Prototype and You Never Knew JavaScript Could Do This!

Author: Christophe Porteneuve
Publisher: Pragmatic Bookshelf, 2008
Pages: 436
ISBN: 978-1934356012
Aimed at: Javascript developers
Rating: 1.5
Pros: Covers useful libraries
Cons: Incomprehensible explanations
Reviewed by: Mike James 

Prototype and are very useful JavaScript libraries and I would encourage anybody to find more out about them if only to discover what JavaScript is capable of. Unfortunately this book isn't going to help you understand any of it unless you are a genius. You are presented with code with hardly any motivation other than an assertion that this is “cool” and then a few comments on some important, but essentially obscure, points about its workings.

The author clearly can write code but he can't write an explanation of that code. The style is mostly “gee whiz” and conversational but it just misses the point. The words around the overly-complicated examples add absolutely nothing unless you already understand perfectly what is going on. If you do understand the text mostly constitutes a pat on the back that both you and the author are clever enough to appreciate it all. This is not how a technical book should work. Very quickly the style becomes very, very irritating and you just long to read a simple, well-written, clear explanation of the way it all works. There are lots and lots of examples and if you like examples then you might get more from it than I did, but my overall advice is to steer well clear.

<Reviewed in VSJ>

Last Updated ( Friday, 16 January 2009 )