From ActionScript to Javascript (part 1)

Ah, spring cleaning. It’s time to dust off the virtual bookshelf and add a few more books to the library. I have decided to dive head first into the world of JavaScript. The challenge seems resonable, since JavaScript is a variant of ECMAScript and ActionScript is effectively ECMAScript 4, I should be able to overcome the learning curve relatively quickly. I’ve encountered JavaScript in the past, but never had the motivation to take it on as a viable programming language. My cohort, Rob Dodson has been an advocate for learning JavaScript and has continually harrased me to move on from ActionScript. Rob’s a smart guy, he tends to follow programming language trends and I’m usually entertained by his various experiments, but I’ve never been sold on JavaScript, primarily because it’s a prototype-based scripting language that is weakly typed, its usage of global variables and more importantly, there are the browser differences. Though modern web browsers all support JavaScript, there is no standard, so the browsers don’t support exactly the same JavaScript, making debugging your code a chore. So, why the change of heart? Well, to be honest my client inquired if I could take our current ActionScript application and migrate it over to JavaScript to target mobile phones and tablets. At first I hesitated, and later responded with yes. Why the hell not, it makes sense, its the perfect tool for the job. So, I started with a wee bit of online research, consulted with my cohort and came across an excellent Google Tech Talk presentation by Doug Crockford, the author of JavaScript: The Good Parts. After sitting through the 1 hour presentation, I was willing to move forward with learning JavaScript. I took Doug Crockford’s advice and purchased some books:

(1) JavaScript: The Good Parts

(2) JavaScript Patterns

(3) JavaScript: The Definitive Guide

To master JavaScript is to really understand it. Stay tuned as I continue my adventure into JavaScript.

(Part 2)

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