JavaScript Succinctly by Cody Lindley
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JavaScript Succinctly by Cody Lindley

Why did I write this book?

First, I must admit that I wrote this book for myself. Truth be told, I crafted this material so I could drink my own Kool-Aid and always remember what it tastes like. In other words, I wanted a reference written in my own words used to jog my memory as needed. Additionally: 

• Libraries facilitate a "black box" syndrome that can be beneficial in some regards but detrimental in others. Things may be completed fast and efficiently, but you have no idea how or why. And the how and why really matter when things go wrong or performance becomes an issue. The fact is that anyone who intends to implement a JavaScript library or framework when building a web application (or just a good sign-up form) ought to look under the hood and understand the engine. This book was written for those who want to pop the hood and get their hands dirty in JavaScript itself. 

• Mozilla has provided the most up-to-date and complete reference guide for JavaScript 1.5. I believe what is missing is a digestible document, written from a single point of view, to go along with their reference guide. It is my hope that this book will serve as a "what you need to know" manual for JavaScript values, detailing concepts beyond what the Mozilla reference covers. 

• Version 1.5 of JavaScript is going to be around for a fair amount of time, but as we move toward the new additions to the language found in ECMA Edition 5, I wanted to document the cornerstone concepts of JavaScript that will likely be perennial. 

• Advanced technical books written about programing languages are often full of monolithic code examples and pointless meanderings. I prefer short explanations that get to the point, backed by real code that I can run instantly. I coined a term, "technical thin-slicing," to describe what I am attempting to employ in this book. This entails reducing complex topics into smaller, digestible concepts taught with minimal words and backed with comprehensive and focused code examples. 

• Most JavaScript books worth reading are three inches thick. Definitive guides like David Flanagan’s certainly have their place, but I wanted to create a book that hones in on the important stuff without being exhaustive.

Who should read this book? 

This book is targeted at two types of people. The first is an advanced beginner or intermediate JavaScript developer who wishes to solidify his or her understanding of the language through an in-depth look at JavaScript objects. The second type is a JavaScript library veteran who is ready to look behind the curtain. This book is not ideal for newbies to programming, JavaScript libraries, or JavaScript itself.

Why JavaScript 1.5 and ECMA-262 Edition 3? 

In this book, I focus on version 1.5 of JavaScript (equivalent to ECMA-262 Edition 3) because it is the most widely implemented version of JavaScript to date. The next version of this book will certainly be geared toward the up-and-coming ECMA-262 Edition 5.

Why didn't I cover the Date(), Error(), or RegEx() objects? 

Like I said, this book is not an exhaustive reference guide to JavaScript. Rather, it focuses on objects as a lens through which to understand JavaScript. So I have decided not to cover the Date(), Error(), or RegEx() objects because, as useful as they are, grasping the details of these objects will not make or break your general understanding of objects in JavaScript. My hope is that you simply apply what you learn here to all objects available in the JavaScript environment.

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