My Review of JavaScript: The Definitive Guide, 6th Edition

A tome of knowledge

By Jim from Herndon, VA on 11/8/2011


4out of 5

Pros: Well-written, Accurate, Concise, Easy to understand

Cons: Huge

Best Uses: Student, Expert, Novice, Intermediate

Describe Yourself: Developer

This is an unbelievably thorough JavaScript book. It’s definitely more of a reference book than a front-to-back read.

The first 12 chapters are an excellent introduction into the history of JavaScript and the core functionality of the language. There is a lot of information in these chapters that really shouldn’t be overlooked– especially Chapter 8: “Functions”.

I especially appreciate the structure and the approach of the client-side section of the book. Flanagan makes it a point to avoid pushing JavaScript frameworks by explaining the features of the language first, followed by an explanation of the cross-browser simplification of using jQuery.

Later chapters cover additions to more recent browsers like client storage and HTML5 features. Those chapters unfortunately go by really fast. They’re definitely not as in-depth as the JavaScript history part of the book.

The last two parts of the book are purely reference. This is pretty helpful, but it makes the book a lot thicker than most “guide” references.

I do agree with others that this book could use a few more examples, especially near the end when discussing JavaScript usage with new HTML5 APIs. If you’re looking for an in-depth understanding of the core functionality of JavaScript, this is the book. It has helped me in numerous job interviews!