Author: Jon Duckett
Audience: Beginners without STEM background
Reviewer: Ian Elliot
The presentation also has a tendency towards completism. Instead of not telling the reader about some of the awkward twists in the language the book tends to explain everything at the risk of confusing the complete beginner. For example, just after introducing the idea of a variable we have storing a string in a variable and then storing a Boolean. Then we have a detailed 6-point set of rules for naming variables. By the end of the section we have dealt with a range of data types, arrays and expressions.
From here we move into functions, methods and objects. After introducing object literals - the simplest possible use of object the book introduces constructors and here things get more difficult. Even if you go slowly and use big print things begin to look more difficult. Notice that the introduction to objects happens well before more basic things like control structures - for loops, ifs etc. Then moves on to consider other aspects of objects - built-in objects, data types and so on.
From here the book returns to getting the job done with a look at the DOM in detail and then the important topic of events. Chapter 7 introduces jQuery and Chapter 8 explains Ajax and JSON. jQuery can be a difficult library to understand and while at the end of this you don't get to understand it you should be able to use it.
After a jQuery the topics covered include APIs, error handling and debugging, content panels, filtering, searching and sorting and forms.
This is a very well-designed book. It doesn't do anything radical and it certainly doesn't attempt to make the reader into a computer scientist. This is about learning programming to get a very particular job done. Having said this, if the reader has any aptitude for programming this book might help them discover it and then graduate to something more. If you find the clear "big typeface" colorful presentation helpful, then this might be the book that gets you started with programming. I have a feeling that it is also going to create quite a few readers who sort of manage to master bits of it, forget others and then end up being very vague about why things work. Even so it still comes highly recommended to the right reader.