Review: Crockford on JavaScript

As I mentioned in my blog post “Learning JavaScript” a couple of days ago, I decided to watch the series “Crockford on JavaScript”. And I did watch them!
So far, I listened to part 2-4 and will definitely watch part 5 once it’s out. Although the talks are a bit lengthy at times, I would say I learned more about JavaScript than in the last 2 years. And I also learned a couple of things I didn’t expect (like a little bit of background about how HTML came to be).
In this post, I want to share some points I noted down while watching:

  • I’m still unsure if the object model of JavaScript is really suited for large programs, I think I’m still favoring a classical model like one in Java or PHP. But more important is that I understand the “JavaScript way” of doing things (e.g. prototypal inheritance) better, because using a language as it was intended to be used will yield better results.
  • I fully agree with Crockfords position that numbers should be numbers in programming languages and not ints, floats, doubles and what-not. Wish that PHP would be like this.
  • Functions are really good in JavaScript, and I finally got what closures are all about. The whole concept sounds really nice, so, yes, JavaScript has good parts :)
  • Getting the introduction to DOM that Crockford gave was great to fill in gaps and to deepen my understanding on why things are how they are.
  • And finally, it was interesting to see what he thinks about HTML, CSS, DOM and the W3C. Pretty strong opinions here, but I think he is right to a certain extent. The standards we have today have a mostly crazy history and do several things wrong, but we have to use them. Unfortunately, the output of the groups like the W3C is much worse than what we get from Ajax libraries (or any other framework we have). Of course, this is not taking into account that you can just ditch a library, but you can’t work around JavaScript. And this is also why I disagree with Crockford that the good parts saved JavaScript, I would say JavaScript survived, because it is the only thing that all browsers support.

So that was my quick review of the talks. I highly recommend taking the time to watch them if you are interested in the web and want to understand things on a deeper level.

filed under , posted on March 24, 2010

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