JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Master the World's Most-Used Programming Language

by: David Flanagan (0)

JavaScript is the programming language of the web and is used by more software developers today than any other programming language. For nearly 25 years this best seller has been the go-to guide for JavaScript programmers. The seventh edition is fully updated to cover the 2020 version of JavaScript, and new chapters cover classes, modules, iterators, generators, Promises, async/await, and metaprogramming. You鈥檒l find illuminating and engaging example code throughout.

This book is for programmers who want to learn JavaScript and for web developers who want to take their understanding and mastery to the next level. It begins by explaining the JavaScript language itself, in detail, from the bottom up. It then builds on that foundation to cover the web platform and Node.js.

Topics include:

  • Types, values, variables, expressions, operators, statements, objects, and arrays
  • Functions, classes, modules, iterators, generators, Promises, and async/await
  • JavaScript鈥檚 standard library: data structures, regular expressions, JSON, i18n, etc.
  • The web platform: documents, components, graphics, networking, storage, and threads
  • Node.js: buffers, files, streams, threads, child processes, web clients, and web servers
  • Tools and language extensions that professional JavaScript developers rely on.

The Quotes

Any JavaScript value that is not a number, a string, a boolean, a symbol, null, or undefined is an object.

The special JavaScript values null and undefined are primitive values, but they are not numbers, strings, or booleans.

JavaScript鈥檚 object types are mutable and its primitive types are immutable.

The Reviews

Oh, wow, another edition of this classic book. Is it worth "upgrading" that old copy on your bookshelf?First, if you have any edition prior to the 6th edition the answer is a definitive, "Yes!" There is no question that so much has changed since 2006 which is when the 5th edition was published. JavaScript feels like a whole new language since then (not really, but significant changes in the last 14 years have happened).But, what if you have the 6th edition? What did David Flanagan change? Overall, the 7th edition comes in at 40% smaller than the 6th edition. Do you keep both? Nope. The 7th edition is much better thought through and eliminates much of the old and adds in important new things.Seven chapters on "client-side" JavaScript are condensed into one "JavaScript in Web Browsers" chapter. The topics within that chapter are a much tighter presentation of the material you need to know. If you really need to know more about JavaScript and CSS or JQuery, go look to references on these topics. Flanagan was right to trim that fat from this book.In the 6th edition, there were barely 20 pages focused on server-side JavaScript. Now there is a good chapter dedicated to "Server-Side JavaScript with Node". Finally, he has added a whole new chapter on tools and extensions. In other words, Flanagan has caught up with how JavaScript is really used.The remaining changes are around the fundamentals. He has added information on symbols and has greatly reworked chapters on object and classes as one would expect. Modules have been split out into their own chapter. And, he has added a good "summary" section to each chapter.Overall, I think the book has been "refactored" in a good way. It is much tighter. And, certainly more relevant to modern JavaScript programming. Of course, JavaScript will continue to evolve so I expect future editions will continue. But, this edition feels like a checkpoint one should mark. I have done so and my 6th edition is being duly donated.

Before buying this book I had a general idea of what I was looking for. I needed something for the Beginner to Intermediate level, and I needed it to be a complete guide to the language. This book is both of those things and more. Even Advanced programmers should find something useful in this guide.If read cover to cover, the learning curve is steady but gentle. Although the text is a little dry, the author still finds time to crack a few jokes.

I'm a professional software engineer that uses several different languages on a regular basis including C++, C#, Python and Javascript. This book is without doubt the best one I have in my collection that focuses on Javascript.Being a busy programmer I appreciate the fact that each paragraph is loaded with useful information so I don't have to skip over useless conversational, waste of time text.The book can certainly be read from cover to cover. It's writing style is engaging enough. However, the immaculate organization and presentation of the chapters makes this book really shine as a reference. This is the book I go to when I need to look something up. It even replaces my previous favorite Nicholas C. Zakas excellent 'Understanding Ecmascript 6'.I also love the short and easy to understand code samples. Again being a busy programmer I loathe having to waste time trying to decipher a weighty chunk of example code just to learn a simple feature. There's nothing wrong with toy code examples if they get the point across.David Flanagan leaves nothing out and reaches right up to the ES2020 standard. It truly is a definitive guide to Javascript. If you buy only one Javascript book I highly recommend you get this one!

