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Secrets of the JavaScript Ninja: Getting started

 
Greenhorn
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Google Web Toolkit Tomcat Server Java
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I've a lot of experience with webapps, but it's mostly been with Java--JSPs, servlets, and GWT. I've toyed with Angular, React, and others, but my experience with GWT makes me wary of frameworks. I'm more drawn to bare JS, HTML, and CSS (with web components) as more maintainable over the long haul. My server-side must remain Java (for many reasons I won't go into), but my servlets can easily receive and send JSON.

I admit to being overwhelmed by all the JavaScript advice and resources. How do you recommend I get started when my goal is moving medium to large Java webapps to JavaScript? How might your book help me?
 
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Thad Humphries wrote:I've a lot of experience with webapps, but it's mostly been with Java--JSPs, servlets


Sounds a lot like my own journey into web apps...

but my experience with GWT makes me wary of frameworks


I dont blame you. I know GWT had (still has?) its proponents, but I always thought that it was completely awful. (Vaadin falls into that camp as well.)

But there's a huge difference (at least to me) between frameworks that provide functionality in the native language, and "frameworks" like GWT and Vaadin that transcode Java code into other languages. Maybe I'm just a grouchy old man, but I have an inmate mistrust of anything that proports to generate code for me.

I'm more drawn to bare JS, HTML, and CSS (with web components) as more maintainable over the long haul.


While I understand this stance, life is just too short to re-invent a bunch of wheels. For example, on the server side, there's no way I'd give up JPA and fall back to using raw JDBC. On the client, the minimum I'd be able to handle is jQuery. There's no way I'm dealing with the browser nonsense that libraries like jQuery shield us from.

My server-side must remain Java (for many reasons I won't go into), but my servlets can easily receive and send JSON.


This is exactly what I do. All my REST APIs are Java-driven.

I admit to being overwhelmed by all the JavaScript advice and resources.


Me too! It seems like there's something new popping up every day! It is too much for anyone to totally keep up with. So don't feel left out!

How do you recommend I get started when my goal is moving medium to large Java webapps to JavaScript?


See some of the other topics posted this week during the promotion for my approach to what to learn and what to defer.

How might your book help me?


When using frameworks it's vitally important to understand fundamental JavaScript -- imagine trying to use AngularJS without a thorough understanding of closures or promises!  

And when not using frameworks, it's even more important to understand fundamentals because that's all you are going to be using.

So yes! Our book is gonna be helpful to you regardless of which path you take.      
 
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