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A Manageable Task
One look at this book and you feel a sense of relief: I can do this. The task before you is still challenging, but feels much more like a long jog than a decathlon.
Who Is It For? Absolute Beginners!
Of course, it’s definitely recommended that you figure out HTML and CSS first if building webpages and web applications is your ultimate goal. In truth, you could make it through most of the content in the book just fine without these skills, but they really help put the information into context; I guarantee that it will make more sense if you figure out the basics first.
An interesting thing about programming is that the biggest hurdle to learning your first language is actually learning the process of programming. Once you learn this, picking up new languages is more of a matter of mastering semantics than learning from scratch. One of this book’s primary focuses is to teach you how to program. This will prove an invaluable skill as you expand your knowledge in the future.
Who Wrote It?
What’s In It?
In the introduction, Haverbeke writes a great little summary of all of the twelve chapters. I’ll be using select quotes from this to explain and divide each section.
- Chapter 2: Functions
- Chapter 3: Data Structures: Objects and Arrays
“The next four chapters discuss more advanced techniques–things that should make you capable of writing more complicated programs without them turning into an incomprehensible mess.”
- Chapter 4: Error Handling
- Chapter 5: Functional Programming
- Chapter 6: Object-Oriented Programming
- Chapter 7: Modularity
- Chapter 8: Regular Expressions
- Chapter 9: Web programming: A crash course
- Chapter 10: The Document Object Model
- Chapter 11: Browser Events
- Chapter 12: HTTP requests
How Is It?
As previously stated, the book itself is around 200 pages. If you’re looking for something full-color with lots of pretty pictures to keep you interested, look elsewhere. This book is largely text and code snippets and contains only a few quick and simple B&W images (this translates to a fairly low price). Visual learners that like a lot of charts and tables may not find what they’re looking for here.