I first approached JS by buying Eloquent JavaScript and after few chapters I got completely demotivated in continuing studying from that book. Simple concepts were made outrageously complex whereas complex topics didn鈥檛 get the treatment they deserved. I then tried few online Udemy courses which were great but can never be as organized as a book.Then the new edition of Flanagan鈥檚 JS guide was released. This book is not an easy bedtime reading. There are tons of concepts to learn there which are often recursive in different chapters, ie you can鈥檛 really skip or change the topic sequence of the book.However I think that the author does a v good job in helping readers understating via precised and short code examples.So far this is the best book I read on the subject. It is also updated with the latest lexicon of ES6. Remember JavaScript is a living language which get regularly updated and enriched. Books which were good 5yrs ago might not be relevant today any longer. Definitely recommended to whoever is serious in learning the language.

This is a fantastically written book about Javascript with no detail left out. The author is extremely clear with the explanations, examples and the "why" of you're learning. This updated edition was overdue; I'm so glad he has finally published this. Definitely recommended.

I am currently learning how to code with JavaScript and I bought this book to learn more. I think, overall, this book is really good but I would not say it's for beginners (like actual beginners that have never coded before and don't really know much about computer science). I use it as a reference mostly. I am learning concepts in other classes and going back to this book to get a refresher.

A must-have tome for any JS developer! Seriously amazing work by the author.I was skeptical that a book like this made sense these days being Google is always at my fingertips. But I swear I learn something new and useful every time I pick this masterpiece up! And everything is laid out and indexed in a way that makes finding what you're looking for a breeze. Wouldn't want to be without it.

As an senior principal electrical engineer, I am not new to software development. But, I have never written software for web applications before. So this book helps me learn JavaScript quickly. I am not sure if this JavaScript book is right for people who have never had any previous programming experience in other languages such as C, C++, Java. If a person starts out without any programming experience, try some of the online JavaScript tutorials for beginners first, then dive into this book. This Seventh Edition JavaScript The Definite Guide is very comprehensive.

Tired of all the shallow youtube tutorials on javascript? I was. I'm about 100 pages into this book and I like it a lot. It's not for the faint of heart (it is dense) but if you want to come away feeling like you have a true understanding. This will give it to you.I like how it's written and broken up. Also the examples are very well crafted to show everything from basic interactions to edge cases and really make you think.About me: I took 6mo bootcamp that was mostly javascript. I've been coding in react and react native 1 year.

Yes. This book is the real deal for JavaScript programmers who like to know everything about the language from the ground up. Actually it's more side to side. From beginning to end I was able to grasp the languages nuances. I bought the new version and am looking forward to that as well. I spent about 6 weeks with this version and will probably bounce around some with the next version. Even still with the fast pace of web programming there will be more to go. I am sure that David Flanagans book made me a more competent programmer.

I started building static websites around 2003 and later added Bootstrap foundations which I still use. I've outgrown the javascript snippets from W3schools and I refuse to inject any jQuery in my applications after a recent move to Bootstrap 5. FreeCodeCamp is good, but they belabor small items in their exercises. I don't need 10 exercises on Variables and Scope to learn Javascript.IMHO, React and Vue are too much work for what I want to do. Maybe I'm just too old for the new stuff. But I'm not building any corporate or mobile apps which seem to embrace the latest Javascript flavors which Facebook (oops, Meta) and Google developed and promote. Vue and Svelte are the underdogs in that world and no one knows if they'll be around 5 years from know.My favorite books are/were published by WROX, Head First and No Starch Press. They all have a style that allows me to capture the essence of feature/function and provide examples without getting to long winded in other side issues.Javascript: The Definitive Guide covers the DOM with lots of prose but very few examples. That's the opposite style of the bulk of my technical library, which act as quick reference material when I'm heads down in Visual Studio Code working building an app or component.Javascript: The Definitive Guide is a very good book It's simply not the style I need. It would probably be a great college textbook. You're not under the gun to build something to pay the rent while you're learning.My selection for learning Javascript is simply the 4th Edition (2020) of Professional JavaScript for Web Developers by WROX. (I own the 3rd edition and love it.) It doubles as a superb reference manual.

