais

            from Lisbon

            About Me Developer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Expert
              • Intermediate

              Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

              Excellent coverage of JS in a concisely manner, without waisting too many pages.

              Great Work!

               
              5.0

              Good/Quick Intro and Read

              By SlurpTheo

              from Verona, WI

              About Me Designer, Developer

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

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

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

                If you want an introduction to bare, raw JavaScript, I'd start here.

                 
                5.0

                Not just Good, These are the BEST parts

                By Amjad Tabassum

                from Pakistan

                About Me Developer, Educator, Web Designer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand
                • Helpful examples
                • To the point
                • Well-written

                Cons

                • None Found Yet -

                Best Uses

                • Expert
                • Intermediate
                • Novice
                • Student

                Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

                Have read many other books on JavaScript which are for beginner to expert level but never read anything cool like this.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                The book that made me love javascript

                By Endeios

                from Milan

                About Me Designer, Developer

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

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

                Cons

                • Doesn't Cover Last Versio

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate
                • Novice

                Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

                I think that javascript is an abused language. Is too flexible, really easy to learn but a bit hard to master. It has also much people, like me before reading this book, that thinks they know the language.

                Do you think that javascript is just biblical plague you have to deal with?
                You just shiver at the thought of having to write javascript?

                Trust me and all the ones that red this book before me. You just don't know the "Good Parts". They are beautiful.

                (2 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                2.0

                Hard to extract the useful information

                By Rob

                from Toronto

                About Me Developer

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Novice

                    Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

                    This book goes into rigorous detail on things like the grammer of a for loop but fails to go into enough detail on things like common inheritance patteres in JavaScript becasue it writes off the new operator as a bad part of JavaScript.

                    There are some gems of wisdom in this book but they can be hard to find.

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    A really great book

                    By Ted

                    from North Andover, MA

                    About Me Designer, Developer, Educator

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Expert
                      • Intermediate
                      • Novice
                      • Student

                      Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

                      This book has significantly improved my understanding of the JavaScript language and I am now a better web developer. Best of all, I now am in a better place in making decisions on how to express things in JavaScript.

                      (5 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      2.0

                      Difficult to understand, repetetive

                      By tired_time

                      from Vilnius, Lithuania

                      About Me Developer

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Competent Writter
                      • Valuable Tips

                      Cons

                      • Difficult to understand
                      • Repetetive
                      • Repetitive

                      Best Uses

                      • Novice

                      Comments about oreilly JavaScript: The Good Parts:

                      Author seems competent in programming, but not in pedagogy and expressing his thoughts understandably.

                      Chapter about grammar explains everything in grammar diagrams. This is just not how humans learn. Then there are chapters introducing some programming techniques many of which were new to me. Text and code in these is too concise and lacks something that lets you understand something you didn't know already. Usually I would read a chapter a couple of times, not understand it, google the chapter name, read a random blog about it and understand the concept then come back to the book and still find the chapter difficult to understand. Code examples include more complexity than is needed to explain the new concept, contain js grammar errors and are cluttered with comments that should be in the main text. They also use functions like slice that are only explained much later in the book.

                      There are many functions written in the book that make JavaScript easier to use. But it seems these functions should have been in some library then, not a book. So in the end it often seems like you are reading source code and usage tips of library that does not exist. It also means that code examples regularly use functions that were defined 40 pages ago and that also causes confusion. I did learn some interesting stuff from these examples though, but I think they are somewhat rarely usable.

                      The book gives some useful warnings about the strange stuff in the language. But then it repeats them 3 times. It also gives some tips about stuff not specific to js: curly braces, comments, etc. Those are repeated many times as well. Most programmers probably heard many opinions about such subjects already. The code he writes is not readable enough for me to give his opinion a lot of weight here. There is more unnecessary stuff hardly related to js. E.g. chapter on Regular Expressions.

                      I feel that I was to harsh here, in the end I did learn quite a lot, 2.3/5

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