Why CoffeeScript is One of the Good Guys

Earle Castledine is the author of our new title Jump Start: CoffeeScript.

Keep it to yourself, but I wasn’t sold on CoffeeScript for a long, long while—because I really love JavaScript. But CoffeeScript is like Han Solo: despite a rough and dangerous exterior, it has what counts on the inside. Once you know its true goodness, you’ll be loyal forever. You certainly won’t give it up for some imposter (I’m looking at you GWT and Dart). CoffeeScript is one of the good guys. Maybe even a Jedi.

CoffeeScript smooths over JavaScript’s rough edges while highlighting and magnifying its most powerful aspects. In fact, it does this so well that the next version of JavaScript is borrowing back features, such as its short function syntax.

Jump Start: CoffeeScript is a book about CoffeeScript. After you’ve read it, you will know how to code in CoffeeScript. You’ll also understand how to think in CoffeeScript, and will be thoroughly addicted to its fantastic features: its succinct and elegant functional style, nifty string interpolation, powerful pattern matching and loop comprehensions, and much, much more.

Throughout the course of book, we apply our newfound knowledge to an evolving project. Naturally, this project is a game: an HTML5 canvas-based game. I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, great, another awesome Pong clone/boring generic space-shooter”. But we’re not using your run-of-the-mill coding language here; we’re using CoffeeScript, and its expressive power lets us delve. We could just do the basics: platforms, ladders, gravity—but that would be too easy! We also want enemy AI, block building, particle effects, screens, and dialogs. We want a real game.

So, anyway, that’s the idea. In a handful of relatively short chapters, you learn CoffeeScript inside out and know how to make games. By the end of it all, you’ll be able to express your ideas fluently and, I hope, be convinced that CoffeeScript is a force for good.

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