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Head First JavaScript Programming - Beyond the book

Dianne Ferris
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 08, 2014
Posts: 2

Really pleased to see this book is now available. Now that it's done... is there one thing (or more) that you wish you could've included?
Elisabeth Robson
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 14, 2004
Posts: 173
    
    6
Hi Dianne,
Great question. There is so much more we could have included, so yes definitely!

One thing would be common idioms and patterns for JavaScript. For instance, even though we did cover everything you'd need to know to understand the Module Pattern, it's a big leap from understanding all the pieces to actually seeing the pattern and understanding it in detail. It would take another big chapter to really explain the Module Pattern, why it's a pattern, and how it works, building on the concepts learned earlier in the book (objects, anonymous functions, function expressions, closures, etc.). I'd love to do a "Head First Extra" on this topic because it's pretty important: that pattern is ubiquitous among libraries and frameworks, so if you want to understand those, the Module Pattern is key concept.

We didn't really get a chance to cover Date much. Again, while the book teaches everything you need to know to be able to look up Date and "get it", there are many nuances to how to work with dates and times that are tricky to figure out. But we ended up leaving most of that out because, while it's important, it's not really a programming fundamental in the same sense that objects and functions are (at a more general level).

Exception handling is covered (briefly) in the appendix, but that's another topic that could have been expanded a lot.

More about how JavaScript is used to work with the browser, simply because that's still mostly how JavaScript gets used. However, because this book is focused on the language fundamentals, we are thinking about revising Head First HTML5 Programming and putting a lot of that content there, replacing the (now) slightly repetitive first four chapters in HTML5. That way there will be a better bridge between Head First JavaScript Programming and Head First HTML5 Programming. We really designed these three books to be a progression: HF HTML and CSS to HF JavaScript Programming to HF HTML5 Programming, and revising those first four chapters in HTML5 will make that progression better!

I'm sure there are many more!

Elisabeth


Co-Author of Head First JavaScript Programming
Eric Freeman
author
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jun 21, 2004
Posts: 33
    
    5
The other aspect too is the "bringing it all together aspect". Not only bringing all your JavaScript knowledge together, but combining it with markup and CSS. Rather than expand the book, we're thinking of doing this as an online video where we build a music step sequencer (or you can think of it as a drum machine, somewhat similar to the one in Head First Java), which is great for using lots common JavaScript techniques (async programming, events, timers, modifying the DOM in "real time" and using an API). This would be a multi-part video where we step through every aspect of building this together.

What do you think?

Eric


Co-Author of Head First Design Patterns
Dianne Ferris
Greenhorn

Joined: Apr 08, 2014
Posts: 2

Thanks Elisabeth and Eric. These Head First books are a favorite of mine. Can't wait to get started with the JavaScript one.
 
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