This book is a must-have for any beginner programmer and a fantastic reference for top developers... it's that good...

EL libro lo adquir铆 en ingl茅s para Kindle. Es mi primer libro de referencia completa de Javascript. Puedo decir que:- La estructura del libro tiene una secuencia que facilita cubrir los conceptos m谩s b谩sicos hasta los m谩s complejos.- Las explicaciones son detalladas y en algunos casos extensas. Es evidente que el autor tiene un conocimiento completo del lenguaje.- Los c贸digos mostrados son de ejemplos, pero no para ejercicios extensos. Son c贸digos limpios y en muchos se muestran comentarios 煤tiles. Pero para comprender mediante pr谩ctica las funcionalidades de JS y el 'c贸mo funciona', el lector debe hacer un trabajo propio de pr谩ctica y revisi贸n con otras fuentes.- No he tenido problema en leerlo desde el Kindle. He debido transcribir los c贸digos hacia una tablet y estudiarlos desde all铆, pero sin incomodidades.- Recomiendo el libro como referencia de estudio y profundidad. Pero repito, no es un libro de c贸digos para pr谩cticas de principiante.Actualizaci贸n [May12.2022]: El libro profundiza en la mayor铆a de las APIs m谩s populares. No profundiza en algunas APIs como las de drag&drop [el autor recomienda aprovechar la documentaci贸n en l铆nea, m谩s extensa y completa, como la del MDN de Mozzilla].

Excellent and comprehensive guide of js

I wouldn't recommend this book to people who never programmed before. It just tells you the theoretical stuff that's gonna be hard to understand if you have never coded or if you don't know the basics.I prefer practice over theory, so this book is not for me to learn JavaScript. Though the book describes in detail how JavaScript works.

*very* well organized, aimed at people with prior programming experience (i.e., you know what a conditional statement is and what loops are, etc.) This book packs a lot in its 600+ pages. I haven't finished it yet but I'm impressed. Excellent price for all you can learn from this book.

Perfect companion to learning JAVA Script

Very comprehensive!

The book provides simple yet detailed explanations of JavaScript foundations. The examples utilized are well commented and easy to follow along. I will definitely read again!

It is not just a very complete reference book. It also is a great read!

Purchased this book as it was now time to deep dive into ES6 modules as browser support seemed solid now. However, I was quickly disappointed when it was one very small chapter and only covered the basics. I was particularly interested in learning HOW to architect an application using only native modules and the pros/cons of the current state of ES6 native module support without the nasty transpile/bundling tooling mess that has become my endless nightmare. To my dismay, I feel that ES6 modules are nowhere near ready for production but that鈥檚 just it鈥 it鈥檚 a feeling. This book came nowhere close to the 鈥渄efinitive guide鈥 for me. Perhaps I expected too much from the book. It鈥檚 possible.

The seventh edition is about 390 pages lighter than the previous edition. Gone are all the references to jQuery and DOM documentation. Almost all XMLHTTPRequest stuff has been replaced with the fetch API (which is good), and there is a lot more content on ES6 stuff such as Promises, async/await, arrow functions and Node.js.However, if you are looking for a hard copy reference of the JavaScript documentation, you should look at the previous 6th edition or visit the Mozilla Developer Network (MDN) website. Perhaps there is another book that still sees the value of having a hard copy of the JavaScript and DOM documentation still around.

OK I usually give tech books about a 2-3 rating. This one surprised me not only of its girth, but hey the author (or editor) actually introduced topics in a logical, progressive manner - building on base knowledge as book progressed, with chapters in meaningful topic order of complexity. Most books the authors can't make up their mind if they're writing a dictionary or maybe someone different wrote each chapter, and they put it together all jumbled up on a disorganized mess with advanced topics the first. This book acgtually is one I can learn from and explains examples welll, thoroughly. A lot of books shove a code excerpt in and pick out one line to discuss in the meantime you're confused out of context why all the other lines were even provided they just got lazy with providing different properly detailed, focused examples. This book far better than that. Rare 5 star rating.

This JavaScript guide was recommended for a continuing education/ brush up course. It is very thorough and easy to understand.

JavaScript: The Definitive Guide: Master the World's Most-Used Programming Language
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