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Image from Mike Murach & Associates
Title: Murach’s JavaScript (2nd Edition)
Author(s): Mary Delamater
Publisher: Mike Murach & Associates
Category: Web design, HTML and JavaScript


Mike Murach & Associates wrote:Today, JavaScript is used on most of the pages of a modern, commercial website. That’s why every web developer should know how to use JavaScript. The problem is that JavaScript is surprisingly difficult to learn, not only for programming novices but also for experienced programmers. But now, Murach’s JavaScript makes it as easy as possible for you to become an accomplished JavaScript programmer.

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From the publisher
  • Table of Contents (PDF)
  • Chapter 2: Getting started with JavaScript (PDF)
  • Book Applications and Exercises (EXE for Windows or ZIP for any system)
  • Corrections (PDF)

  • Where to get it?
  • Amazon.com
  • Mike Murach & Associates

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    The book follows the Murach style - on the left pages there is text, on the right pages there are screen shots, code snippets, and short summaries of the text on the left. For experienced programmers it's tempting to skip the entire left pages and focus on the right pages only.

    The book teaches the essentials so beginning JavaScript developers can start after reading the book: data types, control structures, functions, objects, you name it. However, these topics are repeated in the book. The first few chapters contain basic information on these subjects, only to have those same subjects repeated in later chapters in a more complete way. I felt that they could have omitted the first of these chapters. Almost the entire first section (6 chapters) feels superfluous.

    After reading the book I felt the book included enough subjects. However, after reading Murach's jQuery book afterwards, I noticed I was missing several subjects in this book. You won't find AJAX in this book, or (apart from web storage) any of the functionality introduced in HTML5. If you want to learn about Geolocation or Web Workers, you need the jQuery book. For others like Canvas, Websockets, and Drag&Drop, you're on your own. Now I know that the book already has enough pages, and that Murach wants us to buy both books together, but AJAX, Geolocation and Web Workers are definitely misplaced. They should have removed the final chapter about (an introduction to) jQuery and put at least AJAX in this book.

    All in all I still think it's a pretty good book, with good examples, but it could have been better.

    I give this book 7 out of 10 horseshoes.

    Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for writing this review.
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    I give this book 8 out of 10 horseshoes.

    "Murach's JavaScript" literally assumes you know nothing and gets you to coding some fairly advanced JavaScript. The very beginning is too easy for a lot of people as you've probably heard of HTML and CSS by the time you read this book. It's easy enough to skip over though. (And if you haven't heard of HTML and CSS, go back and read Murach's book on that first!)

    I like that the book introduces practices such as fluent APIs, closures, and even the module pattern. I like that that book teaches using console.log() in addition to the Chrome and IE debuggers. Personally, I learned about some ECMA 5 features including functional programming methods and the global JSON object.

    I would have liked a warning about how to use break/continue well or not misuse it. I was surprised to see the basics of functions introduced in Chapter 10 since they were used in Chapter 9. And the last chapter on jQuery felt incredibly rushed. I know it was meant to be an overview, but I feel like covering less and moving slower would have helped.

    There are lots of small applications in the book so you can see how to use what you learn. Many chapters even have multiple applications. And as with any Murach book, the end of chapter exercises/review questions are excellent.

    Review migrated from old book review post

    Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher for reviewing it on behalf of CodeRanch.
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