Responsible JavaScript

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High five to Jeremy on the big release of Responsible JavaScript on A Book Apart. There is a lot of talk about how the proliferation of JavaScript has had a negative impact on the web, but now we have the canonical reference tome.

The book is just chock-full of Jeremy framing some of the biggest arguments discussions about modern web development, dissecting them, and helping us learn from them. I say “modern web development” there on purpose, because JavaScript has gotten to be such a massive part of building websites these days that the two terms are almost synonymous, for better or worse. While the book title is Responsible JavaScript, it might as well be “Responsible Web Development” to make it go hand and hand with Scott’s book (and Mat’s book, if you need a more gentle introduction to JavaScript).

I like how Jeremy blends the old and new together. Readers are introduced and shown how techniques as old as the web (like progressive enhancement) are still useful today and perhaps even more useful than they have ever been. But this isn’t a history novel. New technology (like service workers) is handled with equal grace, and modern techniques for performance gains are given the credit they are due (like build tools and code splitting).

As an aside here — have you ever had an inkling to write a tech book? I have both heard and given this advice: Write a blog post first, or maybe a whole bunch of blog posts. That’ll prove you clearly have words to say about this. Plus it will get the energy of your idea into the world. You might get feedback and constructive insights on the idea as it is shared. Then, hopefully, you can turn that blog post into a talk. That’ll really get you thinking deeply about your idea while getting even more comfortable with the idea of sharing it clearly. And, if all goes well, turn all of that into a book!

Let’s see what happened here. Jeremy wrote a couple of blog posts (hey, nice title). They became a talk (hey, nice title). And that turned into a book (hey, nice title).