REVIEW - JavaScript Cookbook 3rd Edition - Programming the Web


JavaScript Cookbook 3rd Edition - Programming the Web


Adam D. Scott, Matthew MacDonald, Shelley Powers




O’Reilly Media (2020)




Simon Sebright


January 2022



Recommended with comments

This book follows the ‘cookbook’ format, in that it consists of a set of Recipes, over 200, for achieving discrete goals or tasks, in this case with JavaScript. Most Recipes are short, typically one to three pages in length.

It is divided into three Parts – Part I: The JavaScript Language (about half the length of the book), Part II: JavaScript in the Browser and Part III: Node.js.

Part I deals with the basic elements of the language – functions, objects, classes, other built-in types, and the primitive types – as well as asynchronous programming. The next two Parts as their names suggest, are specific to using the language in web pages of browsers, and with the node.js system respectively.

I found the book easy to follow, the very granular Recipe format meaning that you can easily put it down and pick it up later, without loss of context. Some Recipes build on other ones or are variants of the same idea. But generally, you can dive in anywhere, if you see in the table of contents that there is something you are interested in finding out about directly. For my review, I chose, however, to read it pretty much from front to back.

The content is clear and concise, and seemed competently written, in line with my general understanding of best practices for the language. If you are using the JavaScript language, I certainly recommend that you are familiar with the material in the book, particularly Part I.

The comments in the recommended verdict are because of the granular nature the cookbook format, it lacks a bit of flow to the narrative. For a general language introduction, I could imagine other books could be more coherent whilst covering the best practices. Many of the points are things you might choose to lookup online and find a good answer to quickly, e.g., with Stack Overflow and similar forums. That said, I like reading books in preference to screen-based material and to go through it all once is no bad thing, as the authors clearly put a lot of effort into collecting, formulating, and organising all the items they think are important to know.