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CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development ***--

CoffeeScript: Accelerated JavaScript Development Featured By Trevor Burnham
Published August 2011
List Price: $29.00, Your Amazon.com Price: $24.28

Amazon.com Sales Rank: 1,582,513
Availability: Usually ships in 24 hours

Summary:
CoffeeScript is JavaScript done right. It provides all of JavaScript'''s functionality wrapped in a cleaner, more succinct syntax. In the first book on this exciting new language, CoffeeScript guru Trevor Burnham shows you how to hold onto all the power and flexibility of JavaScript while writing clearer, cleaner, and safer code.



GDNet Staff Review:
HTML5 is a big trendy thing. Really big and really trendy.If you're not on the HTML5 bandwagon, then you're just not developing new stufffor browsers. Okay, maybe that's overstating it a bit, but HTML5 is probablythe trendiest buzzword today for something that's NOT EVEN A REAL THING. If you drill down to what it is that makesHTML5 what it is, there's nothing there that was not already there, save for asomewhat-simplified HTML standard. HTML5 is really a collection of existingtechnologies (JavaScript, canvas) usually coupled with some good third party helper-librarieslike query.

But if there's something that makes HTML5 into a thingthat's capable of building first-class applications, it's JavaScript. HTML5isn't good because it's a streamlined HTML dialect with a few new deprecations.Heck, HTML isn't even Turing-complete. Angry Birds running in HTML5 on yourChrome browser works because the engine has been rewritten in JavaScript. JavaScripthas made some pretty colossal performance and usability improvements in recentyears. And it has even standardized itself among browsers to a reasonableextent. But it is still an interpreted curly-brace language with some squishyLisp-like data structures. It was not designed from the ground-up forapplication development. It was designed to add a little more interactivity tostatic web pages so that client browsers did not need to contact your serverevery time you want to validate a web-form.

So why not look into something new and different? And that"new and different" is CoffeeScript, which is a very simple andconcise language that is designed to work hand-in-hand with JavaScript code andlibraries and compiles to JavaScript for deployment.

The CoffeeScript syntax is different from what you know.Learning CoffeeScript is not like moving to JavaScript from Java or C# or C++where once you grok the variable types and object declaration syntax, you canstart writing applications. The syntax is more similar to Lisp or Forth thanyour curly-brace language of choice. And that is a good thing. There were somegreat language syntax ideas in those languages, and it is worth revisiting.Browser scripting is dynamic, so we should dust off those dynamic languagesinstead of rewriting the statically-typed ones.

If CoffeeScriptAccelerated JavaScript Development reminds me of anything, it's my oldcirca-1984 copy of The C Programming Language. Both books are concise but manageto cover their topic, and the style is not breezy but is also not very strict.They also cover a lot of ground in not-so-much space. Another thing I like isthat the book shows how CoffeeScript can be used both as a browser-scriptinglanguage as well as an application development language. And with products likeAppcelerator Titanium and PhoneGap out there, the difference between scriptinglanguages and first-class application development languages has pretty-muchdisappeared.

The beef I have with CoffeeScriptAccelerated JavaScript Development is in its per-page price. While Iusually don't complain about the value a book provides, I think this one isstretching it. While it is easy to follow and fairly information-dense, it isonly about 100 pages long and has an Amazon-discounted price of $25 at the timeof this writing. Unless you're a rank amateur, you will burn through this bookin about a day. While you might be able to justify the cost with the timeyou'll save getting started (especially with running node.js and the compiler,which is rather hairy), this is not a book you'll return to once you're moving.

Note that you can get the DRM-unencumbered ebook on thepragpub.com site for $18, which is a little better deal.







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