About JavaScript

There might be a lot to say about JavaScript (love it or hate it) but there’s a lot of it about and it might be worth knowing more. Some resources and thoughts…

Notably, JavaScript was invented and built in a hurry - in a week and a half - and named at a late stage, in an effort to make a connection to Java. (A connection which is purely marketing.)

It has some very odd oddities, if you go looking for them. It has been described as Lisp in C clothing which might actually be positive and helpful.

I’ve read, and recommend, but don’t remember, Crockford’s book JavaScript: The Good Parts which is a nicely thin volume:

(Image from JavaScript is Eating the World)

I like JavaScript in part because I’ve had a hand in a couple of websites which couldn’t do without it, and it seemed fairly easy to pick up the basics. Notably, those websites just used JavaScript as-is, maybe one or two built-in libraries, but no enormous collection of dependencies and no frameworks. I’m sure it’s a much bigger task to learn how to use that ecosystem well. My preference would be to start small, and expand outwards from there.

Three recommended places to learn and explore JavaScript:

I’ve helped curate a big list of in-browser emulators which all build on JavaScript as a programming language, ranging from simple and direct to compiled from C. Maybe reading some of the sources will be helpful.

Previous threads: Resources to start with web pages (HTML and so on) and Resources to start programming (coding)

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Wow, thanks Ed. I’ve bookmarked this for future reference, some good and interesting links here! I have recently started writing basic web scripts for the frontend (carousels, sliding elements, animations etc) but I’m still a newbie to JS myself.

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Hope it’s useful! The most advanced I got was to make use of a slider library, which meant using JQuery:

I’m not sure to what extent JQuery is still part of the landscape - I think features have been added to JS which reduce the need.

There are some decent paid courses on Udemy - I went through a Colt Steele course a few years ago to blast through some of the newer stuff to catch up on what I’d missed. He has a new course out, which may be of interest.

p.s. if you do go with that: never pay full price for a Udemy course - there’s usually a sale on!


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