Douglas Crockford

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How JavaScript Works

Q&A: The Good Parts

This is a Q&A that I did for the release of my first book, JavaScript: The Good Parts in April, 2008.

What made you write the book?

It was a story that must be told.

JavaScript is the world's most misunderstood programming language. The language has so much expressive power that it is possible to be somewhat productive with it without knowing what you are doing. But that is not an effective way to work. Programming is serious business that should never be undertaken in ignorance.

Why is your book especially important now?

JavaScript, because it is the language of the web browser, has become important. Most of the world's applications now use JavaScript. It is the language of Ajax.

What is the single most important thing readers of your book will be able to do after reading your book?

They will be able to transform JavaScript into a much better language simply by avoiding the bad parts.

Do you have top 5-10 list of tips, tricks, and/or best practices?

No. I don't believe that quality is obtained from tricks. Good programs come from thoughtful, knowledgeable use of tools.

Who is your intended audience?

This book is for programmers who are coming to JavaScript for the first time from other languages, or for JavaScript programmers who want to be working at a higher level. It is not a book for beginners.

Is there anything that you feel is especially important that the readers would want to know about you or the book?

The book is short, but dense. I, on the other hand, am tall.

How important is the subject matter of your book?

The subject matter of this book couldn't be less important, unless you happen to be developing web applications, in which case it is critically important.

Is there anything in the news right now that affects or is reflected in your book, or is related to the subject of your book?

Web 2.0 baby, whatever that is, wouldn't be happening without JavaScript.

Are there any anecdotes about writing the book, or how you became involved in the subject?

I was going to write this book in 2001, but I didn't because in that post-bubble period, there didn't appear to be demand for it. That changed with the Ajax Resurgence in 2005.

Do you write regularly for any publications in this field?

Just the blog.

In researching the book, did you come across any surprising facts, figures, or statistics that the press might be interested in?

Surprisingly, facts have very little to do with web development.