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Developer Reading List: The Must-Have Books for JavaScript

, February 12, 2013 The best books for learning the basics, becoming expert, and and writing complete apps in JavaScript
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Pro JavaScript Performance, by Tom Barker

JavaScript performance used to be a really serious problem, but the advances in the various engines and virtual machines have greatly improved responsiveness of Web apps that rely on JavaScript. This book and the next look at what else can be done to boost performance. The above title focuses on tools that do all kinds of nifty tricks to boost JavaScript: minifying the JS, using the YUI compressor, and Google's closure compiler, among others. It also spends a lot of time on Web monitoring tools and interpreting the results. It's a short, highly tactical, and highly hands-on treatment on finding the most ways to reduce latency.

High-Performance JavaScript, by Nicholas Zakas

While the previous title is all hands on, this book steps back and looks at performance more holistically. It discusses in detail where bottlenecks are likely to occur and then explains what can be done about them. It eventually follows through to specific tips, but these are presented in the context of the larger discussion, rather than the previous volume, which simply shows them one right after the other.

Both books are short and useful and I would suggest to readers who are greatly concerned about performance that they buy both titles. I would start my reading with the Zakas book and then proceed to the Barker Title.

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