Monday, December 13, 2010

Book Review: Head First JavaScript

Yesterday, I finished Head First JavaScript.  This is my second Head First book and it was exactly as expected as far as the learning process was concerned.  I really like Head First's approach to learning.  It makes difficult concepts understandable to everyone.

This book is structured much like other programming language books.  Data storage, decision making, loops and functions are all covered.  Toward the end of the book concepts that are more unique to JavaScript are covered such as forms, DOM, objects, and dynamic data.

When I read Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML I had nothing but praise in my review.  The JavaScript book is a little bit different.  Although I thought it was very informative and worth the read, it had a few glaring weaknesses.

Keeping JavaScript functions in a separate file was briefly touched on and then rarely used throughout the rest of the book.  I am all about practicing good habits and I didn't feel like this technique was reinforced.

The examples were not as workable as the Head First HTML with CSS & XHTML examples.  The were much longer and provided by the book website.  This was fine, but I found that I could probably go the entire book without writing a line of code which was discouraging.  It took some self motivation to try to do some of it myself.

Finally, the book did not cover or even mention some important advanced topics in JavaScript such as Events and Try...Catch.  I realize everything can't be covered in the scope of this book, but at least some mention of them would have been nice.

Overall, this book was worth the read, but the time may have been better spent reading a more comprehensive JavaScript book.  Next time I read a JavaScript book it will probably be JavaScript: The Definitive Guide.

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