Professional JavaScript, 3rd EditionI’m very excited to announce that Professional JavaScript for Web Developers, 3rd Edition is now shipping and available in bookstores. Over six years, the first edition was released and it changed my life in ways I never could have anticipated. It was through this book that I ended up at Yahoo! and was invited to speak at conferences for the first time. The first edition was a labor of love and that love has continued over the years through the second edition and into this one, which took over a year to complete.

Those who know me shouldn’t be surprised that this book is more than just an update. The 3rd edition features five completely new chapters covering the new HTML5 APIs such as history state managements, canvas, offline applications, web workers, and more. Throughout the book, I’ve added references to changes in ECMAScript 5, including how strict mode works and how to use the new object-creation APIs. All of the existing chapters were also updated with the latest browser support information including mobile support (sadly, that will always be a bit out-of-date). A special appendix about ECMAScript Harmony is also included to give you a taste of the future.

I’m also incredibly honored to have a foreword written by Rey Bango. Rey had so many kind words about the 2nd edition that I was thrilled when he agreed to write the foreword for this one. And here it is:

I look back at my career (now 20+ years) and in between coming to the realization that my grey hairs
have really sprouted out, I reflect on the technologies and people that have dramatically affected
my professional life and decisions. If I had to choose one technology, though, that has had the single
biggest positive influence on me, it would be JavaScript. Mind you, I wasn’t always a JavaScript believer.
Like many, I looked at it as a play language relegated to doing rotating banners and sprinkling some
interesting effects on pages. I was a server-side developer and we didn’t play with toy languages, damn
it! But then something happened: Ajax.

I’ll never forget hearing the buzzword “Ajax” all over the place and thinking that it was some very cool,
new and innovative technology. I had to check it out and as I read about it, I was floored when I realized
that the toy language I had so readily dismissed was now the technology that was on the lips of every
professional web developer. And suddenly, my perception changed. As I continued to explore past what
Ajax was, I realized that JavaScript was incredibly powerful and I wanted in on all the goodness it had to
offer. So I embraced it wholeheartedly working to understand the language, joining the jQuery project
team and focusing on client-side development. Life was good.

The deeper I became involved in JavaScript, the more developers I met, some whom to this day I still
see as rockstars and mentors. Nicholas Zakas is one of those developers. I remember reading the second edition of this very book and feeling like, despite all of my years of tinkering, I had learned so much.
And the book felt genuine and thoughtful, as if Nicholas understood that his audience’s experience
level would vary and that he needed to manage the tone accordingly. That really stood out in terms of
technical books. Most authors try to go into the deep-dive techno-babble to impress. This was different
and it immediately became my go-to book and the one I recommended to any developer that wanted
to get a solid understanding of JavaScript. I wanted everyone to feel the same way I felt and realize how
valuable a resource it is.

And then, at a jQuery conference, I had the amazing fortune of actually meeting Nicholas in person.
Here was one of top JavaScript developers in the world working on one of the most important web
properties in the world (Yahoo!) and he was one of the nicest people I had ever met. I admit, I was a bit
starstruck when I met him and the great thing is that he was just this incredibly down-to-earth person
who just wanted to help developers be great. So not only did his book change the way I thought about
JavaScript, Nicholas himself was someone that I wanted to continue to work with and get to know.

When Nicholas asked me to write this foreword, I can’t explain how flattered I was. Here I am being the
opening act for the guru. It’s a testament to how cool of a person he is. Most importantly though, it
gives me an opportunity to share with you why I felt this book is so important. I’ve read many JavaScript
books and there are certainly awesome titles out there. This book, though, offers in my opinion the total
package to make you an incredibly proficient and able JavaScript developer. The smooth and thoughtful
transition from introductory topics such as expressions and variable declarations to advanced topics
such as closures and object-oriented development is what sets it apart from other books that are either
too introductory or expect that you’re already building missile guidance systems with JavaScript. It’s
the “every man’s” book that will help you write code that you’ll be proud of and build websites that will
excite and delight.

Rey Bango
Sr. Technical Evanglist, Microsoft Corporation
jQuery Project Team

I hope that Rey, and all of you, enjoy the 3rd edition just as much as (if not more than) the 2nd edition. The book is available for purchase at Amazon and available for download as an ebook from Wrox.

Disclaimer: Any viewpoints and opinions expressed in this article are those of Nicholas C. Zakas and do not, in any way, reflect those of my employer, my colleagues, Wrox Publishing, O'Reilly Publishing, or anyone else. I speak only for myself, not for them.

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