Book Review: JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford

JavaScript, which was originally thrown together over a span of 10 days, has its share of bad parts. Of course, many of these have been remedied over the years thanks to ECMA standards process and the creation of high performance JS engines such as Google’s V8. Enter the highly divisive and opinionated book from the original JS guru, Douglas Crockford.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and felt that I learned so much from it even though it is a shorter book. Though it is necessary to state that this book is not for JS beginners. The main thing that I did not enjoy are the reliance upon the railroad diagrams, which are not very intuitive to anyone who has previously not implemented some sort of context-free grammar (which I would wager is a majority of JS programmers).

Beyond this singular drawback, this book is filled to the brim with nuggets of wisdom. The sections on functions, patterns, and closures was a huge eye opener to the mystery of JavaScript’s inner workings. Chapters 3 and 4 alone were so insightful to me that I feel as if they should be required reading for all serious JS programmers.

I love the opinionated style of the writing displayed in this book. The author is very knowledgeable and passionate so he is able to get away with it. The appendix, appropriately titled “Awful Parts” and “Bad Parts” is far more entertaining than you would expect and provides examples and evidence backing up the author’s assertions.

All in all, this book is highly recommended and is a must read for all serious javascript developers.

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