Javascript Defense

Ok so I have gotten a little bit of response from a few guys at work on my post with Javascript coming in at number two. Let me start by saying I know there is a lot of bad Javascript code out there. Some of it is ugly, some of it is even uglier than ugly, but what is written in the language is not the same as the language itself (the same case can be made for English).

If you do not have the chance to go to school for programming and are purely self-taught, Javascript is probably the best language to learn. You will have a lot of options to learn more core concepts and lower level details as you delve into programming and encourage even the most casual programmers to explore. The one thing I can recommend is to go for books over website examples. Sure there are some great examples online, but there are so many poor examples it is often hard for a beginner to know the good from the bad. In the case of books, they are usually a higher quality, just be sure to search out any errata or bug fixes that may be available in the case of mistakes.

One video I would recommend any Javascript enthusiast is by Doug Crockford (creator of JSLint and developer of JSON), who talks about his book JavaScript: The Good Parts (which I may have to pick up at some point). One of the best quotes from the video and good advice to any programmer or language developer is it is “easy to make things bigger, hard to make things better”.

For those too busy to watch all the video, you should check out for any and all Javascript but beware as “JSLint will hurt your feelings”.

I understand that with any language, there will be those who vehemently attack or defend it. In the end, it should always come down to the right tool for the job. For certain tasks (like I don’t know client side webpage scripting), Javascript is a fine tool to use.

Michael Hubbard

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