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Effective JavaScript: 68 Specific Ways to Harness the Power of JavaScript

Book Description

“It’s uncommon to have a programming language wonk who can speak in such comfortable and friendly language as David does. His walk through the syntax and semantics of JavaScript is both charming and hugely insightful; reminders of gotchas complement realistic use cases, paced at a comfortable curve. You’ll find when you finish the book that you’ve gained a strong and comprehensive sense of mastery.”

—Paul Irish, developer advocate, Google Chrome

“This is not a book for those looking for shortcuts; rather it is hard-won experience distilled into a guided tour. It’s one of the few books on JS that I’ll recommend without hesitation.”

—Alex Russell, TC39 member, software engineer, Google

In order to truly master JavaScript, you need to learn how to work effectively with the language’s flexible, expressive features and how to avoid its pitfalls. No matter how long you’ve been writing JavaScript code, Effective JavaScript will help deepen your understanding of this powerful language, so you can build more predictable, reliable, and maintainable programs.

Author David Herman, with his years of experience on Ecma’s JavaScript standardization committee, illuminates the language’s inner workings as never before—helping you take full advantage of JavaScript’s expressiveness. Reflecting the latest versions of the JavaScript standard, the book offers well-proven techniques and best practices you’ll rely on for years to come.

Effective JavaScript is organized around 68 proven approaches for writing better JavaScript, backed by concrete examples. You’ll learn how to choose the right programming style for each project, manage unanticipated problems, and work more successfully with every facet of JavaScript programming from data structures to concurrency. Key features include

  • Better ways to use prototype-based object-oriented programming

  • Subtleties and solutions for working with arrays and dictionary objects

  • Precise and practical explanations of JavaScript’s functions and variable scoping semantics

  • Useful JavaScript programming patterns and idioms, such as options objects and method chaining

  • In-depth guidance on using JavaScript’s unique “run-to-completion” approach to concurrency

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Praise for Effective JavaScript
    4. Dedication Page
    5. Contents
    6. Foreword
    7. Preface
      1. JavaScript versus ECMAScript
      2. On the Web
      3. A Note on Concurrency
    8. Acknowledgments
    9. About the Author
    10. 1. Accustoming Yourself to JavaScript
      1. Item 1: Know Which JavaScript You Are Using
      2. Item 2: Understand JavaScript’s Floating-Point Numbers
      3. Item 3: Beware of Implicit Coercions
      4. Item 4: Prefer Primitives to Object Wrappers
      5. Item 5: Avoid using == with Mixed Types
      6. Item 6: Learn the Limits of Semicolon Insertion
      7. Item 7: Think of Strings As Sequences of 16-Bit Code Units
    11. 2. Variable Scope
      1. Item 8: Minimize Use of the Global Object
      2. Item 9: Always Declare Local Variables
      3. Item 10: Avoid with
      4. Item 11: Get Comfortable with Closures
      5. Item 12: Understand Variable Hoisting
      6. Item 13: Use Immediately Invoked Function Expressions to Create Local Scopes
      7. Item 14: Beware of Unportable Scoping of Named Function Expressions
      8. Item 15: Beware of Unportable Scoping of Block-Local Function Declarations
      9. Item 16: Avoid Creating Local Variables with eval
      10. Item 17: Prefer Indirect eval to Direct eval
    12. 3. Working with Functions
      1. Item 18: Understand the Difference between Function, Method, and Constructor Calls
      2. Item 19: Get Comfortable Using Higher-Order Functions
      3. Item 20: Use call to Call Methods with a Custom Receiver
      4. Item 21: Use apply to Call Functions with Different Numbers of Arguments
      5. Item 22: Use arguments to Create Variadic Functions
      6. Item 23: Never Modify the arguments Object
      7. Item 24: Use a Variable to Save a Reference to arguments
      8. Item 25: Use bind to Extract Methods with a Fixed Receiver
      9. Item 26: Use bind to Curry Functions
      10. Item 27: Prefer Closures to Strings for Encapsulating Code
      11. Item 28: Avoid Relying on the toString Method of Functions
      12. Item 29: Avoid Nonstandard Stack Inspection Properties
    13. 4. Objects and Prototypes
      1. Item 30: Understand the Difference between prototype, getPrototypeOf, and __proto__
      2. Item 31: Prefer Object.getPrototypeOf to __proto__
      3. Item 32: Never Modify __proto__
      4. Item 33: Make Your Constructors new-Agnostic
      5. Item 34: Store Methods on Prototypes
      6. Item 35: Use Closures to Store Private Data
      7. Item 36: Store Instance State Only on Instance Objects
      8. Item 37: Recognize the Implicit Binding of this
      9. Item 38: Call Superclass Constructors from Subclass Constructors
      10. Item 39: Never Reuse Superclass Property Names
      11. Item 40: Avoid Inheriting from Standard Classes
      12. Item 41: Treat Prototypes As an Implementation Detail
      13. Item 42: Avoid Reckless Monkey-Patching
    14. 5. Arrays and Dictionaries
      1. Item 43: Build Lightweight Dictionaries from Direct Instances of Object
      2. Item 44: Use null Prototypes to Prevent Prototype Pollution
      3. Item 45: Use hasOwnProperty to Protect Against Prototype Pollution
      4. Item 46: Prefer Arrays to Dictionaries for Ordered Collections
      5. Item 47: Never Add Enumerable Properties to Object.prototype
      6. Item 48: Avoid Modifying an Object during Enumeration
      7. Item 49: Prefer for Loops to Loops for Array Iteration
      8. Item 50: Prefer Iteration Methods to Loops
      9. Item 51: Reuse Generic Array Methods on Array-Like Objects
      10. Item 52: Prefer Array Literals to the Array Constructor
    15. 6. Library and API Design
      1. Item 53: Maintain Consistent Conventions
      2. Item 54: Treat undefined As “No Value”
      3. Item 55: Accept Options Objects for Keyword Arguments
      4. Item 56: Avoid Unnecessary State
      5. Item 57: Use Structural Typing for Flexible Interfaces
      6. Item 58: Distinguish between Array and Array-Like
      7. Item 59: Avoid Excessive Coercion
      8. Item 60: Support Method Chaining
    16. 7. Concurrency
      1. Item 61: Don’t Block the Event Queue on I/O
      2. Item 62: Use Nested or Named Callbacks for Asynchronous Sequencing
      3. Item 63: Be Aware of Dropped Errors
      4. Item 64: Use Recursion for Asynchronous Loops
      5. Item 65: Don’t Block the Event Queue on Computation
      6. Item 66: Use a Counter to Perform Concurrent Operations
      7. Item 67: Never Call Asynchronous Callbacks Synchronously
      8. Item 68: Use Promises for Cleaner Asynchronous Logic
    17. Index