JavaScript Web Applications

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"O'Reilly Media, Inc.", Aug 18, 2011 - Computers - 255 pages
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Building rich JavaScript applications that bring a desktop experience to the Web requires moving state from the server to the client side—not a simple task. This hands-on book takes proficient JavaScript developers through all the steps necessary to create state-of-the-art applications, including structure, templating, frameworks, communicating with the server, and many other issues.

Throughout the book, you'll work with real-world example applications to help you grasp the concepts involved. Learn how to create JavaScript applications that offer a more responsive and improved experience.

  • Use the Model-View-Controller (MVC) pattern, and learn how to manage dependencies inside your application
  • Get an introduction to templating and data binding
  • Learn about loading remote data, Ajax, and cross-domain requests
  • Create realtime applications with WebSockets and Node.js
  • Accept dropped files and upload data with progress indicators
  • Use major frameworks and libraries, including jQuery, Spine, and Backbone
  • Write tests and use the console to debug your applications
  • Get deployment best practices, such as caching and minification

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I came to this book after reading jQuery in Action and a book on html5 game development with javascript. At that point I was at a turning point in my understanding of how javascript is actually used to build incredible interactive applications. From reading this book I wanted to gain a broader understanding of how to build javascript applications rather than using javascript solely for small interactions with server-based applications.
The single-most important slice of knowledge I gained from Javascript Web Applications came from the three chapters dealing with javascript mvc frameworks. I had heard a lot of talk on the webs about different javascript frameworks, and everyone was debating which was best, but I still didn't understand how they work or even why one would use one. The book describes Spine.js, Backbone.js, and JavascriptMVC, along with strategies for employing templates with these libraries. Since reading these I have delved deeper into studying Backbone.js and building applications with it, so far a valuable experience.
The chapter on events and observing helped solidify my understanding of this core theme of the javascript language and development, asynchronicity. This book is relatively advanced and it furthered in many directions my knowledge of javascript and its ecosystem. It is a valuable wealth of knowledge on javascript and client-side application development that I wholly recommend.


Chapter 1 MVC and Classes
Chapter 2 Events and Observing
Chapter 3 Models and Data
Chapter 4 Controllers and State
Chapter 5 Views and Templating
Chapter 6 Dependency Management
Chapter 7 Working with Files
Chapter 8 The RealTime Web
Chapter 10 Deploying
Chapter 11 The Spine Library
Chapter 12 The Backbone Library
Chapter 13 The JavascriptMVC Library
Appendix A jQuery Primer
Appendix B CSS Extensions
Appendix C CSS3 Reference

Chapter 9 Testing and Debugging

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About the author (2011)

Alex MacCaw is a Ruby/JavaScript developer & entrepreneur. He has written a JavaScript framework, Spine and developed major applications including Taskforce and Socialmod, as well as a host of open source work. He speaks at Ruby/Rails conferences in NYC, SF and Berlin. In addition to programming he is currently traveling round the world with a Nikon D90 and surfboard.

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