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Pragmatic Guide to JavaScript

September 08, 2010

You’ve probably had to deal with it, even program in it. But just how well do you know JavaScript? We’ve had a lot of folks ask for something like this, and now here it is. The latest member of our new Pragmatic Guide Series is out: Pragmatic Guide to JavaScript. Get it while it’s hot from

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Pragmatic Guide to JavaScript

The JavaScript ecosystem can be tough to hack through, even for experienced programmers. There are so many extensive JavaScript reference books and competing libraries to choose from—Prototype, jQuery, MooTools, YUI, Dojo, ExtJS, and more.

Christophe Porteneuve is here to help: he gives you fundamentals, handy techniques, and the insider’s best practices. If you’re reasonably comfortable programming in any widely known language, you’ll be able to jump into JavaScript in no time.

Divided into six parts, the book starts with JavaScript code patterns that are too often ignored by JavaScript coders. Part 2 presents several essential JavaScript tasks (DOM and CSS manipulations, plus event handling and timers) in a framework-agnostic way, using syntax from all the major flavors. Parts 3 and 4, respectively, hit JavaScript’s best features for user interface functionality-tooltips, lightboxes, image processing, infinite scrolling, and more-and forms for receiving and validating input. Part 5 explores the client/server relationship, touching on cookies, JSON, and Ajax (same- and cross-domain). Part 6 uses JavaScript in mashups with Twitter, Flickr, and geo-related APIs.

The appendices feature Christophe’s two-page JavaScript cheat sheet, followed by hard-won tips on debugging even the most maddening JavaScript errors. Next is an even-handed assessment of the major frameworks used in the book and in most JavaScript shops today. Last, Christophe presents an extensive group of resources for using and learning JavaScript and the major frameworks.

This Pragmatic Guide is strictly focused on the techniques that will get you started in JavaScript. It’s where you come to get the full scope of JavaScript in your head—fast! You’ll quickly understand its core syntax, capabilities, and related frameworks. Start here first.

Available now in beta in PDF, epub, and mobi formats from, and in print in November.

Upcoming Rails and iPhone Studios

The Pragmatic Studio has two upcoming and newly updated courses to help you stay on top of your game this fall:

  • The Ruby on Rails course will be held in Chicago, IL on October 25-27, 2010. You’ll come away from this 3-day course with the fundamental skills and hands-on experience necessary to build your own Rails apps from idea to deployment. This course has been redesigned to take advantage of the latest features of Rails 3. It’s taught by Dave Thomas and Chad Fowler. Details available at
  • The iPhone Programming course will also be held in Chicago, IL on October 25-28, 2010. You’ll come away from this 4-day course ready to create your first iPhone/iPad app, or improve your existing app. This course has been updated for iOS 4 and the iPhone 4 SDK. It’s taught by Daniel Steinberg and Matt Drance. Details available at

Early-bird registration pricing ends September 25th. Previous runs of these courses have sold out, so make sure to reserve your seat by registering soon!

Coming Soon:

  • The Agile Samurai: How Agile Masters Deliver Great Software in print
  • iPad Programming: A Quick-Start Guide for iPhone Developers in print
  • The RSpec Book: Behaviour Driven Development with RSpec, Cucumber, and Friends in print. Updated for Rails 3 and RSpec 2
  • Continuous Testing with Ruby
  • Agile in a Flash

Recently Released:

  • Pragmatic Guide to Subversion [in beta]
  • Pragmatic Guide to Git [in beta]
  • Test-Driven Development Screencast 
  • HTML5 and CSS3 [in beta]
  • Thanks for your continued support,

    Andy & Dave

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