Archive for May, 2008


Javascript: The Good Parts

Wednesday, May 14th, 2008

Yesterday I received my (complimentary) copy of Douglas Crockford’s new book Javascript: The Good Parts.

I read it cover-to-cover in a couple of hours. I’m sure I will re-read it cover-to-cover multiple times before I manage to absorb the full import of much of it.

This book is not about the browser, it’s not about Ajax, it’s about a language. It is not a cookbook with recipes, it is a book about the art of cooking that explains what the best available ingredients are and how best to apply them. It may prove to be as central to our understanding of Javascript as K&R is to C, or as the Camel book is to Perl.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn how to properly use this most fascinating and important language.


Unsupported sniping from the Jem Report

Friday, May 9th, 2008

In passing during a rant about the trajectory of ethics in the field of technical book publishing, Jem Matzan accuses the book Enterprise Ajax of being simply a vehicle to shill Nitobi, the company founded by the authors. No supporting commentary or links, just a broadside blow, in a rant about ethics no less.

I was the technical reviewer on that book and I couldn’t disagree more. I found it to be a well-presented book full of technical and business value that didn’t push specific vendor solutions or dwell unduly on the authors’ business.

You have to get over 400 pages into the book before it gets into case studies that could be construed as promoting their own services, but even then the technical value far exceeds any horn-blowing.

I’d be glad to hear from Jem how I’m wrong and have him show me all the examples of shameless shilling that he perceives, however he doesn’t make it obvious how to contact him to engage him about his reports, and even if I were to chase up his contact info, the resulting email conversation wouldn’t help to clarify his meaning to those who might take it at face value.

It’s a two-way web here though, so leave your comments. Have you read the book and come to the same conclusion? Am I wearing my tech blinkers and missing all the marketing cues?