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JavaScript: The Good Parts by Douglas Crockford

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Preface

If we offend, it is with our good will That you should think, we come not to offend, But with good will. To show our simple skill, That is the true beginning of our end.

William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night's Dream

This is a book about the JavaScript programming language. It is intended for programmers who, by happenstance or curiosity, are venturing into JavaScript for the first time. It is also intended for programmers who have been working with JavaScript at a novice level and are now ready for a more sophisticated relationship with the language. JavaScript is a surprisingly powerful language. Its unconventionality presents some challenges, but being a small language, it is easily mastered.

My goal here is to help you to learn to think in JavaScript. I will show you the components of the language and start you on the process of discovering the ways those components can be put together. This is not a reference book. It is not exhaustive about the language and its quirks. It doesn't contain everything you'll ever need to know. That stuff you can easily find online. Instead, this book just contains the things that are really important.

This is not a book for beginners. Someday I hope to write a JavaScript: The First Parts book, but this is not that book. This is not a book about Ajax or web programming. The focus is exclusively on JavaScript, which is just one of the languages the web developer must master.

This is not a book for dummies. This book is small, but it is dense. There is a lot of material packed into it. Don't be discouraged if it takes multiple readings to get it. Your efforts will be rewarded.

Conventions Used in This Book

The following typographical conventions are used in this book:

Italic

Indicates new terms, URLs, filenames, and file extensions.

Constant width

Indicates computer coding in a broad sense. This includes commands, options, variables, attributes, keys, requests, functions, methods, types, classes, modules, properties, parameters, values, objects, events, event handlers, XML and XHTML tags, macros, and keywords.

Constant width bold

Indicates commands or other text that should be typed literally by the user.

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