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Smashing CoffeeScript by Alex Hudson

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CHAPTER 1

Starting Up Your CoffeeScript Environment

Unlike many development tools you might already be using, CoffeeScript is an almost entirely build-time affair. There is no plug-in required on the client-side, and no requirement for special versions of JavaScript or other compatibility concerns. Once an application or website is developed, the end user will have little to no idea about it being written in CoffeeScript.

A CoffeeScript developer has enormous freedom with respect to the tools used, and in general, using the latest and greatest CoffeeScript environment is the recommended practice. With no end-user impact to worry about, the remaining concern with version upgrades is whether a new feature or bug-fix is going to affect working production code. The general release policy for CoffeeScript is to ensure that such breaking changes are not made, particularly within a minor release series, and in practice such changes are rare.

The hardest part to CoffeeScript is getting started, and that’s what this chapter is all about. As well as setting up a usable development environment, it’s important to start becoming familiar with the language, both in terms of the technical syntax and of the overall approach to solving problems with it. This chapter is a basic introduction to the language and also to the practices and coding habits that help avoid problems, particularly for novices.

CoffeeScript in the browser

Using CoffeeScript directly in the browser is a quick way to start ...

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