Review: Learning JavaScriptMVC by Packt

Jun 7, 2013 javascript
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Someone from Packt reached out to me the other day to ask if I’d do a review of a newly published book called Learning JavascriptMVC. I said sure. So, they gave me a free e-book to read. Let me give my honest review:

Starts out describing the JavaScriptMVC framework:

  • DocumentJS
  • FuncUnit
  • jQueryMX
  • StealJS

Gives the ever present foo-bar type example: create a todo list. (the only one that is more prevalent is creating a blog engine, right?)

The example code is pretty easy to follow. I feel like I could code mainly based on the example for this simple project.

Then it goes on to describe each section:

StealJS: describes how to manage large packages of software. I don’t really like this too, myself, plus I didn’t feel like the book went into enough detail - especially if this is such a pivotal part of the examples and code. Note, there is a full chapter about StealJS - yup pages 69 to 72. Not enough.

DocumentJS: the book is good: it describes it well. However, I feel like the tool is a little bit unneeded - and shouldn’t be considered part of the framework. What about Jsdoc? At any rate, good job describing, don’t like it’s inclusion in the framework though.

Next, FuncUnit. My experience is in using jsunit, so I wanted to see how FuncUnit stacked up. However, it’s been quite some time since I used JSUnit… I really liked the way that FuncUnit seems to work as a robust unit testing system. The book describes integration with Selenium and PhantomJS too, which is nice. To me, it seems like funcunit could be used to integrate into the scaffolding of your entire app too, so not to have to duplicate environments.

jQueryMX was covered next. I like the helpers it provides for the class and model. The book describes the class helper very well. The model one I thought could use some more clarification. It also describes the various other parts of mvc including controller, view, etc. Overall, just enough detail. Myself, I would have liked to see more indepth here for the core parts of jQueryMX as that really is the core of your app, too, right? However, the extra helpers including things like $.Range and $.Route, $.Observe, $.Drag, etc, were covered well.

The last chapter is kind of a case-study. It includes talk about planning, wireframing, and building an application. (This is reminiscent of my own book where I did the same thing.) I really liked this long chapter as it showed me more in-depth how I would use all the tools together.

Overall, I give the book 8.5 stars out of 10. Very clear, easy to follow, just could have used some more detail here and there.

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