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  1. #1
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    What JS Framework to choose To Learn JS

    Hi, I'm experienced with PHP and I'm familiar with JS syntax but still a beginner.

    Now I want to learn AJAX And JS and I've looked at jQuery but it doesn't look like JS to me, I mean I'm sure it is but it looks to me like jQuery has a syntax of it's own and I want to learn not just a framework but also the underlying language.

    So now my question is; what framework will be the best choice when that is my goal?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Guru Ize's Avatar
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    In my opinion; you cannot learn a language by studying a framework.
    Pick up a book on Javascript (Sitepoint has some good ones) and start there.
    The purpose of a framework is to provide a simple interface to common operations and normalize browser work-arounds. If you're not familiar with the inner workings of the language, you probably won't learn 'em by studying a framework.

    Also, Javascript is a fun language
    Search for books or at least online tutorials to master it.

  3. #3
    SitePoint Wizard gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy dc dalton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ize View Post
    In my opinion; you cannot learn a language by studying a framework
    ABSOLUTELY! This is exactly why I hate frameworks, people think they don't need to know the underlying language that well.... sorry but this is wrong wrong wrong!

    When I taught I always had some smart ^ssed student say to me "why should I learn this when xyz can do it for me"

    My answer was the same every time "Because what happens when xyz screws up and you don't have enough knowledge to fix it!"

    And you know what, by the end of each semester the student that asked that question came to me and said "you know what, you were right"

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    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    If you really want to dive into the language, the ECMA 262 standard (http://www.ecma-international.org/pu...s/Ecma-262.htm) describes the basics of the javascript core language. However it does not describe the browser specific things such as ajax and event handling implementations.

    There's a "Javascript FAQ" in my sig that describes some minor annoyance I've delt with while using javascript.

    As for ajax, there's a sitepoint article on that, I just can't remember it off hand. The article is nice in that it gets down to the core fundamentals of ajax and how to work with it across browsers.

  5. #5
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    And what about learning AJAX to learn JS? Does that work well or do you only use a small portion of JS with AJAX scripting?

    I like the approach of learning multiple things at the same time....takes less time. E.g. I never took a concentrated effort to learn HTML, I learned it while learning PHP.

    I'm having my eyes on this AJAX book from wrox

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    SitePoint Wizard chris_fuel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeanpaul1979 View Post
    And what about learning AJAX to learn JS? Does that work well or do you only use a small portion of JS with AJAX scripting?
    mmm, that's somewhat reverse. You can't do AJAX without javascript ( Async [heh, I hate spelling out the full word] Javascript and XML is what it stands for ). The best you can do as far is "learning" ajax is seeing how the architecture works.

    The thing with javascript is there is a lot of bad stuff to wade through example code wise and what not that you really need to know the language to stand on the good ground and code effectively.

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    Hello guys,

    I have question, maybe little stupid, but what is JS framework? Is this just libraries like PHP's PEAR or it's sub language?

  8. #8
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    So AJAX is an architecture that uses JS, I'm somewhat familiar with it, I've done some tutorials.

    It doesn't use much JS functionality aside from the http request object that can help me pick up JS along the way?

    If that's the case i guess i got to go with JS from the ground up.

  9. #9
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    We have some articles here on sitepoint that will help to give you a good grounding. A couple of good primers:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/simply-javascript
    http://www.sitepoint.com/article/jav...t-from-scratch

    Both of which are excerpts from SitePoint books:

    http://www.sitepoint.com/books/javascript1/
    http://www.sitepoint.com/books/jsant1/

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  11. #11
    SitePoint Zealot Skibum1321's Avatar
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    A Javascript Framework is just a synonym for a Javascript Library. Basically, it is a bunch of functions that someone created that help you get the job done quicker. Most major ones contain things such as getElementsByClass and onDOMReady.

    As for learning a javascript, my recommendation would be to learn the core language first and then pick up a library at a later point. Remember that a library is someone else's code so there could be problems with it (although most of the bigger ones are fairly well documented). Therefore, you must know enough javascript that you can figure out errors and where things are going wrong. By learning the core language first, you will also have a better understanding of what each function from the library is actually doing for you.
    Also, you will be able to decide if the library function is the best tool for the job or something from the core javascript language. There are usually many ways to accomplish something in javascript and the architecture of the library may be designed where it is easier or faster to perform certain tasks without it.
    Keith Rousseau

  12. #12
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    And also, in order to acheive decent speed and filesize, libraries tend to be written in very obscure syntax, close to voodoo in some cases. They're probably the worst place to start learning.

  13. #13
    I'll take mine raw silver trophy MikeFoster's Avatar
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    Hi jeanpaul1979,

    You've had some excellent responses from some experienced people. Lots of good advice here.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeanpaul1979
    And what about learning AJAX to learn JS?
    When I have to learn a new programming language (or compiler or chip architecture), I do what you are suggesting - I pick a small project and implement it, forcing myself to utilize reference manuals and other resources. By the end of the project I have had a good intro to the new technology I wanted to learn. But the hardest thing here is choosing a project that is not too complex, yet still difficult enough to challenge you.

    So AJAX is an architecture that uses JS, I'm somewhat familiar with it, I've done some tutorials.
    It doesn't use much JS functionality aside from the http request object that can help me pick up JS along the way?
    On the contrary, if you look at the XMLHttpRequest 'wrapper' objects implemented in the various libraries you will see that they utilize advanced Javascript constructs and concepts. So your goal should be learning these constructs and concepts - not necessarily any particular application of them (such as Ajax). And looking at the source of those libraries (when you are ready) will certainly help.

    If that's the case i guess i got to go with JS from the ground up.
    You are exactly right. You will understand the advanced concepts quickly after you get the rudiments - and since you are experienced at PHP it will not take you long at all. The syntax is very similar. You just need to get familiar with the DOM and the event model.

    ---

    A "library" thread like this comes up ever so often doesn't it?

    After 7 years of writing Javascript I ended up with alot of code. With each new project I would re-use more of my previous work and so save myself time and know that the code had already been tested. It would have been foolish for me to write each project from scratch when I had already written so many simlar applications. So I ended up with a toolbox of functions which I found useful over and over. Eventually, other people starting using them - and before I knew it the thing had become a public collection of useful functions - a "Javascript Library". Eventually many of those functions became extremely trustworthy because they had been tested by so many different people on many different platforms.

    It is true that a Javascript library is not the best place to start learning Javascript. But don't shy away from them for too long. A great deal of experience has went into their creation and you will learn much from studying them and from making yourself learn how to use them

    ---

    Quote Originally Posted by brothercake
    And also, in order to acheive decent speed and filesize, libraries tend to be written in very obscure syntax, close to voodoo in some cases.

    LOL , yes bro, you are right we do love the voodoo

  14. #14
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    Maybe But if it's a choice between "faster code" and "less obtuse syntax", I'll go for the less obtuse syntax every time; because it's easier to read and manage, and time is more valuable than processor cycles.


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