Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Review of JavaScript Web Applications by Alex MacCaw

Title: JavaScript Web Applications
Author: Alex MacCaw

Pros: Extensive, Well-written, Several examples
Audience: Advanced and/or Intermediate Developers
I started this book thinking that it would provide a basic overview of the use of JavaScript within web application development. Boy was I wrong! This text is really a manual on creating a full featured JavaScript web based app. Given that the author is the creator of Spine.js, he is qualified to create an extensive JavaScript Manual.
As a Java and .Net developer, this text is more that I require concerning the use of JavaScript. However, I am sure that as time goes on and JavaScript is more embedded in various frameworks via the likes of JQuery, etc. this book will become more practical for me. 
Instead of giving a chapter by chapter review, here is the summary of the overall content of the book (as if such is easy to do for this comprehensive work). This book is not for those just starting JavaScript development. However, if you have experience in another language, this resource will serve you well as you move into further JavaScript programming. 
The initial part of the book deals with the concept of the MVC framework, models, events and event handling, controllers, application state, views, and templating. The examples are mostly in JQuery which is also my framework of choice for JavaScript development. MacCaw also covers Node.js, Socket.IO, and WebSockets. Moreover, he also provides an examples on testing, debugging your apps, as well as a look at the Backbone and Spine.js (which he created) libraries. Finally, the text provides further information on JQuery, CSS extensions, and CSS3 in the appendixes.
When you are ready to take take the deep dive into developing a JavaScript based we application, this is your manual.

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