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Choose JS framework for learning

  • # July 2, 2014 at 6:03 am

    Hi guys
    Learn JS framework as a way for better understanding JS language. Is it possible? I feel that I know JS for some level and now want to deepen my knowledge. What JS framework you can recommend from your experience. I started to watch some tutorials about AngularJS. What do you think about Angular?

    Thanks.

    # July 2, 2014 at 6:10 am

    Learning a framework will always teach you more, as long as you get the basics of JavaScript down first. Not just understand it, but know it well before you move on to frameworks.

    I’ve looked into AngularJS and it’s good, but it serves a specific purpose (in my view, to handle/read/display data on a single-page application) so you gotta have some idea about what you want to do with it. However, with AngularJS you add all kinds of specific tags/elements to your HTML page, that won’t necessarily help you understand JavaScript more, unless you dig deep into it why things happen the way they do.

    NIX
    # July 2, 2014 at 8:32 am

    I would look into Node.js. I think a lot of exciting things are happening with it right now. It’s not a framework PER SE… it’s more of a new way to think about Javascript. It in-turn has its own frameworks like Express. I would tend to agree with @Senff that you need to know JS really well first. However, if you do know JS really well, it adds another level of a language you know and love to the dev stack. That is very valuable in terms of the fun you have coding AND dev speed.

    Also, it’s very fast and handles asynchronous design VERY well. That’s why people love it so much.

    # July 2, 2014 at 9:11 am

    First thing why I started think about JS Framework, that after learning basic of JS and don’t have a lot of real practice, every framework tutorial create simple app where they use objects, prototyping etc. All it help you to see how to use this things in practice.

    # July 2, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Right — but when you use a framework tutorial, it will teach you the ins and outs about the framework, and not necessarily JavaScript‘s basics.

    It’s like driving;let’s say you just learned how to drive. The best way to get good at it, is to actually drive around for hours and hours. But if you would skip right ahead to learning how to drive a Formula 1 racecar, you may become an F1 expert, but also miss out on some basics of “regular” driving.

    If that makes sense ;)

    The one thing I’ve learned from coding is that there are no shortcuts. To learn something well, you have to practice, practice, practice, and also practice. Skipping ahead, crash courses, fast tutorials….they will teach you things but never as much as just coding as much as you can.

    # July 2, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Thanks, yes it makes sense, but I don’t looking for shortcut, simply want to learn another one way how you can use JS. Thanks for reply

    # July 2, 2014 at 11:12 am

    The method of learning JavaScript that has been the most valuable to me is to have a project, and figure out how to accomplish it.

    For example, I recently worked on creating a dotmatrix display with JavaScript using the canvas element. This is nothing new and there are lots of libraries out there that do this better than whatever I wrote, but that’s not the point. Just the act of creating it myself taught me a lot, mostly in the form having a reason to discover things about JavaScript I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

    It doesn’t have to be anything useful or practical, but just having an end goal helps define what you’ll need to know to reach it, and then you can learn those things.

    Next I want to learn about HTTP requests with JavaScript, so I’ll probably poorly recreate some existing service to go through the exercise of doing it myself.

    # July 2, 2014 at 11:27 am

    This is nothing new and there are lots of libraries out there that do this better than whatever I wrote, but that’s not the point. Just the act of creating it myself taught me a lot …

    this.

    NIX
    # July 2, 2014 at 11:32 am

    I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

    this too.

    Sometimes you THINK you know, but you have no idea.

    # July 2, 2014 at 11:45 am

    I agree too, but my point as an almost noob in JS is to find different ways to learn JS and most important to understand what JS can do, before creating something by himself.

    # July 3, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    If you really want to learn javascript, I would recommend staying away from all the frameworks and convenience libraries to begin with. Once you learn about what it takes to do things in plain old javascript, you’ll understand why it’s nice to have things like jQuery and Angular.js to help you write stuff more efficiently without having to worry about edge cases in production situation.

    However, if javascript is your first go at programming, forget what I said. Use the convenience stuff until you get your head around basic programming concepts. Still, it is good to remove the training wheels after a bit, so you have a concept of what is going on in insert hot new js framework here. That way you’ll have a better understanding of why things break when they do and how to fix them.

    If you want to jump in the deep end of javascript, I recommend Kyle Simpson’s books in progress You Don’t Know JS. Two books in the five book series are already finished, and they are free to read. You Don’t Know JS @ GitHub

    # July 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm

    I agree too, but my point as an almost noob in JS is to find different ways to learn JS and most important to understand what JS can do, before creating something by himself.

    You keep saying this… I don’t think you understand what everyone is trying to explain. Learning how to use javascript libraries, without first having a firm grasp of plain javascript, will not help you achieve this goal.

    If you want to learn how to use libraries, go for it. It’ll help you “get stuff done” in the short term.

    But, if you’re serious about the “learn” and “understand” and “possibilities” of javascript, you’re still going to have to study regular, plain, not-framework javascript: and focusing on a framework first will not help you get to this point any faster.

    NIX
    # July 3, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    There are some times when jQuery is awesome… but whenever I use it… I feel slightly dirty because it comes with a certain level of overhead. It’s not as fast and not as clean as plain ol Javascript. However, plain ol Javascript is more verbose… most of the time.

    What have you done to learn JS? Have you read a book or taken an online course? If not, I suggest you start there with JUST JS. Then, you can move on to other stuff. Learning vanilla JS will very much be an advantage to you in the future.

    # July 4, 2014 at 12:39 am

    Thanks guys for your replies. I appreciate this.

    I can’t properly explain, because my poor English.

    What have you done to learn JS? Have you read a book or taken an online course?

    I have read Douglas Crockford JavaScript: The Good Parts, N.Zakas ‘Professional JavaScript for Web Developers’, several books about jQuery, go through codeschool and now I can write simple game (snake, sokoban) in JS(jQuery). But a lot of stuff now develops through using frameworks (because everything should be fast) and I thought which framework to choose and how it all help me to understand how to work with different parts of JS (arrays, objects, callback functions) .

    JS is my first step in programming and it really cool :)

    @JacobPeters thanks for link!

    # July 4, 2014 at 7:35 am

    I think the thing that made me wary of jQuery is when I read that it takes 320ms to parse it on an iPhone 4. At the time I read that, it’s the phone I was using. I didn’t want to gimp my own experience, so I decided to learn vanilla javascript.

    If you already have some experience writing things then I totally suggest getting away from jQuery for learning javascript. It’s like trying to learn OpenGL through a game engine. Sure you’ll learn a few things, but if you go through and do everything for yourself, you’ll learn a lot more. When I was learning about 3d math for graphics, I wrote my own library for handling vector, matrix, and quaternion stuff. Now that I know how that stuff works, I use GLM because it handles edge cases very well, and in most cases is faster than what I wrote (it’s difficult to write the asm for SIMD instructions without killing the speed boost with unnecessary register moves/cache stalling). I’m digressing now, because jQuery/frameworks aren’t really akin to something like GLM.

    Anyway, if you’re just writing demo stuff for your own learning, you can target IE10+, and javascript has many one-to-one equivalents to jQuery.

    Sorry, I got a bit off track with my answer, haha. Here is a link to a site that will be invaluable for tranfering jQuery to vanilla javascript. You might not need jQuery

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