Book Review: Object-Oriented Javascript

Who Wrote It?

Object-Oriented Javascript is written by Stoyan Stefanov, a web developer at Yahoo. Stoyan’s thoughts on all things web can be found at phpied.com. He also runs a blog on iPhone development, and a site dedicated to Javascript design patterns at JSPatterns.com (it’s been quiet for quite awhile now, but I’m hoping to see it brought out of retirement).

What’s Covered?

Exactly what you’d expect given the title….object-oriented Javascript! Actually, the book covers a lot of information, starting with the basics (variables, loops, functions, etc.) all the way through to a few basic, albeit useful, design patterns.

The book is very well written and its discussions precise. Stoyan doesn’t take a lot of time going through complex examples. Instead, he gives bite-size chunks for you to play with and expand upon. If you’re someone who prefers playing with concepts yourself over going through expanded examples in books, this book is right up your alley.

While the book has chapters on the DOM and primitive data types, it is in the discussions of topics like closures and inheritance where the book really stands out. These sometimes confusing topics are presented in a very clear and concise way, helping to break down the learning barrier that so often stands in the way of truly understanding those subjects.

Should I Read It?

The book is intended to be accessible to even developers with no prior Javascript experience, and it does a reasonable job of doing so. Thankfully, the information is covered very well, making it likely that even the introductory chapters will be worth the read for more experienced Javascript developers.

I’m sure the refinement and overall quality of the information presented is in no small part due to the plethora of quality technical reviewers. It’s clear Stoyan took the task of accurately presenting this information very seriously, as his list of technical reviewers sounds a bit like a who’s who of web development.

Final Verdict

I really enjoyed Object Oriented Javascript and highly recommend it. For beginners, its not as soft an introduction as DOM Scripting, nor is it as exhaustive in detail as PPK on Javascript. That being said, its content is perhaps the most complete of any Javascript book accessible to beginners that I’ve read thus far, and it’s certainly one of the best written books I’ve read. Even more experienced developers will find very useful information in some great coverage of more advanced object-oriented techniques and very useful appendices.

Great…Where Do I Get a Copy?